The Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR) warns state and school authorities not to adopt mental health screenings. It is due to the cases of violence stemming from the use of or withdrawal from antidepressants.
The use of antidepressants such as fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline caused 90 percent of school shootings in the United States. Since 1988, the CCHR recorded 36 school shootings and other school-related violence. These cases caused 172 injuries and 80 deaths.
The Food and Drug Administration supported the claim that the use of SSRI antidepressants creates suicidal tendencies and unusual change in behavior. Therefore, those under the drug might need heightened supervision from caregivers or their family members.
Peter Gøtzsche from the Nordic Cochrane Center said that adult patients under antidepressants also exhibited symptoms such as anxiety, akathisia or psychomotor restlessness, hypomania, and mania. However, the same study disputed the need for supervision since some patients still committed suicide or homicide after several hours.
Out of 41 million Americans under antidepressants, 2.05 million experience increased agitation. Because of this, they discontinue their clinical trials.
Antidepressants usually have warnings on their labels. Some of the disclaimers include self-harm tendencies, possibilities of violent behavior, death risks, emotional problems, and addiction or withdrawal effects.
Not only do medical experts recognize the link between antidepressants and violent behavior but also the courts. Some cases decided by the courts showed that antidepressants brought about the aggressive actions of the suspects. These cases sometimes involve people who have no record of disruptive behavior but then suddenly exhibit signs of such after taking antidepressants.
However, some experts also try to dispute the efficiency of mental health screening sessions. The Texas Criminal Justice Division funded the Telemedicine Wellness, Intervention, Triage, and Referral (TWITR) Project by the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
In connection, Dr. Karen Effrem from the Education Liberty Watch said that there are issues with the foundation of the programs. Dr. Effem also highlighted the struggle in diagnosing adolescents.
Further, the childhood and adolescent phase of a person are developmental stages. Therefore, it would be hard to distinguish normal development than unusual ones.