Fifteen years ago to this day, I lost my brother and I considered him also to be my best friend. He and I went to church together 120 miles away at Main Street Coffee House, we traveled to Christian music festivals together as far away as 200 miles from our home. He and I played video games together, and enjoyed much of the same music. He was quite a bit younger than me, but from the day he was born he and I were like glue.
The sadness that he suffered as a teen was typical of most teens. Coming of age, rejection from peers and girls, stress of homework, and going to class. These are things that all teens face.
Our highly distracted mother and father, who both worked endless hours and had many side obligations, got him on SSRI drugs to help him deal with the stresses of life.
It surprised me that the solution that my mom came up with, was the same solution that she came up with for me when I was his age. My mother had gotten me a prescription for the same reasons from the time that I was 8 years old, until I was 17. At age 17 I attempted to take my own life in the same way that my brother would later die. I was un-successful as my grandmother who I called to say “goodbye” immediately recognized my despair, and called the police to have them check on me.
The police found me unconscious in my room after busting down the door that I had barricaded off. They revived me, pumped my stomach at the hospital and due to lack of insurance sent me on my way.
It was only a few short years later that my mother had the same problems with my brother, and she came to the same conclusion which was SSRI drugs. It was only a little over a month later that Justin killed himself by overdose.
I posted this on my facebook wall today to give advice to others who are dealing with this terrible struggle.
15 Years ago today, my brother left this world. He was depressed. The worst thing that you can do, if you have a depressed child, is get them SSRI drugs. Read the label on those drugs. They tend to do the opposite of their intended purpose, and it says so right on the label.
Spend time with your kids. Take them out to see the world. Give them time not drugs. Give them love not stuff. Give them you, not a substitute.
I wrote this on my brother’s memorial website quite a few years ago;
In July 2004, U.S. Senator Gordon Smith, a Mormon from Oregon, promoted a bill in the Senate to provide money for counseling teen-agers at risk of suicide. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Senator Smith’s son, Garrett Lee Smith, “ended his own life the day before his 22nd birthday in September, 2003, following a struggle with bipolar disorder.” During the Senate discussion, Utah Senator Orin B. Hatch noted that “teen-age suicide among young men was higher in Utah than any other state.” The Mormon Church quickly responded that these statistics did not reflect on the Mormon Church. In fact, research has shown that the incidence of suicide among Mormon men who are active in their church, that is, young men who have followed the prescribed path and have received the “appropriate priesthood calling for their age” — is lower than any place in the country. (See my video critique of this very dishonest study: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aXvuECd9dI & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VxnB64oEEY ) Those who do not follow the prescribed course are most at risk: those who question the validity of the Mormon commandments; those who dare step outside the behavior mandated by the church. The statistics reveal that 551 suicides were committed among ten to thirty-four-year-old Utah males during 1991-1995. Six in ten were committed by Mormon Church members. Fifty percent of suicides of young men in this state are committed by inactive Mormons — 275 deaths were young men who, for one reason or another, did not follow the strict mandates of the Mormon Church. My heart weeps for the pain implied in these numbers. See this link from the LDS Church owned Deseret News Daily news paper: Teen Suicide in Utah – Deseret News
Depression in Utah
On July 9, 2005, Utahans began their day with the following headlines: “Got the blues? You’re not alone in Utah; SLC rates among the unhappiest places, but maybe we’re just more honest about it” According to Men’s Health magazine, Salt Lake City “is one of the most depressing places to live.” An article reported a local psychiatrist, Michael Measom, who explained: The high ranking might be related to the cultural acceptance of depression here and financial pressure due to large families and lower wages.”2 One would expect that a community which is seventy percent Mormon — a church claiming to be led by God himself through a living prophet — would be wholesome and healthy. This is the impression promoted through advertising and news stories. And yet, in addition to the sensational events just mentioned, several national studies about the health of Utahans speak of the dis-ease in Zion. An article in the LA Times quoted a national study released the summer of 2001 and confirmed in January 2002, reporting that antidepressant drugs are prescribed twice as often in Utah than any other state, including three times more often than New York and New Jersey.3 In the above article, Dr. Curtis Canning, president of the Utah Psychiatric Association, said he had “some hunches” which may explain why Utah ranks so high “despite the fact that seventy percent of its residents are Mormon…In Mormondom, there is a social expectation — particularly among the females — to put on a mask, say ‘Yes’ to everything that comes at her and hide the misery and pain. I call it the ‘Mother of Zion’ syndrome…I think the cultural issue is very real. There is the expectation that you should be happy, and if you’re not happy, you’re failing…Because Mormonism ‘requires perfection and the public presentation of a happy face, whatever may be happening privately,’ many try to hide their struggles and are therefore in need of the mood-altering drugs.” Dr. Canning quotes a seventy-one-year-old woman who explains how easy it is to get prescription drugs. She admitted she was addicted as were her three grown children. She explained that “Most men here would just as soon their wives take pills than bother to delve into the problems” that cause their need. Another Utah woman said she quit the drugs after 15 years of use. ‘It’s like Happy Valley here. Everything is always rosy. That’s how we got ourselves into this mess—we’re good at ignoring things.” The article further reports that “besides the high usage of antidepressants, Utah also leads the nation in the use of narcotic painkillers such as codeine and morphine-based drugs.”3 Mental Illness – 10.97 Percent A federal report printed in the Salt Lake Tribune in February, 2005, showed that “Utah has the nation’s lowest rate of illegal drug use and binge drinking among American youth but one of the country’s highest rates of serious mental illness.” The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found a total of 10.97 percent of Utahans age eighteen and older have a diagnosable mental, behavioral or emotional disorder that substantially interfered with one or more major life activities. Only Rhode Island had a higher rate of serious mental illness, 10.98 percent, according to the report. Also see this: Utah No. 1 for Prescription Drugs – Deseret News
Below I give some references to some of the chemicals that are used in these SSRI drugs, and how the school system and the government encourages the use of these drugs.
