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Monday, 23 April 2012

Shane Clancy - was a "very troubled young man" stated coroner Cathal Louth, see FIDDAMAN blog

Open verdict in Clancy death inquest

Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 02:24 PM

A jury has returned an open verdict into the death of Shane Clancy, who fatally stabbed a man in Co Wicklow before turning the knife on himself.

The 22-year-old from Dalkey in Dublin fatally stabbed Sebestian Creane on August 16 last at his home in Bray.

After Clancy broke up with Jennifer Hannigan he told her father that he was put on this planet to be with her.

She said he changed after she started seeing Creane who ended up in Clancy's company on a night out last August.

In the early hours of the following morning, Clancy fatally stabbed Creane, attacked his brother Dylan as well as Ms Hannigan before turning the knife on himself.

Shane was on anti-depressants at the time and his mother Leonie Fennell believed they were the cause of his agitated state that night.

In recording the open verdict delivered by the jury, Wicklow county coroner Cathal Louth said Clancy had obviously been a very troubled young man.

Read more:

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Leonie Fennell drove Shane Clancy to doctor & insisted he take antidepressants - FIDDAMAN blog

Leonie continued: "I drove him to the doctor and made him get some anti-depressants which he didn't want to take, but I insisted."'My+Shane+wouldn't+hurt+a+fly+but+turned+unrecognisable+that+night...-a0207849464

"What happened to Shane to turn him into such an unrecognisable person that night? "Was it because he didn't drink or do drug that his system couldn't cope with the antidepressants?

"Or can depression melt your brain if it gets that bad? Will we ever know?

"All I know is that Shane wouldn't hurt a fly but turned unrecognisable that night for some reason."


Shane attacked Sebastian, 22 with a knife he had bought in a 24-hour shop, at the Creane family home in Bray, Co Wicklow.

His ex-girlfriend Jennifer Hannigan who had started going out with Sebastian, suffered a knife wound to the back.

Sebastian's older brother Dillon suffered eight stab wounds but he also escaped with his life.

Grief-stricken Leonie said she wanted listeners to know "who my son was and what he was like before the 16th of August".

She added: "Shane had it all. A stable home, a lovely flat in Dalkey, his own car, college going well and family and friends who loved him unconditionally.

"He gave half his grant money to a homeless man he befriended, which meant we had to pay his rent but that was normal."

She said Shane began to show symptoms of depression in the months before the attack.


Leonie explained: "He was to go to Calcutta for the summer but foolishly, maybe, told his mentor there how down he was feeling about the break-up with Jen.

"The decision was made to defer his trip until next year. He was at home with me the day he got the phone call telling him the trip to Calcutta was deferred.

"I told him to go on the internet and book himself a round-the-world trip as he had ended up now with a free summer."

Shane returned within two weeks saying he missed his family and friends.

Leonie continued: "I drove him to the doctor and made him get some anti-depressants which he didn't want to take, but I insisted."

She now fears the drugs contributed to the sudden burst of violence that brought such tragedy to three families.

The medication is expected to be brought up during the inquest into Shane's death.

Speaking about Shane, RTE radio host Gerry Ryan said: "He was a full human being, admittedly tortured... in need of help maybe that he didn't get."


Shane Clancy - might have been OK on a different type of antidepressant - says mother Leonie Fennell FIDDAMAN

If he had been given a different type of antidepressant the second time he might have been OK


KNIFE killer Shane Clancy's mother has said she will never stop fighting for her son as she tries to highlight the dangers of anti-depressants.

Heartbroken Leonie Fennell said her 22-year-old son would never have murdered Sebastian Creane, also 22, if he had not have been psychologically disturbed.

Her son's inquest in Wicklow East Coroners Court returned an open verdict open verdict


a finding by a coroner's jury of death without stating the cause

open verdict open n (Law) →  and Ms Fennell is convinced the carnage was sparked by her son's reaction to the drugs.

Ms Fennell said: "We can't apologise enough. But I am not going to stop fighting for Shane. I will never stop defending my son. We cannot change what happened that night. But that was not Shane.

"I do feel a sense of closure. We are very happy with the verdict. But we will try and highlight the problems anti-depressants cause. It's not going to bring Shane or Sebastian back, but it might help other mothers' sons. I'll do whatever it takes." The inquest heard Clancy had dangerous levels of the drug Cipramil in his blood when he killed Sebastian and stabbed his ex-girlfriend Jennifer Hannigan, 22, in August last year.

He also knifed Seb's brother Dylan before turning the blade on himself last August.

Clancy was prescribed the drug after he fell into a deep depression following the break up of his three-year relationship with Jennifer.

Ms Fennell added: "If he was drinking it could have been said he did what he did because of the alcohol mixing with the anti-depressants. But that's not what happened.

"Does someone need to be the sacrificial lamb A sacrificial lamb is a lamb (or metaphorical parallel) killed or discounted in some way (as in a sacrifice) in order to further some other cause. In typical modern usage, it is a metaphorical reference for a person who has no chance of surviving the challenge ahead, but is placed to get the message out there about the dangers of anti-depressants? Is that why it happened to Shane?"

The devastated mother said she is not against people taking these drugs but at the moment they are being dispensed to people like "

Ms Fennell added: "I'm not saying they don't work for other people. Of course they do, and of course they should be prescribed and people should not stop taking them because of what happened to Shane.

"He had a reaction to the tablets. His tongue got swollen from taking them. Then he overdosed on them and the second doctor prescribed him the same thing. If he had been given a different type of antidepressant the second time he might have been OK."

Speaking at the inquest psychiatrist Professor David Healy said he was in favour of compulsory monitoring of patients taking anti-depressants.

Ms Fennell is continuing her fight for justice by emailing every TD to ask for a public awareness campaign to highlight the side effects  of the drugs.

She added her family now has some answers about the events leading up to that night of horror but Shane could never have hurt someone else deliberately.

Ms Fennell said: "We do now feel we have got some answers about what happened to Shane. I know my son could not commit suicide  And it goes without saying that he couldn't hurt someone deliberately in his right mind."

Shane Clancy NOT given antidepressants at first visit to GP - see FIDDAMAN blog full coverage

His mother persuaded him to go to the doctor on July 18 last year. The doctor told him to go away, to exercise and to eat properly but he showed no improvement and on July 22, his mother brought him back and the doctor prescribed a month's supply of the anti-depressant Cipramil.

SHANE Clancy had "toxic-to-fatal" levels of anti-depressants in his system on the night he went on a tragic stabbing spree.

Professor David Healy of Cardiff University expressed concern to Wicklow East Coroner's Court about the drug Cipramil taken by Clancy, saying that it was known to cause "suicidal and homicidal thoughts" among "a minority" of people.

He believed Clancy had suffered an adverse reaction to the drug and should not have been prescribed it.

Prof Healy stressed that many people can use the drug safely, but told the inquest that he had concerns over the safety warnings given to the drug in Ireland.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Declan Gilsenan said the post-mortem examination on Clancy's body revealed 19 superficial abrasion lesions and six stab wounds to his chest and upper abdomen.

No alcohol or other drugs were found but levels of a prescribed anti-depressant, an SSRI drug, were present "at a somewhat excessive level". He agreed with Coroner Cathal Louth that the drug was present in "toxic to fatal" levels.

He said the Committee on Safety in Medicine in England had advised that SSRIs should not be used by anyone under 18, as "trials suggest harmful outcomes".

One theory on the drug suggests a danger period at the start of treatment because before the drug actually lifts the depression, it alters a person's ability to make decisions, said Dr Gilsenan.

The cause of death was shock and haemorrhage due to a stab wound to the heart.

In a highly emotional and moving deposition, Shane Clancy's mother, Leonie Fennell, told how her six-foot-tall son, a student of Irish and Theology at Trinity College, had slipped into depression last summer following the break-up of a three-year long relationship with his girlfriend, Jennifer Hannigan and was "miserable with the weight of a broken heart."

His mother persuaded him to go to the doctor on July 18 last year. The doctor told him to go away, to exercise and to eat properly but he showed no improvement and on July 22, his mother brought him back and the doctor prescribed a month's supply of the anti-depressant Cipramil.

