Interviewer: Doctor, we've talked a lot about prescription medications that have been given to kids for behavioral disorders. When I was in school we didn't hear much about that we also didn't have any school shootings either and there's been a rash of those. Is there a connection do you think between the two with those prescription drugs and what we've seen lately in the news?
Dr. William J. Walsh: The answer is absolutely yes. I've seen more than and clinically gotten involved with 10,000 cases of behavior disorders and I've studied more than 800 felons, people convicted of a felony and I've studied the chemistry of mass murderers and serial killers and people who have done some terrible things. I've done studies with medical examiners and coroners and most of the, I would say, 95% of the behavioral disordered kids and adults that we've seen it was clear that they had a problem by the time that they were six years old. This doesn't usually develop when they're older, it usually comes early on. Sometimes by the time they're two or three years old and they find them torturing the family pet or a fascination with fire or they're oppositional, they're defiant.
School shooters are different. They are different and I've looked at 50 school shooters since the 1990 and looking at these 50 cases, where what happened in nearly every case is that they had normal okay behavior in their formative years. They were okay until they were about 14 or 15 and then these kids, most of them, developed anxiety or depression. Family took them to a psychiatrist or a doctor, or other doctor, and they were given a SSRI antidepressant, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, one of those in the family of those serotonin enhancing medications. And so for the case of the school shooters, although many people improve and do well on these medications, these particular people got worse. Now in my book Nutrient Power, we know there are five completely different phenotypes or biotypes of depression. One of the five types, which is 20% of all people with depression, based on our database, they actually have too much serotonin to begin with and they're the ones who get worse on these SSRI medications.
And anybody who buys an antidepressant or gets one at a prescription filled at a pharmacy, there's an insert in there warning about that this could cause violence or suicidal ideation especially in teenaged boys and that's because some of these, a small percentage of them, have this dramatic awful reaction. So I've written a paper and I've sent this out to a lot of people. It's a recommendation for stopping school shootings because it's not going to be solved quickly by getting rid of the guns and it's not going to be solved quickly identifying mentally ill people who shouldn't be near guns that would take forever. We could fix this problem quickly if the doctors and psychiatrists and other doctors who prescribe antidepressants, if they would simply do a little blood work first and identify the people who should not be getting them. It only costs about 80 bucks, $80 to do the blood work that's required to identify these people. See, right now when a person with depression goes to a doctor, they usually don't do any blood work whatever. They simply listen to the symptoms and then decide which drug to give them. It's almost a trial and error procedure in many cases. It's not quite enough science in it. I think that we now have the technology available for quickly ending school shootings just by be careful about whom we give the medications to, who we give the antidepressants to.
The debate on how to reduce the violent crime of school shootings continues. Dr. William Walsh has studied brain health and behavior disorders for years. He says there could be a simple solution for stopping these school shootings and he says there is on very important thing that ties nearly all of the shooters together.
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