A criminal update: ‘Bizarre offense? The suspect is a strange bird, ripe for TBS. And why?   Because he committed a bizarre crime’ — (deVerdieping Trouw)

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deVerdieping Trouw

The Floor

20 februari 2009 February 20, 2009

Joop Bouma Joop Bouma

Automatically translated into English from Dutch:

Hard scientific evidence that antidepressants may be the cause of extremely violent behavior is not here, but the evidence is stacking up.

Nobody understands what Martin B. inspired from Kerkrade in the night of July 23, 2007. How was it that the quiet, friendly 56-year-old, never caught on aggressive behavior, changed into a crazy?

The answer is not more of the offender themselves.  Martin B. hung himself in the summer of last year in his cell in Roermond. The criminal proceedings against him – murder his 55-year life partner – was still pending. The motive remained a mystery, even for the court. The judges had requested additional expert reports, because shortly before his B. The act was started swallowing the antidepressant Efexor. Could that have played a role?

It is such a case you will never forget, says The B. ‘s lawyer Peer Szymkowiak.  “So strange, so unusual.” But the file is closed. Client deceased. The pieces are in the basement of his office.

Martin B. was a neat, almost gentle man.  Hard to get angry, said everyone who knew him.  And pile on his girlfriend, says his lawyer. “That you have someone who you keep as a wild finish that does not fit in the picture.”

The only what was depressed.  He lived in good harmony with his girlfriend at an apartment in Limburg Eygelshoven. Quarrels were rare, just the normal wrinkles in a relationship.

The first wife of the B. was in 1982 died in a traffic accident, something he never really had got over.  After the death of his mother, years earlier, he had depressive symptoms. They increased after his brother became incurably ill.

In the early summer of 2007 he went to the general practitioner for advice.  They wrote a script for an older antidepressant, amitriptyline. B. said later: “I was just ill and ill of the war, slept badly and had narrow dreams. “He went back to the doctor, this time was prescribed Efexor (venlafaxine) a newer antidepressant.  After three days things went wrong.

B. was the first night went to bed. His neighbors heard noise and called the police.  Agents found in the bedroom of a massacre. The friend turned 60 mess character to life, her neck was almost completely cut. B. was seriously injured. He had mess character in belly, chest, arms and neck. Soon it appeared that he injured himself had made.

B. The initially stated that he had had a quarrel with his girlfriend, but in the prison hospital in Scheveningen, he will return.  “At some point he said:” I slept very poorly, I  have been sleep in a kind of waking state. I think I heard something and then I seen my friend who was half of me go with a fruit knife in her hand.  “Probably I attacked her. ”

The first stabbing with that peeler done.  It was always on his bedside table, to cut sleeping pills in half. What has happened, no one will know. “How can someone so explode and maim as his partner, asking Szymkowiak is still off.

The B was examined by psychologists of the Netherlands Institute for Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology.They noted that the B. chronic and intense evil and no way was found for hostility. With his conscience was nothing wrong. She noted as “an aggression problems related personality pathology. Either: The B. was violent.

This personality was associated with depression have led to an aggressive This antidepressant would not have played a significant role. There was little scientific evidence for aggressive discharges by antidepressants, the psychologists. But the leaflet reported as side effects of Efexor also sleep and consciousness disturbance, confusion, agitation and unrest.

According to psychologists, there was’ an inadequate defense mechanism “and” strong-avoiding personality characteristics. The illness of his brother was the mental capacity of B. The above gone.

Nobody understood that explanation. The court is not even the prosecutor not.  Szymkowiak was not satisfied with the report.  “On the Internet I came from the most horrific stories about Effexor.

He asked the Maastricht psychology professor Harald Merckelbach right into the courtroom. This occurs more frequently as an expert witness. The professor noted that the lack of psychologists had examined the possibility that the aggressive act of B. The right across Effexor was created. There was sufficient evidence that an antidepressant might have been.

The court was agreed and turned two new experts. Their report was not. On a Monday reported a neuro-psychiatrist at the B. in his cell. What has been discussed, Szymkowiak know only from the mouth of his client.  “Immediately after the visit he called me in to panic. The first thing the psychiatrist at my client had said was: ‘You do not think this is all of that pill? There are tens of thousands of people who swallow pills.. They ‘re not with a knife stabbing? “My client was shocked.. I got him emollient addressed and thought that it was successful.  But I think from that moment he no longer saw sitting.  On Wednesday, two days after that visit to a psychiatrist, he was dead. ”

Trouw 2009, op dit artikel rust copyright .  Trouw 2009, copyright on this article.

There are several mechanisms described that antidepressants can cause violent behavior. In addition to (manic) psychosis is akathisie a dangerous side effect. That is a feeling of unrest, large inner anxiety, which can discharge in extremely aggressive behavior.

The phenomenon can occur with various psychotropic drugs, including SSRIs (selective serotonin re-inhibitors), antidepressants that the reinclusion of the brain substance serotonin by inhibiting brain nerves and thus would work against depression and certain anxiety disorders.

Effexor, it means that the Martin B. (see main story) swallowed, is not a SSRI, but a serotonin-noradrenaline re-inhibitorie bekend. Also with them are cases of akathisie known.

Swallowed in the Netherlands in 2007 about 640,000 people a SSRI or a SNRI. The cost for these devices in that year amounted to over 140,000 million.

The phenomenon is well documented, says psychologist Merckelbach right. “But how often it occurs, we know not. Manufacturers would have to register this update, but this is wrong because there are no special registration in the category for akathisie been made.  There is never a good look.  It seems a rather underestimated phenomenon. You might wonder whether it is so rare as many of us want to believe.. The experts who pretend there is no problem, but on the payroll of the pharmaceutical industry are, I do not take seriously. ”