On August 5, he took an overdose of the anti-depressant and two days later, Ms Fennell brought her son to a locum doctor and was "surprised" when he received another prescription for the same drug.


Ms Fennell broke down as she told the inquest how her world had become "a living nightmare".

After the inquest, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry Patricia Casey read a statement expressing the College of Psychiatry of Ireland's disappointment at the Coroner's decision not to allow it to give evidence.

She said there were aspects of the evidence with which the college took issue.

Speaking after the inquest, James MacGuill, a lawyer for the Clancys, said the family was happy with the open verdict and believed it marked the beginning of a new and hopefully happier chapter for their family, the Creane family and for Jennifer Hannigan.

They also hope the case would heighten public awareness about the issues surrounding anti-depressant medication and lead to the introduction of treatment protocols "that match" best international practice.

However in a statement last night, Lundbeck, the drug manufacturers disputed the evidence given and claims made about Cipramil (citalopram) in the inquest, and said the drug has been used by 130 million patients worldwide.

"Extensive scientific studies have shown that there is no evidence linking citalopram to violent behaviour," the statement read.

It said there are trials which show that citalopram "has the potential to reduce, rather than provoke, irritability, aggression and violent behaviour", and said data showed no increased risk of suicide.

- Nicola Anderson

Saturday, 21 April 2012

FIDDAMAN blog - Inside Narconon’s bizarre treatments

MONTREAL - Perhaps the lowest point in David Love’s “treatment” for drug addiction at Narconon Trois Rivières was the five-hour sauna on his 25th day of five-hour saunas.

Being forced to yell at an ashtray for hours on end – “Stand up, ashtray!” “Thank you.” “Sit back down, ashtray!” – also left him confused and frustrated. But it was when Love realized that the rehab centre inspired by the teachings of Scientology was actually putting vulnerable addicts’ health at risk – and that he had become a part of the machinery – that he decided to get out.

On Oct. 28, 2009, six months after he had gone from “graduate” of the Narconon program to “Certified Counsellor,” Love left the facility and began a crusade to have it shut down. In July 2011, following his complaint, the Quebec College of Physicians ordered Dr. Pierre Labonté, Narconon’s “medical manager,” to cut his associations with the centre, located about 125 kilometres northeast of Montreal. The Quebec labour relations tribunal also mediated in Love’s favour when he complained about being paid $2.50 an hour as a staff member.

Then last Friday, 2½ years after Love began his campaign, public health officials for the Mauricie region ordered Narconon to relocate its 32 residents and told the organization they would not certify the centre, because its approach was not recognized in this province, and that its practices, including the saunas and massive doses of niacin, were potentially putting patients’ health at risk.

Most of the patients, from B.C. and other provinces as well as the United States, have since been relocated to Narconon centres in the U.S.

As for David Love, he remains drug-free since he left Narconon – but deeply traumatized by what he saw and went through in Trois Rivières.

“I’ll wake up from nightmares sometimes. I still have a very difficult time sleeping,” says Love, who has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by a psychiatrist at the Allan Memorial Institute. “It’s the intensity of the program they put you through, it affects your psyche.”

Love’s saga with Narconon began after he was hospitalized in Vancouver for a drug overdose. His daughter, then an Ethics Officer at Narconon, suggested he should join her in Trois Rivières for Narconon’s drug-free program. She could work out a deal whereby he could pay half price – $11,500 – in bi-weekly instalments, using his unemployment cheques. He agreed.

The first step, he says, is always in one of the withdrawal rooms on the ground floor, where each patient spends the first three to 12 days. No physician is seen before or during drug withdrawal.

Then come the personality and IQ tests, performed at regular intervals on patients, and the interrogation by an Ethics Officer to make sure a patient, or “student” as Narconon calls them, is not an undercover reporter.

Once cleared, the student can then begin the “Purification Rundown,” 4.5-to-five-hour-long sessions in the sauna, in conjunction with massive doses of niacin. L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction author and the founder of the Church of Scientology, believed that drug residues are stored in the body’s fatty tissues, causing the addict’s cravings when they are partially released later on.

But they can be flushed out through a regimen of exercise, sauna and high doses of vitamins, particularly niacin, Hubbard believed. According to Love, students got doses of niacin that far exceeded Health Canada’s recommended maximum of 500 mg a day.

In high doses, niacin is toxic to the liver, Love said. “And many (Narconon) patients already have compromised livers because of their alcoholism, and some have Hepatitis C.”

The head of the Mauricie public health agency, Marc Lacour, said Tuesday that at least four of the centre’s patients had been taken to hospital in the last few months, but for reasons of patient confidentiality, the agency could not provide details.

Love also remembers a few who suffered when Narconon staff refused to give them their medicine. On several websites used to attract potential clients, Narconon boasts of its 70-to-75 per cent success rate and entirely drug-free program – which even excludes prescription drugs. In one case, staff members withheld insulin from a diabetic patient undergoing the sauna treatment. That young man ended up in hospital for three days, Love said. In another, it took away a patient’s anti-depressants. He jumped from a second-floor window in a suicide attempt.

As for its success rate, in an interview with CBC this month, the legal affairs director of Narconon, André Ahern, admitted Narconon does not necessarily keep track of patients once they leave the facility – so it cannot know how many have relapsed. Ahern did not answer The Gazette’s requests for comment Tuesday and Wednesday.

For Love, the lasting effects of the Narconon experience were psychological.

The ashtray routine was just one of several training routines Love says are designed to make students accept they are being controlled, and teach them how to control others.

In another routine, two students were put in a room and repeatedly ordered each other to go to a wall, touch a wall, pick up a bottle, put it down, etc. The exercise could last hours, or several days, but until students were deemed to have completed it they couldn’t move on, Love said.

“They wouldn’t let a patient go on to the next stage until they were ‘cracked,’ ” Love said, quoting from one of Hubbard’s books.

“These things really affected me. Being forced to say there’s nothing more I can do.

“They’d say keep going, keep going, when people were in tears ... You have no money, you don’t know the language, you have nowhere to live, no money for food, you’re stuck there. You’re f----d. You have to do it. ... It was One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest times 10.”

When patients complained to parents who were paying the fees, staff members would convince them that it was normal they should want to leave, but that for their own good they had to complete the program.

Love only realized that Narconon was closely linked to the Church of Scientology when he graduated from the program after five months, and became a staff member. He was given $700 worth of Scientology books that echoed the teachings in the Narconon books he already read.

Narconon often recruited former students to be staff, Love said.

Lacour, of the public health agency, said that following several complaints, Narconon Trois Rivières has been more upfront recently about its ideology. “They are no longer hiding the fact they are inspired by Scientology, but they are not there to recruit,” Lacour said.

Love disagrees, and says he believes that on top of providing new recruits to the church, Narconon, which has 50 centres in 22 countries, funnels money to it. Since 2005, when the centre in Trois Rivières opened, Love calculated it had treated 720 patients and earned more than $16 million, much of which went to church executives in the form of salaries, and donations to the church.

Love has received leaked emails that point to the close relationship between the Church of Scientology in Montreal and Narconon Trois Rivières.

Love, along with four other former patients, has filed a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission claiming that Narconon Trois Rivières exploited their disability – drug addiction – in getting them in the program and having them do manual labour. Also named in the complaint are the Church of Scientology International and Narconon International.

Love also plans to attend a protest outside Narconon Trois Rivières on April 29 – even if its staff and residents have moved on to other locations.

Read more:

Friday, 20 April 2012

Metyrapone trial for depression - news from FIDDAMAN blog

Experts at Leeds University are launching a new trial for a drug which could shorten episodes of depression in many patients. he researchers are looking at the effects of a new drug, Metyrapone, which inhibits the production of steroids in the body. Steroids, such as cortisol, may hamper the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs. Depression has long been linked with increased amounts of stress, meaning that many who suffer from it produce too much cortisol, which may reduce the effectiveness of drugs in these people.