The photo below is when he and I traveled from Utah to Spokane Washington to pay a traffic ticket that I got while I was on a personal adventure some years earlier.
The photo below is a paper that Justin wrote for class, talking about his relationship with his brother, myself and our other brother Brad.
Some say fluoride has a lot to do with the new mental health crisis that we have in the USA.
Fluoride for our medicine, fluoride for our drinking water, fluoride for teeth, fluoride everywhere.
Flouride as public policy
Fluoridation became an official policy of the U.S. Public Health Service by 1951, and by 1960 water fluoridation had become widely used in the U.S., reaching about 50 million people. By 2006, 69.2% of the U.S. population on public water systems were receiving fluoridated water, amounting to 61.5% of the total U.S. population; 3.0% of the population on public water systems were receiving naturally occurring fluoride.
Public water fluoridation was first practiced in the U.S. As of 2012, 25 countries have artificial water fluoridation to varying degrees, 11 of them have more than 50% of their population drinking fluoridated water. A further 28 countries have water that is naturally fluoridated, though in many of them the fluoride is above the recommended safe level. As of 2012 about 435 million people worldwide received water fluoridated at the recommended level (i.e., about 5.4% of the global population). About 214 million of them living in the United States.
Fluoride for our medicine
Prozac is the brand name for a chemical compound called fluoxetine hydrochloride. Fluoxetine is made up of five different elements (C17H18F3NO). Fluorine is one of those elements (F3). Fluorine is a gas and never occurs in a free state in nature. Fluorine exists only in combination with other elements as fluoride compounds. Both organic and inorganic compounds containing the element fluorine (F) are considered fluorides. This means fluoxetine is a fluoride. Therefore, we could say Prozac is fluoride. Fluoxetine is the only ingredient in Prozac and fluoxetine is a fluoride.* Reference:
Consequences of fluoride
23) Fluoride may lower IQ. There have now been 33 studies from China, Iran, India and Mexico that have reported an association between fluoride exposure and reduced IQ. One of these studies (Lin 1991) indicates that even just moderate levels of fluoride exposure (e.g., 0.9 ppm in the water) can exacerbate the neurological defects of iodine deficiency. Other studies have found IQ reductions at 1.9 ppm (Xiang 2003a,b); 0.3-3.0 ppm (Ding 2011); 1.8-3.9 ppm (Xu 1994); 2.0 ppm (Yao 1996, 1997); 2.1-3.2 ppm (An 1992); 2.38 ppm (Poureslami 2011); 2.45 ppm (Eswar 2011); 2.5 ppm (Seraj 2006); 2.85 ppm (Hong 2001); 2.97 ppm (Wang 2001, Yang 1994); 3.15 ppm (Lu 2000); 4.12 ppm (Zhao 1996). In the Ding study, each 1 ppm increase of fluoride in urine was associated with a loss of 0.59 IQ points. None of these studies indicate an adequate margin of safety to protect all children drinking artificially fluoridated water from this affect. According to the National Research Council (2006), “the consistency of the results [in fluoride/IQ studies] appears significant enough to warrant additional research on the effects of fluoride on intelligence.” The NRC’s conclusion has recently been amplified by a team of Harvard scientists whose fluoride/IQ meta-review concludes that fluoride’s impact on the developing brain should be a “high research priority.” (Choi et al., 2012). Except for one small IQ study from New Zealand (Spittle 1998) no fluoridating country has yet investigated the matter.
24) Fluoride may cause non-IQ neurotoxic effects. Reduced IQ is not the only neurotoxic effect that may result from fluoride exposure. At least three human studies have reported an association between fluoride exposure and impaired visual-spatial organization (Calderon 2000; Li 2004; Rocha-Amador 2009); while four other studies have found an association between prenatal fluoride exposure and fetal brain damage (Han 1989; Du 1992; Dong 1993; Yu 1996).
25) Fluoride affects the pineal gland. Studies by Jennifer Luke (2001) show that fluoride accumulates in the human pineal gland to very high levels. In her Ph.D. thesis, Luke has also shown in animal studies that fluoride reduces melatonin production and leads to an earlier onset of puberty (Luke 1997). Consistent with Luke’s findings, one of the earliest fluoridation trials in the U.S. (Schlesinger 1956) reported that on average young girls in the fluoridated community reached menstruation 5 months earlier than girls in the non-fluoridated community. Inexplicably, no fluoridating country has attempted to reproduce either Luke’s or Schlesinger’s findings or examine the issue any further.
26) Fluoride affects thyroid function. According to the U.S. National Research Council (2006), “several lines of information indicate an effect of fluoride exposure on thyroid function.” In the Ukraine, Bachinskii (1985) found a lowering of thyroid function, among otherwise healthy people, at 2.3 ppm fluoride in water. In the middle of the 20th century, fluoride was prescribed by a number of European doctors to reduce the activity of the thyroid gland for those suffering from hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) (Stecher 1960; Waldbott 1978). According to a clinical study by Galletti and Joyet (1958), the thyroid function of hyperthyroid patients was effectively reduced at just 2.3 to 4.5 mg/day of fluoride ion. To put this finding in perspective, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS, 1991) has estimated that total fluoride exposure in fluoridated communities ranges from 1.6 to 6.6 mg/day. This is a remarkable fact, particularly considering the rampant and increasing problem of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) in the United States and other fluoridated countries. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include depression, fatigue, weight gain, muscle and joint pains, increased cholesterol levels, and heart disease. In 2010, the second most prescribed drug of the year was Synthroid (sodium levothyroxine) which is a hormone replacement drug used to treat an underactive thyroid.