Ok, now to the issue of SSRIs, depression, ADD/ADHD, etc. That all needs to be completely unlinked.
SSRIs were originally developed to combat depression, as a replacement for some medications called MAOIs that had some really bad potential side effects on users (not violence, by the way – just their own quick deaths in certain common situations, including the use of common foods). SSRIs have also been used to treat other conditions. But ADD/ADHD is not one of them. They are two entirely different conditions – and totally unrelated, except for the fact that they just happen to involve the brain. But then so do gunshot wounds to the head, strokes, and brain tumors, for example. Otherwise, they don’t belong in the same discussion, which you unfortunately did.
Depression (and many other “mental” conditions) are thought to be based on levels of various neurotransmitter levels available in the brain at various times. SSRIs – which stands for “Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors” – target mainly ONE of those many neurotransmitters (seratonin). Seratonin is actually found all over the body, including a fair amount in the digestive tract (thus frequent gastrointestinal problems with people taking SSRIs – it messes with the function of the intestines as well as the brain).
ADD/ADHD, however, is thought to actually originate in the frontal lobe of the brain, due to abnormally DEcreased brain activity in that area. So, seemingly contradictory to logic, the use of medications that tend to help ADD/ADHD actually “speeds” up the activity in the frontal lobes of people with that condition – bringing them up to a more normal level of brain activity. What would “speed up” (or act as a stimulant for) a so-called “normal” person, actually brings the FUNCTIONING of a person with ADD/ADHD down to normal level. It’s a bit complicated, but that’s a very basic explanation. If the levels of ADD/ADHD meds are not carefully controlled (and individualized for each patient), you don’t get good results. Yes, those drugs have side effects, but particularly if not used appropriately. And if people NOT suffering from ADD/ADHD use them, they might as well be taking huge amounts of caffeine or even meth. Those drugs used to treat ADD/ADHD are stimulants. They just have an “opposite” or paradoxical effect on the people with true ADD/ADHD.
As for teachers, school social workers, etc., passing them out like candy, THEY CANNOT! Those drugs are carefully controlled substances, and can only be dispensed by a pharmacy not a school, and can only be prescribed by someone licensed to prescribe medications per state laws (normally an MD, but now that has often been delegated down to physicians’ assistants and even nurse practitioners in some cases). I simply will not go into my lengthy diatribe on why SO many of those “licensed” to prescribe those medications really aren’t properly trained or qualified to do so. But there’s a huge case to be made there. Still, the school has to convince a properly licensed medical provider that his or her patient should be prescribed those meds, and it’s professionally required, at least ethically, that the medical professional determine him/herself that the meds are indeed appropriate. A “hyperactive” four year old in pre-K is probably NORMAL – it’s part of being age appropriate! Not fun for parents and teachers, but it’s still normal to be all over the place and not able to pay attention and focus. But teachers want to whack them out so they’re easily “managed.” (DON’T get me started on that discussion, and it isn’t the issue here.)
So the entire addition of other meds and conditions unrelated to SSRIs, depression, etc., simply should not have been part of your discussion. One has zero to do with the other, including when it comes to the 2nd Amendment. And it should be further understood that the school to which the Oregon murderer went instead of public high school, was reportedly for learning disabilities and those with autism (a too-broad term for appropriate use in the general public anyway). Oh, how that discussion needs to be totally left out of the picture (with only slight exceptions, and only then by those highly qualified to treat and therefore comment on autism). The general public simply has no clue what autism really is, but the media has made it sound like autistic people should be feared! Yes, a small handful of them can be violent – in certain circumstances. And they can be difficult to manage in school, even by those well trained to do so. And they don’t get along socially very well. But they should not be feared, any more than any other kid. They’re just “different” from the center of the mass under the “normal curve,” and people get uncomfortable around “different.” SSRIs are not even appropriate for autism, MAYBE unless depression is also a factor. But there may be other factors when, if worked on non-chemically, could lessen or eliminate depression in an autistic person anyway.
So my bottom line on the rest of your post is to simply ask that you de-link any discussion of SSRIs from ADHD/ADD, and the medications used to treat that condition. And please also keep “autism” out of that particular mix. Is there possibly a SEPARATE discussion to be had there? Of course. The same would be true with a whole lot of other conditions described in the DSM (now up to version 5) – the big thick book of all the so-called “mental disorders.” Oh – and be aware that the world is essentially “governed” in that field by only a few hundred people that get together and determine what should go into each successive revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, hence the initials DSM5 (and DSM-IV, DSM-III, etc, in earlier years). Just think of it – only a few hundred (not even approaching 1000) determined that homosexuality was once a mental disorder, but now isn’t. And they decided that there are no longer “neurotics” – those went out with DSM-III, as I recall. Multiple Personality Disorders turned into Dissociative Identity Disorders, “psychopaths” ceased to exist, and we ended up with “anti-social personality disorders as a replacement, and whatever they’re all called now in the new DSM5 (they quit using Roman numerals with this new revision for some “important” reason or other). There are new disorders added every few years with each successive edition, and others that are eliminated altogether. It’s almost hilarious, except that it deals with real human beings, turns real people into caricatures in the minds of most people, by the use of labels – defined by the privileged several hundred.
So again, with all due respect, please be careful about discussing things that really have no business being lumped together.
And of equal importance I think here, especially, is to NOT get distracted by those “weeds” the liberals want us to focus on. Some of them aren’t even real – they’re Astroturf weeds! The real issue is, at least for those of us in the “States,” the 2nd Amendment. We need to keep tightly focused on the fact that the gun grabbers are looking for every means of limiting the number of people that are deemed “qualified” to own weapons (which also restricts the ownership by their family members, because the “unqualified” person can’t even have access). The gun grabbers want to convince the public that large chunks of the population should be disqualified from owning guns, and medical diagnoses and use of certain medications are a really prime target for the anti-gunners to aim at. Get the public fired up to where they buy into it, and the anti-gunners win. THAT is the biggest issue, not the small percentage of people that apparently may be put at a slightly higher risk of acting out violently if taking SSRIs. Again, the risks of NOT prescribing them (and they ARE over prescribed, in my opinion) may well outweigh their use. Adding in spurious discussions of such things as autism, ADD/ADHD, etc., as if they’re part of the whole thing, and treatable with the same meds (they aren’t), is just a marvelous part of the smokescreen.