Depression affects 8 per cent of the population at some point during their lifetime and 1 in every hundred develops symptoms so severe that the person is unable to work.

“Depression is not really a mental health problem, it is a health problem. If it was just a mental health problem it would not cause changes in such things as energy level, appetite, weight and sleep. Further, one of the body's natural responses to stress is to produce more of the hormone cortisol. Many people with depression have abnormally high levels of cortisol. This may mean they do not respond as well to antidepressant drugs. Metyrapone works by reducing the production of this hormone. We want to find out whether adding Metyrapone to a patient's usual antidepressant treatment makes that treatment more effective. A smaller study in people in Germany found Metyrapone was effective and we want to test this in a bigger study.''

– Dr Tom Hughes, Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer in Psychiatry, University of Leeds

The researchers need patients from across West Yorkshire to take part in the trial. Metyrapone or a placebo is added to existing antidepressants for three weeks and the effects studied over the next few months. The research group are also carrying out some blood tests to investigate how the drug works.If you are interested in taking part or hearing more about the study please visit the website

Fifty year old Sharon who has been suffering from depression for the last 10 years has just signed up to take part in the Metyrapone drug trial in Leeds.

Before her illness she worked as a tailor, was very sociable and able to do things for herself. Having depression has affected almost every aspect of her life including her relationship with others. She has not been able to work since being ill.

“I used to be active, enjoyed listening to music, go for walks and night club but now I don't bother. Now I have not got the energy to do anything because of the illness. Since this illness I have lost my self esteem and confidence. The future looks dim and life is not worth living. I look at other people and wish I had a life like them instead of being moody, suicidal and sad all the time.

I am tired all the time, I have headaches, muscular pains, not able to eat or enjoy what I eat, my sleep is all over the place and I have gained weight. I am taking part in this trial in order to hopefully get better."

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Woman sectioned after suffering hallucinations and abscesses caused by jewellery - FIDDAMAN

A 40-year-old British woman blames a 'toxic' bracelet she bought on eBay for ruining her life.

During a two year period, Jo Wollacott, from Bridport, Dorset, suffered abscesses, hives and hallucinations; she lost her boyfriend, her job and her home and was even sectioned under the mental health act.

Miss Wollacott thought her terrible time was the result of back luck, until she discovered a bracelet she'd been wearing contained a dangerous toxin.

Read more:

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Scientology Narconon Quebec - dangerous for patients & closed by regional health agency - FIDDAMAN !

The head of a regional health agency in  said he had no choice but to shut down a Scientology-based rehab centre in Trois-Rivières.

In recent months, he said at least four clients were taken to hospital because of methods used at the centre.

The Narconon Trois-Rivières is one of dozens of similar centres in the U.S. and around the world where the detox treatment is inspired by the teachings of Scientology.

Mauricie regional health agency director Marc Latour said Narconon Trois-Rivières advertised an 80 per cent success rate and charged $25,000 for its program.

Latour said the centre was dangerous for patients and violated many of the criteria regulating Quebec's rehab centres.

He said there was no medical supervision and no scientific basis to the treatment.

Latour said patients went cold turkey, then underwent lengthy sauna detox sessions designed to sweat out drugs and took an unhealthy amount of vitamins.

An Ontario women, who asked to remain anonymous, says her son has now been sent to a Narconon centre in the U.S. (CBC)An Ontario woman, who asked to remain anonymous, spent thousands of dollars for her son to kick an addiction to the drug OxyContin.

But this weekend, just three weeks into his treatment, she had to drive back to the centre.

"The students had to basically get out [as soon as possible]," she told the CBC. "There was no information at that point."

Her son, along with half of the 34 people who were at the centre when it was shut down, have been sent to Narconon centres in the U.S.

The centre issued a statement Tuesday night, defending its rehab model and calling on the department of health to support more solutions, not fewer.

"People with drug problems and their families should have a right to choose the program that works for them as these days there are many good alternative programs," it said.

The centre also said it is willing to make needed corrections.

In an interview earlier this month, a spokesperson said the centre's treatment goes hand-in-hand with Scientology teachings and that 1,200 addicts have left the centre drug-free since it opened in 2005.

FIDDAMAN wish granted - blood test for diagnosing depression among teenagers


(CBS News) Researchers are hopeful that diagnosing depression may soon be as easy as diagnosing high cholesterol. A new study describes a blood test that that distinguished depression among teenagers.

Developed by a scientist at Northwestern School of Medicine in Chicago, the new blood test aims to replace the current method of diagnosing depression, which is asking patients to recall their symptoms. The researchers say the new test might be able to distinguish between certain types of depression, raising hope for more personalized treatments.

"Right now depression is treated with a blunt instrument," study author Dr. Eva Redei, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a written statement. "It's like treating type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes exactly the same way. We need to do better."

Redei's study is published in the April 17 issue of Translational Psychiatry.

Teenage years are prime time for depression to start. According to the researchers, rates of major depressive disorders jump from 2 to 4 percent in pre-adolescent kids to 10 to 20 percent by late adolescence. Untreated depressed teens raise their risks for substance abuse, social difficulties, physical illness and suicide. That's why it's so important to get an early and accurate diagnosis, according to the researchers.

"This is the generation, the age group that needs the most help," Redei told WebMD.

For the study, Redei's team looked at 14 adolescents with untreated major depression and 14 non-depressed teens, all between 15 and 19 years old. The researchers ran the experimental blood test looking for 26 genetic markers that had been identified by earlier rat studies. In comparing depressed teens with non-depressed ones, the researchers distinguished 11 of the markers may be tied to depression.

"These 11 genes are probably the tip of the iceberg because depression is a complex illness," Redei said in the statement. "But it's an entree into a much bigger phenomenon that has to be explored. It clearly indicates we can diagnose from blood and create a blood diagnosis test for depression."

A closer look showed 18 of the 26 markers distinguished between major depression and a subtype of the disorder, major depression with anxiety. That might help lead to more specific treatments, the researchers said.

Dr. Michael Thase, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, said even though it was tested on teens, the blood test might help adults.

"This is very interesting early research that could point to the development of not just biomarkers, but also help with the identification of new genes that are involved with the expression of this common illness," Thase told MSNBC. He was not involved in the research. "That could potentially lead to new treatments."

Dr. Alexander B. Niculescu, III, associate professor of psychiatry and medical neuroscience at Indiana University School of Medicine, downplayed the study's implications, telling WebMD, "We need to be careful not to jump to conclusions based on a small number of study participants." adding blood markers for depression may vary among a larger population.

Redei however hopes a blood test could legitimize a depression diagnosis for some skeptics.

"Everybody, including parents, are wary of treatment, and there remains a social stigma around depression, which in the peer-pressured world of teenagers is even more devastating," Redei said. "Once you can objectively diagnose depression as you would hypertension or diabetes, the stigma will likely disappear."

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


Prof David Healy - Data Based Medicine Ltd - has raised $162,500 private offering - FIDDAMAN blog

Data Based Medicine Ltd, based in GWYNEDD, X0, has raised $162,500 of a $162,500 private offering. Data Based Medicine Ltd reported this private offering June 16, 2011 in an SEC Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (Form D).

Individuals listed in this offering by Data Based Medicine Ltd include: David Healy of Gwynedd, United Kingdom (Director)

The SEC Filing can be viewed in its entirety by clicking here: Data Based Medicine Ltd Form D SEC

FIDDAMAN not unique - Shane Clancey - media "exploitation" of murderers parents, priest claims

Shane Clancey - media "exploitation" of murderers parents, priest claims

Jesuit priest Fr Fergus O'Donoghue has questioned the Late Late Show's "exploitation" of the parents of murderer Shane Clancy by having them appear as guests on the show.

Clancy's heartbroken mother Leonie Fennell and stepfather Tony Donnelly appeared on the show to insist that their son's mental state had been affected by the anti-depressant medications when he launched stabbed to death Seb Creane and injured his ex-girlfriend Jennifer Hannigan and Seb's brother Dylan.


Fr O'Donoghue, the editor of Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review and a family friend of the Creane family, said the decision to include the grieving parents on the show had raised serious concerns

He questioned how and why Shane's mother and stepfather appeared on the talk show and went on to suggest that their interview slot was an attempt to secure ratings.

He wrote: "Who, in fact, persuaded them that this was the right thing to do?

"Were they there because some television producers and presenters felt compassion for them or because they represented hot stories and would lift ratings?"

Fr O'Donoghue also asked why Shane Clancy's use of anti-depressants was being used as a defence for his actions.

"A consensus began to build at once, with many people saying 'he was on anti-depressants,' as if that were a satisfactory explanation for homicidal behaviour," he said.

Fr O'Donoghue also supported a psychologist's condemnation of Shane's parents' suggestion that anti-depressants were the only logical explanation behind the killing.

But he warned; "I doubt if even their combined experience and wisdom will prevent the widespread acceptance of such a simple explanation for such appalling violence."

Dr Justin Brophy, a consultant psychiatrist in Wicklow expressed his concern that people taking anti-depressants would now stop taking them for fear of the stigma attached.

He said: "The stakes are very high here because people's lives and people's health will be seriously compromised and endangered by misleading and imbalanced advice."


The College of Psychiatrists in Ireland refused an invitation to participate in the The Late Late Show episode.

"Making anti-depressants the focus of this tragic situation was a serious hijacking of two families' grief and of the facts, while the facts of the case have yet to be established.

"We thought it was unethical to parade the issue of anti-depressants in front of a bereaved family who had been hijacked for the sake of the argument.

"We also had misgivings that another brave family was not represented," he said.

- Caitlin McBride

Sunday, 15 April 2012

FIDDAMAN admits he's OPINIONATED - complete with dictionary definition of OPINIONATED

o·pin·ion·at·ed (-pny-ntd)


Holding stubbornly and often unreasonably to one's own opinions.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

'Fifth of adolescents' hear voices - see FIDDAMAN blog

'Fifth of adolescents' hear voices

(UKPA) – 43 minutes ago

Hearing voices can affect more than a fifth of young adolescents, a psychiatry study has found.

Researchers discovered auditory hallucination has an impact on 21% to 23% of children aged between 11 and 13 in Ireland.

More than half of those who heard voices - 57% - were also found to have a psychiatric disorder following clinical assessment.

Nearly 2,500 children, aged between 11 and 16, were assessed four times for the study, funded by the Health Research Board (HRB).

Lead researcher Dr Ian Kelleher revealed auditory hallucinations can vary from hearing an isolated sentence now and then to hearing conversations between two or more people lasting for several minutes.

"It may present like screaming or shouting and other times it could sound like whispers or murmurs," said Dr Kelleher, of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). "It varies greatly from child to child, and frequency can be once a month to once every day."

The study showed auditory hallucinations stop for many children as they get older, with 7% of older adolescents (aged 13-16) hearing voices. However nearly 80% of the teens who continued to hear voices also had a psychiatric disorder, linking auditory hallucinations and serious mental illness.

The research has been published online by the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Professor Mary Cannon said it suggests hearing voices seems to be more common in children than was previously thought."In most cases these experiences resolve with time," the HRB clinician scientist at the RCSI and Beaumont Hospital said. "However, in some children these experiences persist into older adolescence and this seems to be an indicator that they may have a complex mental health issue and require more in-depth assessment."

Dr Kelleher said hearing voices could be a "blip" on the radar that does not turn out to signify any underlying or undiagnosed problem.

Copyright © 2012 The Press Association. All rights reserved

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

SSRI Antidepressant campaign PR managers Hill & Knowlton - sold Iraq war - see FIDDAMAN blog

The Mother of All Clients

On August 2, 1990, Iraqi troops led by dictator Saddam Hussein invaded the oil-producing nation of Kuwait. Like Noriega in Panama, Hussein had been a US ally for nearly a decade. From 1980 to 1988, he had killed about 150,000 Iranians, in addition to at least 13,000 of his own citizens. Despite complaints from international human rights group, however, the Reagan and Bush administrations had treated Hussein as a valuable ally in the US confrontation with Iran. As late as July 25 - a week before the invasion of Kuwait - US Ambassador April Glaspie commiserated with Hussein over a "cheap and unjust" profile by ABC's Diane Sawyer, and wished for an "appearance in the media, even for five minutes," by Hussein that "would help explain Iraq to the American people."69

Glaspie's ill-chosen comments may have helped convince the dictator that Washington would look the other way if he "annexed" a neighboring kingdom. The invasion of Kuwait, however, crossed a line that the Bush Administration could not tolerate. This time Hussein's crime was far more serious than simply gassing to death another brood of Kurdish refugees. This time, oil was at stake.

Viewed in strictly moral terms, Kuwait hardly looked like the sort of country that deserved defending, even from a monster like Hussein. The tiny but super-rich state had been an independent nation for just a quarter century when in 1986 the ruling al-Sabah family tightened its dictatorial grip over the "black gold" fiefdom by disbanding the token National Assembly and firmly establishing all power in the be-jeweled hands of the ruling Emir. Then, as now, Kuwait's ruling oligarchy brutally suppressed the country's small democracy movement, intimidated and censored journalists, and hired desperate foreigners to supply most of the nation's physical labor under conditions of indentured servitude and near-slavery. The wealthy young men of Kuwait's ruling class were known as spoiled party boys in university cities and national capitals from Cairo to Washington.70

Unlike Grenada and Panama, Iraq had a substantial army that could not be subdued in a mere weekend of fighting. Unlike the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Hussein was too far away from US soil, too rich with oil money, and too experienced in ruling through propaganda and terror to be dislodged through the psychological-warfare techniques of low-intensity conflict. Waging a war to push Iraq's invading army from Kuwait would cost billions of dollars and require an unprecedented, massive US military mobilization. The American public was notoriously reluctant to send its young into foreign battles on behalf of any cause. Selling war in the Middle East to the American people would not be easy. Bush would need to convince Americans that former ally Saddam Hussein now embodied evil, and that the oil fiefdom of Kuwait was a struggling young democracy. How could the Bush Administration build US support for "liberating" a country so fundamentally opposed to democratic values? How could the war appear noble and necessary rather than a crass grab to save cheap oil?

"If and when a shooting war starts, reporters will begin to wonder why American soldiers are dying for oil-rich sheiks," warned Hal Steward, a retired army PR official. "The US military had better get cracking to come up with a public relations plan that will supply the answers the public can accept."71

Steward needn't have worried. A PR plan was already in place, paid for almost entirely by the "oil-rich sheiks" themselves.

Packaging the Emir

US Congressman Jimmy Hayes of Louisiana - a conservative Democrat who supported the Gulf War - later estimated that the government of Kuwait funded as many as 20 PR, law and lobby firms in its campaign to mobilize US opinion and force against Hussein.72 Participating firms included the Rendon Group, which received a retainer of $100,000 per month for media work, and Neill & Co., which received $50,000 per month for lobbying Congress. Sam Zakhem, a former US ambassador to the oil-rich gulf state of Bahrain, funneled $7.7 million in advertising and lobbying dollars through two front groups, the "Coalition for Americans at Risk" and the "Freedom Task Force." The Coalition, which began in the 1980s as a front for the contras in Nicaragua, prepared and placed TV and newspaper ads, and kept a stable of fifty speakers available for pro-war rallies and publicity events.73

Hill & Knowlton, then the world's largest PR firm, served as mastermind for the Kuwaiti campaign. Its activities alone would have constituted the largest foreign-funded campaign ever aimed at manipulating American public opinion. By law, the Foreign Agents Registration Act should have exposed this propaganda campaign to the American people, but the Justice Department chose not to enforce it. Nine days after Saddam's army marched into Kuwait, the Emir's government agreed to fund a contract under which Hill & Knowlton would represent "Citizens for a Free Kuwait," a classic PR front group designed to hide the real role of the Kuwaiti government and its collusion with the Bush administration. Over the next six months, the Kuwaiti government channeled $11.9 million dollars to Citizens for a Free Kuwait, whose only other funding totalled $17,861 from 78 individuals. Virtually all of CFK's budget - $10.8 million - went to Hill & Knowlton in the form of fees.74

The man running Hill & Knowlton's Washington office was Craig Fuller, one of Bush's closest friends and inside political advisors. The news media never bothered to examine Fuller's role until after the war had ended, but if America's editors had read the PR trade press, they might have noticed this announcement, published in O'Dwyer's PR Services before the fighting began: "Craig L. Fuller, chief of staff to Bush when he was vice-president, has been on the Kuwaiti account at Hill & Knowlton since the first day. He and [Bob] Dilenschneider at one point made a trip to Saudi Arabia, observing the production of some 20 videotapes, among other chores. The Wirthlin Group, research arm of H&K, was the pollster for the Reagan Administration. . . . Wirthlin has reported receiving $1.1 million in fees for research assignments for the Kuwaitis. Robert K. Gray, Chairman of H&K/USA based in Washington, DC had leading roles in both Reagan campaigns. He has been involved in foreign nation accounts for many years. . . . Lauri J. Fitz-Pegado, account supervisor on the Kuwait account, is a former Foreign Service Officer at the US Information Agency who joined Gray when he set up his firm in 1982."75

In addition to Republican notables like Gray and Fuller, Hill & Knowlton maintained a well-connected stable of in-house Democrats who helped develop the bipartisan support needed to support the war. Lauri Fitz-Pegado, who headed the Kuwait campaign, had previously worked with super-lobbyist Ron Brown representing Haiti's Duvalier dictatorship. Hill & Knowlton senior vice-president Thomas Ross had been Pentagon spokesman during the Carter Administration. To manage the news media, H&K relied on vice-chairman Frank Mankiewicz, whose background included service as press secretary and advisor to Robert F. Kennedy and George McGovern, followed by a stint as president of National Public Radio. Under his direction, Hill & Knowlton arranged hundreds of meetings, briefings, calls and mailings directed toward the editors of daily newspapers and other media outlets.

Jack O'Dwyer had reported on the PR business for more than twenty years, but he was awed by the rapid and expansive work of H&K on behalf of Citizens for a Free Kuwait: "Hill & Knowlton . . . has assumed a role in world affairs unprecedented for a PR firm. H&K has employed a stunning variety of opinion-forming devices and techniques to help keep US opinion on the side of the Kuwaitis. . . . The techniques range from full-scale press conferences showing torture and other abuses by the Iraqis to the distribution of tens of thousands of 'Free Kuwait' T-shirts and bumper stickers at college campuses across the US."76

Documents filed with the US Department of Justice showed that 119 H&K executives in 12 offices across the US were overseeing the Kuwait account. "The firm's activities, as listed in its report to the Justice Department, included arranging media interviews for visiting Kuwaitis, setting up observances such as National Free Kuwait Day, National Prayer Day (for Kuwait), and National Student Information Day, organizing public rallies, releasing hostage letters to the media, distributing news releases and information kits, contacting politicians at all levels, and producing a nightly radio show in Arabic from Saudi Arabia," wrote Arthur Rowse in the Progressive after the war. Citizens for a Free Kuwait also capitalized on the publication of a quickie 154-page book about Iraqi atrocities titled The Rape of Kuwait, copies of which were stuffed into media kits and then featured on TV talk shows and the Wall Street Journal. The Kuwaiti embassy also bought 200,000 copies of the book for distribution to American troops.77

Hill & Knowlton produced dozens of video news releases at a cost of well over half a million dollars, but it was money well spent, resulting in tens of millions of dollars worth of "free" air time. The VNRs were shown by eager TV news directors around the world who rarely (if ever) identified Kuwait's PR firm as the source of the footage and stories. TV stations and networks simply fed the carefully-crafted propaganda to unwitting viewers, who assumed they were watching "real" journalism. After the war Arthur Rowse asked Hill & Knowlton to show him some of the VNRs, but the PR company refused. Obviously the phony TV news reports had served their purpose, and it would do H&K no good to help a reporter reveal the extent of the deception. In Unreliable Sources, authors Martin Lee and Norman Solomon noted that "when a research team from the communications department of the University of Massachusetts surveyed public opinion and correlated it with knowledge of basic facts about US policy in the region, they drew some sobering conclusions: The more television people watched, the fewer facts they knew; and the less people knew in terms of basic facts, the more likely they were to back the Bush administration."78

Throughout the campaign, the Wirthlin Group conducted daily opinion polls to help Hill & Knowlton take the emotional pulse of key constituencies so it could identify the themes and slogans that would be most effective in promoting support for US military action. After the war ended, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation produced an Emmy award-winning TV documentary on the PR campaign titled "To Sell a War." The show featured an interview with Wirthlin executive Dee Alsop in which Alsop bragged of his work and demonstrated how audience surveys were even used to physically adapt the clothing and hairstyle of the Kuwait ambassador so he would seem more likeable to TV audiences. Wirthlin's job, Alsop explained, was "to identify the messages that really resonate emotionally with the American people." The theme that struck the deepest emotional chord, they discovered, was "the fact that Saddam Hussein was a madman who had committed atrocities even against his own people, and had tremendous power to do further damage, and he needed to be stopped."79

Suffer the Little Children

Every big media event needs what journalists and flacks alike refer to as "the hook." An ideal hook becomes the central element of a story that makes it newsworthy, evokes a strong emotional response, and sticks in the memory. In the case of the Gulf War, the "hook" was invented by Hill & Knowlton. In style, substance and mode of delivery, it bore an uncanny resemblance to England's World War I hearings that accused German soldiers of killing babies.

On October 10, 1990, the Congressional Human Rights Caucus held a hearing on Capitol Hill which provided the first opportunity for formal presentations of Iraqi human rights violations. Outwardly, the hearing resembled an official congressional proceeding, but appearances were deceiving. In reality, the Human Rights Caucus, chaired by California Democrat Tom Lantos and Illinois Republican John Porter, was simply an association of politicians. Lantos and Porter were also co-chairs of the Congressional Human Rights Foundation, a legally separate entity that occupied free office space valued at $3,000 a year in Hill & Knowlton's Washington, DC office. Notwithstanding its congressional trappings, the Congressional Human Rights Caucus served as another Hill & Knowlton front group, which - like all front groups - used a noble-sounding name to disguise its true purpose.80

Only a few astute observers noticed the hypocrisy in Hill & Knowlton's use of the term "human rights." One of those observers was John MacArthur, author of The Second Front, which remains the best book written about the manipulation of the news media during the Gulf War. In the fall of 1990, MacArthur reported, Hill & Knowlton's Washington switchboard was simultaneously fielding calls for the Human Rights Foundation and for "government representatives of Indonesia, another H&K client. Like H&K client Turkey, Indonesia is a practitioner of naked aggression, having seized . . . the former Portuguese colony of East Timor in 1975. Since the annexation of East Timor, the Indonesian government has killed, by conservative estimate, about 100,000 inhabitants of the region."81

MacArthur also noticed another telling detail about the October 1990 hearings: "The Human Rights Caucus is not a committee of congress, and therefore it is unencumbered by the legal accouterments that would make a witness hesitate before he or she lied. ... Lying under oath in front of a congressional committee is a crime; lying from under the cover of anonymity to a caucus is merely public relations."82

In fact, the most emotionally moving testimony on October 10 came from a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl, known only by her first name of Nayirah. According to the Caucus, Nayirah's full name was being kept confidential to prevent Iraqi reprisals against her family in occupied Kuwait. Sobbing, she described what she had seen with her own eyes in a hospital in Kuwait City. Her written testimony was passed out in a media kit prepared by Citizens for a Free Kuwait. "I volunteered at the al-Addan hospital," Nayirah said. "While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns, and go into the room where . . . babies were in incubators. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators, and left the babies on the cold floor to die."83

Three months passed between Nayirah's testimony and the start of the war. During those months, the story of babies torn from their incubators was repeated over and over again. President Bush told the story. It was recited as fact in Congressional testimony, on TV and radio talk shows, and at the UN Security Council. "Of all the accusations made against the dictator," MacArthur observed, "none had more impact on American public opinion than the one about Iraqi soldiers removing 312 babies from their incubators and leaving them to die on the cold hospital floors of Kuwait City."84

At the Human Rights Caucus, however, Hill & Knowlton and Congressman Lantos had failed to reveal that Nayirah was a member of the Kuwaiti Royal Family. Her father, in fact, was Saud Nasir al-Sabah, Kuwait's Ambassador to the US, who sat listening in the hearing room during her testimony. The Caucus also failed to reveal that H&K vice-president Lauri Fitz-Pegado had coached Nayirah in what even the Kuwaitis' own investigators later confirmed was false testimony.

If Nayirah's outrageous lie had been exposed at the time it was told, it might have at least caused some in Congress and the news media to soberly reevaluate the extent to which they were being skillfully manipulated to support military action. Public opinion was deeply divided on Bush's Gulf policy. As late as December 1990, a New York Times/CBS News poll indicated that 48 percent of the American people wanted Bush to wait before taking any action if Iraq failed to withdraw from Kuwait by Bush's January 15 deadline.85 On January 12, the US Senate voted by a narrow, five-vote margin to support the Bush administration in a declaration of war. Given the narrowness of the vote, the babies-thrown-from-incubators story may have turned the tide in Bush's favor.

Following the war, human rights investigators attempted to confirm Nayirah's story and could find no witnesses or other evidence to support it. Amnesty International, which had fallen for the story, was forced to issue an embarrassing retraction. Nayirah herself was unavailable for comment. "This is the first allegation I've had that she was the ambassador's daughter," said Human Rights Caucus co-chair John Porter. "Yes, I think people . . . were entitled to know the source of her testimony." When journalists for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation asked Nasir al-Sabah for permission to question Nayirah about her story, the ambassador angrily refused.86

Front-line Flacks

The military build-up in the Persian Gulf began by flying and shipping hundreds of thousands of US troops, armaments and supplies to staging areas in Saudi Arabia, yet another nation with no tolerance for a free press, democratic rights and most western customs. In a secret strategy memo, the Pentagon outlined a tightly-woven plan to constrain and control journalists. A massive babysitting operation would ensure that no truly independent or uncensored reporting reached back to the US public. "News media representatives will be escorted at all times," the memo stated. "Repeat, at all times."87

Deputy Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Pete Williams served as the Pentagon's top flack for the Gulf War. Using the perennial PR strategy of "good cop/bad cop," the government of Saudi Arabia played the "heavy," denying visas and access to the US press, while Williams, the reporters' friend, appeared to intercede repeatedly on their behalf. This strategy kept news organizations competing with each other for favors from Williams, and kept them from questioning the fundamental fact that journalistic independence was impossible under military escort and censorship.

The overwhelming technological superiority of US forces won a decisive victory in the brief and brutal war known as Desert Storm. Afterwards, some in the media quietly admitted that they'd been manipulated to produce sanitized coverage which almost entirely ignored the war's human cost - today estimated at over 100,000 civilian deaths. The American public's single most lasting memory of the war will probably be the ridiculously successful video stunts supplied by the Pentagon showing robot "smart bombs" striking only their intended military targets, without much "collateral" (civilian) damage.

"Although influential media such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal kept promoting the illusion of the 'clean war,' a different picture began to emerge after the US stopped carpet-bombing Iraq," note Lee and Solomon. "The pattern underscored what Napoleon meant when he said that it wasn't necessary to completely suppress the news; it was sufficient to delay the news until it no longer mattered."88


69.John R. MacArthur, Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War, (Berkeley, CA: University of CA Press, 1992).


71.Hal D. Steward, "A Public Relations Plan for the US Military in the Middle East," Public Relations Quarterly, Winter 1990-91, p. 10.

72."H&K leads PR charge in behalf of Kuwaiti cause," O'Dwyer's PR Services Report, Vol. 5, No. 1, Jan. 1991, p.8.

73."Citizens for Free Kuwait Files with FARA After a Nine-month Lag," O'Dwyer's FARA Report, Vol. 1, No. 9, Oct. 1991, p. 2. See also Arthur E. Rowse, "Flacking for the Emir," The Progressive, May, 1991, p. 22.

74.O'Dwyer's FARA Report, Vol. 1, No. 9, Oct. 1991, pp. 2.

75.O'Dwyer's PR Services Report, Vol. 5, No. 1, Jan. 1991, pp. 8, 10.

76.Ibid., p. 1.

77.Rowse, pp. 21-22.

78.Martin A. Lee & Norman Solomon, Unreliable Sources: A Guide to Detecting Bias in News Media (New York: Lyle Stuart, 1991), p. xvii.

79.Transcript, "To Sell A War", pp. 3-4.

80.MacArthur, p. 60.


82.Ibid., p.58.


84.Ibid., p. 54.

85.New York Times/CBS News poll, as reported in O'Dwyer's PR Services Report, Jan. 1991, p. 10.

86."To Sell A War," pp. 4-5.

87.MacArthur, p. 7.

88.Lee & Solomon, p. xix.


SSRI Antidepressant campaign - stage managed by PR company years before FIDDAMAN ever first took Seroxat

In May 1991, The National Journal reported that Hill and Knowlton had for the previous three years represented the Church of Scientology and that Michael F. Barrett Jr., the former chief counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, said that Hill & Knowlton helped the Scientologists press for a subcommittee investigation of the antidepressant drug Prozac." Barret stated that Hymel had set up a meeting at which a Scientology affiliate had requested the investigation. "I just made the introductions and they did the presentations. . . . I didn't advocate one way or another," Hymel said.[8]

In April 2002, O'Dwyers reported that Hymel was one of a team of seven Hill and Knowlton consultants "that is trying to salvage Enron" and were "managing the flow of information between new management and Capitol Hill."[9]

In August 2005 O'Dwyers PR Daily reported that Fidelity Investments had hired Hill & Knowlton "as its lobbyist dealing with Securities and Exchange Commission regulations." It reported that one of the two H&K staff managing the account was Hymel.[10] In March 2008 the SEC "charged fund manager Fidelity Investments and 13 current or former employees including high-ranking executives for improperly accepting more than $1.6 million in travel, entertainment, and other gifts paid for by outside brokers courting the massive trading business Fidelity generates on behalf of the mutual funds it manages."[11]

source -

Hill & Knowlton - Corporate Crimes - the power behind the anti - PAXIL Seroxat campaign - FIDDAMAN blog

Hill & Knowlton

Corporate Crimes

Sidelining Human Rights

Making and Breaking the Law

Unsavoury Friends & Clients

Big Tobacco

Anti-Environmental PR

The Gulf War


“Managing the outrage is more important than managing the hazard” – Thomas Buckmaster, 1997

Monday, 9 April 2012

Hill & Knowlton whilst seeking GSK paxil Seroxat account was preparing SCIENTOLOGY to attack it - FIDDAMAN blog

Hill & Knowllton arrange Prozac congressional visit for CCHR Scientology - see FIDDAMAN blog

Scientology hire Hill & Knowlton to target Prozac - see FIDDAMAN blog ** Exclusive

Scientology hire Hill & Knowlton to clean up their image 1987 - see FIDDAMAN blog

FIDDAMAN 's mentors SCIENTOLOGY used Hill & Knowlton PR to lobby against PROZAC in 1990's

Hill & Knowlton

A Corporate Profile

By Corporate Watch UK

Completed June 2002


4.3 Unsavoury Friends & Clients


The Church of Scientology

Another of the scandalous accounts taken by H&K after its acquisition by WPP Group included its work for the Church of Scientology. After the death of its founder L. Ron Hubbard, the Church turned to Hill and Knowlton for help in cleaning up its tattered image[46]. The Church had been embroiled in controversy over its strong-arm tactics in dealing with its critics. Eleven of its members had been jailed in the early 1980s for burglarising and wire-tapping several government agencies that had been investigating it, including the US Internal Revenue Service[47]. In 1991 Time had described Scientology as a “highly profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner”.

The broad aim of H&K’s campaign was to present Scientology as grossly misunderstood, but H&K’s activities went beyond the normal PR remit. In addition to dealing with media appearances and lobbying on Capitol Hill, they handled Freedom of Information requests to get government documents relating to the IRS investigation and H&K executives were even sent to bail out two scientologists who had been arrested[48].

As part of their work for Scientology H&K engaged in lobbying against the licensing of certain prescription drugs. These activities involved calling for a congressional investigation of the drug Prozac. At the same time the advertising agency, J Walter Thompson, another WPP Group company, had an account with Eli Lilly, the makers of Prozac. Who raised complaints with WPP. Eventually the Scientology contract was dropped due to complaints from them and other pharmaceutical companies[49].

[46] Trento S, 1992, ‘The Power House: Robert Keith Gray and the Selling of Access and Influence in Washington’, p.357

[47] Miller K, 1998, ‘The Voice of Business: H&K and Post War Public Relations’ p.132

[48] Trento S, 1992, ‘The Power House: Robert Keith Gray and the Selling of Access and Influence in Washington’, p 358

[49] ibid.

American Service personnel can be given 180-days worth of pills - trading medicines or grabbing handfuls of pills ! FIDDAMAN

Soldiers can be deployed for several months at a time, meaning doctors often have to trust their patients to self-regulate their intake.

Service personnel can be given 180-days worth of pills to take to combat zones, with nothing to stop them trading medicines or grabbing handfuls of pills to dull a stressful day in the battlefield.

Grace Jackson, a former Navy staff psychologist, argues that there should be more controls on soldiers with mental health problems rather than less.

“The big difference is these are people who have access to loaded weapons, or have responsibility for protecting other individuals who are in harm’s way,”

read in full -

PROZAC lawyers sue each other - whilst one Paul Smith becomes co defendant with Eli Lilly

Carolyn G. WINKLER, Individually and as the Independent

Executrix of the Estate of Bernie A. Winkler, et
al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
ELI LILLY & CO. and Paul Smith, Defendants-Appellees. (parties)
Nos. 95-3913 and 95-4060.

PROZAC litigation secret deals - plaintiffs' counsel paid off by Lilly - FIDDAMAN blog

extract -

On May 23, 1996, the Kentucky Supreme Court decided the case of Hon. John W. Potter v. Eli Lilly unanimously in Judge Potter's favor, citing the lawyers' "serious lack of candor" and evidence of bad faith, abuse of process, even fraud. Although the court said that "the only result" of exposing the secret Fentress agreement "is that the truth will be revealed," the decision was less a victory for open settlements, and more a demand that the judge be included in the secret.

Judge Potter, though, still saw the larger issue. Armed with Supreme Court authority to conduct an investigation and hold a hearing, Potter asked Deputy State Attorney General Ann Sheadel to investigate, giving her the power to subpoena documents and question witnesses under oath. Sheadel's March 1997 report uncovered new twists to the story. A complex agreement did exist between Lilly and the plaintiffs, one so secret that it was never fully reduced to writing. All Sheadel could find was a written summary of the verbal agreement. No lawyer would admit preparing it, and no plaintiff was allowed to have it.

In exchange for the plaintiffs agreeing not to present the evidence of Lilly's criminal conduct with Oraflex, Lilly had agreed to pay all plaintiffs, win or lose. Part of the agreement was that all of chief plaintiffs' counsel Smith's Prozac cases, including those in Indianapolis, were settled, and half his overall expenses paid by Lilly.

read in full here -

Adopted from pages 193-201 of The Moral Compass of the American Lawyer: Truth, Justice, Power, and Greed, © 1999, Richard Zitrin & Carol M. Langford All rights reserved.

This critically acclaimed book, about how the legal system allows lawyers to define "ethics" as what they can get away with rather than how they should behave, is written by two noted legal ethics professors who write frequently about ethics and morality in the legal profession.

From Melancholia to Prozac: A history of depression - book review on FIDDAMAN blog

QUEEN Victoria would have said she was grieving in proper proportion to her loss.

Today we would most likely diagnose her excessive mourning as "complicated grief disorder", and treat her accordingly: Pop a Prozac, Ma'am, and you'll feel better in the morning. No doubt Her Majesty would not be amused at such a crude attempt to rid her of her preferred state of melancholia.

Clark Lawlor, in his cultural history of depression and melancholia, commits much of the second half of the book to exploring the manner in which our present understanding of what constitutes mental illness has been influenced by drug companies keen to present doctors with simple definitions and even simpler "cures", the idea that a pill popped in the morning will make you healthy, wealthy and wise.

He quotes Ronald Wallace [on Prozac]: "So much happiness! It seems everything I touch shines back, all smiles."

But as many of us who have been filed under a "major depressive disorder" tag can attest, drugs like Prozac are not sufficient weaponry to combat what Churchill so famously called the Black Dog of depression. And beneath our need for quick fixes lies the question: do we now see normal human emotions, such as sadness, grief and loneliness as diseases that need to be medically treated?

And even those of us who, severely depressed, benefit from modern medications; do we really understand what the payback is? Probably not, argues Lawlor.

It was Aristotle, Lawlor tell us (or more likely one of his followers), who first made the irrepressible link between melancholia and supposed genius. The Aristotelian position stated: "Why is it that all men who have become outstanding in philosophy, statesmanship, poetry or the arts are melancholic ... .?"

Such a link, says Clark, went against the later Galenic notion of the sluggish and dull melancholic, a depressive overwhelmed by the darkness of the black bile -- or as 20th-Century psychiatry would have it; a person incapacitated by a chemical imbalance in the brain.

And certainly, while it might be nice to believe that our illness stems from an unrecognised genius, this is rarely the case.

Clark's analysis of depression/melancholia -- from Classical thought through to Renaissance, Romantic and Victorian interpretation --reveals how, despite our progress in neurobiology and psychiatry, we seem no nearer to understanding the intricacies of the mind; the links between extreme emotions and creativity and how they can teeter over into despair and destruction.

So where the Ancients would talk of "an imbalance of the humours; the more severe the imbalance, the more severe the symptoms of melancholia", the Romantics valorised a certain version of melancholia which served the needs of their creativity; "an excuse for meditative midnight excursions into the creative psyche, as well as a psychological space for envisioning social change".

By the 20th Century we had what was called the "New Depression", a chemical imbalance based on symptoms, and therefore more simply treated by a 'one size fits all' model.

Hopefully we are beginning to see attempts to forge a "model of the human that escapes the reductionism of biochemical definitions". The "New Melancholia" aims to treat the afflicted in a more holistic manner; acknowledging the usefulness of drugs like Prozac but admitting that the mind/body and the circumstances which affect it are just far too complicated to be amenable to a quick fix. This is the beauty and tragedy of the human condition.

- Clark Lawlor

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Dietary Trans Fats Linked to Aggression - ** Exclusive on FIDDAMAN blog

Dietary Trans Fats Linked to Aggression


The cross-sectional study of 945 adult men and women provides the first evidence linking trans-fat consumption to adverse behaviors that affect others. These range from impatience to overt aggression, lead author Beatrice A. Golomb, MD, PhD, from the University of California, San Diego, told Medscape Medical News.

Dr. Beatrice Golomb

"There were studies showing that omega-3 fatty acids were associated with increased agreeableness and reduced impulsivity, and there's evidence that trans fats adversely affect ability to create the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that are favorable for your brain, and that prompted us to study this further," Dr. Golomb said.

The study was published online March 5 in PLoS One.

Universal Effect

The investigators used baseline dietary information and behavioral assessments to analyze the relationship between dietary intake of trans fatty acids and aggression or irritability.

The participants, who were seen between 1999 and 2004, were not on lipid medications and were without low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol extremes, diabetes, HIV, cancer, or heart disease.

The mean age of the participants was 57 years (range, 45 - 69 years), 68% were male, and 80% were white. The mean trans-fat consumption per day was 3.49 grams (range, 1.02 - 5.96 g/day).

The researchers collected nutrient data using a food frequency questionnaire; they collected information on behavioral acts of aggression toward self, others, and objects, with a variety of validated instruments, including the following:

•Overt Aggression Scale Modified – Aggression subscale (OASMa)

•Life History of Aggression (LHA)

•Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS)



They found that participants who ate more trans fats had higher scores on each of these measures.

"This was true for men and for women, across the age groups, people under 40, 40 to 60, and over age 60, and for Caucasians and minorities. In fact, this association across the different measures that we looked at was more consistent than with the other known predictors of aggression that we had access to, which were male, young age, and use of alcohol," Dr. Golomb noted.

Need to Eliminate Trans Fats

Karen Davison, PhD, RD, from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, told Medscape Medical News that this study lends support to the evidence outlining the detrimental effects of artificial trans fatty acids, and also underlines the need to decrease them in the food supply.

"We need to keep in mind that food labels tend to not differentiate between manufactured and natural trans fats. These are chemically different, and research is needed to clarify the roles of each type on behavior," Dr. Davison said.

Olveen Carrasquillo, MD, MPH, chief of the division of general medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida, pointed out: "Since this was an observational study, one cannot definitively conclude that increased trans-fat consumption causes aggressive behavior. However, there is already substantial data from many other studies that high trans-fat consumption leads to a variety of poorer health outcomes, including heart disease and certain cancers."

Dr. Carrasquillo added that the findings from the study add to the evidence that individuals should try to limit their dietary trans-fat intake.

"The findings also support public health initiatives to limit trans-fat consumption. An example is New York City's initiative, which limits how much trans fat can be used by restaurants."

This research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Golomb, Dr. Davison, and Dr. Carrasquillo have disclosed relevant financial relationships.

PLoS ONE. Published online March 5, 2012. Full article

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Interview with Maria Bradshaw - youtube statistics 65 listen to FIDDAMAN farting & burping 0.55 secs run

Drugs not best option for people at risk of psychosis, - news from FIDDAMAN blog

Drugs not best option for people at risk of psychosis, study warns Counselling and therapies effective in treating psychotic experiences that can lead to conditions such as schizophrenia

The Guardian, Friday 6 April 2012 Article history

Anti-psychotic medicine aren't always the best choice and shouldn't be used as first option, study says. Photograph: INSADCO Photography /Alamy

Anti-psychotic medicine should not be the first option offered to people at risk of developing schizophrenia, researchers said on Friday.

Clinicians should be "extremely careful" about prescribing anti-psychotics to young people, because only a tenth will go on to develop more serious conditions, a study suggests.

The study by five universities found that "benign" psychological treatments, including Cognitive Therapy (CT), were effective in reducing the severity of psychotic experiences that can lead to conditions such as schizophrenia.

Published on the British Medical Journal website, the study found the frequency, seriousness, and intensity of psychotic symptoms that may lead to more serious conditions was reduced by counselling and CT.

The landmark research could pave the way for coherent treatment for young people at risk of developing psychotic illnesses.

Teams from the universities of Glasgow, Birmingham, Cambridge and East Anglia, led by the University of Manchester, gave participants, aged between 14 and 35, weekly CT sessions for a maximum of six months, over a four year period.

They then monitored participants after treatment to track their symptoms.

Before the trial, international evidence estimated that 40-50% of people at risk of developing psychosis at a young age would progress to a psychotic illness.

But only 8% of patients in the study were shown to have made the transition.

Researchers said the results have led to suggestions that anti-psychotic medicine should not be the first option for young patients.

Professor Andrew Gumley, who led the research team at the University of Glasgow, said: "This study has very important implications for ensuring that young people who are at risk of developing psychosis are offered psychological therapy.

"Our findings that there is a much lower transition rate than previously found means that clinicians have to be extremely careful about prescribing anti-psychotics in this group since only one in 10 will actually develop psychosis."

Glaxosmithkline and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Japan - Co-Promotion Paxil CR - FIDDAMAN failed again

Glaxosmithkline and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Commence the Co-Promotion of Anti-Depressant Paxil CR Tablets


TOKYO, March 30, 2012 - GlaxoSmithKline K.K. (President: Philippe Fauchet, Head Office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, hereinafter referred to as GSK) and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co, Ltd. (President: Masayo Tada, Head Office: Chuo-ku, Osaka, hereinafter referred to as DSP) announce that the companies will commence the co-promotion of GSK’s anti-depressant Paxil® CR Tablets 12.5mg and Paxil® CR Tablets 25mg (paroxetine hydrochloride hydrate, hereinafter referred to as Paxil® CR) in Japan from April 1, 2012.

As announced on January 19, 2012, the two companies have already signed a "basic agreement". This time the two companies signed a "Co-promotion agreement". Under this agreement, effective April 1, 2012, GSK and DSP will co-promote Paxil® CR Tablets to medical institutions. GSK will deal with distribution and sales.

Paxil® CR is the controlled-release1 formulation of Paxil® tablets, an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) anti-depressant. It received regulatory approval in Japan from MHLW on 18 January 2012 for the indication of depression and depressive state. Paxil® CR will be launched soon after insurance price has been decided. Overseas, development of anti-depressants using new formulation technology are being conducted actively and with the approval of Paxil® CR Tablets, Japan too has entered the era of controlled-release formulations. Paxil® CR Tablets was approved in the US in 1999 and as of June 2011, has been approved and widely used in over 40 countries worldwide.

Commenting on the co-promotion Philippe Fauchet, president of GSK, said, “GSK obtained marketing approval on Paxil®CR from the MHLW in addition to the existing Paxil® IR. By adopting new formulation technology Paxil® CR Tablets is expected to alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms in the early stages of administration of anti-depressants and contribute to improving the continuity of long-term treatment. Through the partnership with DSP, which has expertise and extensive experience in the psychiatry area, GSK hopes to contribute to the treatment of depression by further enhancing medical information provision to medical institutions regarding the drug's safety and efficacy.”

Masayo Tada, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd. commented, "We are working on the CNS area as one of our focus marketing areas and have developed promotional activities in this area including antipsychotic drugs. With this agreement, by adding Paxil® CR Tablets to our product line, we believe our activities can be expanded in the area of anti-depressants and we can further enhance our presence in the CNS area. We hope to contribute further to the treatment of depression by providing proper information to medical institutions in collaboration with GSK."



Profile of Paxil® CR

Product name

Paxil® CR Tablets 12.5mg, Paxil® CR Tablets 25mg

Generic name

paroxetine hydrochloride hydrate

Date of approval

18 January 2012


Depression and depressive state

Dosage and Administration

Usually for adults, paroxetine is administered orally at 12.5 mg as the initial dose once daily after evening meal, and the dose is subsequently increased to 25 mg a day taking a week or longer. Dosage should be adjusted according to symptoms and age in the dosing range not exceeding 50 mg a day and either of the above dose will be administered once daily after evening meal. When the dose is increased, it should be increased by 12.5 mg as a daily dose at intervals of a week or longer.

About Paxil® CR Tablets

First controlled-release anti-depressant in Japan, which has a slow pharmacokinetic profile by using formulation technology.

Using an enteric coating and two layer controlled-release technology 2, it is designed so that the drug is released gradually and continuously after it has left the stomach.

Compared to Paxil® IR Tablets, blood concentration increases gradually during single dose administration and as change in blood concentration during repeated administration is small, it is expected to reduce the risk of adverse events.

Overseas clinical trial3 ?4results have shown that treatment dropout due to adverse events do not differ greatly to placebo making it easy to take and it is expected to contribute to improving the continuity of long-term treatment.

1) Controlled-release formulation: Formulation using CR technology that controls drug release for continuous and gradual release

2?Two layer controlled-release technology. Paxil® CR Tablets is made up of 2 layers – an affinity matrix layer that includes active ingredients in the plain tablet (inner core) and an erodent barrier layer that does not include active ingredients, thereby controlling the rate of drug release.

3?Golden RN et al :J Clin Psychiatry,2002?63?7??577-584

4) Eaddy M, et al: Manage Care Interface,2003; 16(12 ): 22-7


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