Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Prescription drugs caused possible psychotic break in Col. Williams?

Did you know the Biblical Greek word for "witchcraft" is "Pharmakeia"? It is, of course, where we get the word "Pharmacy". Why is this interesting?

There's some speculation right now that the prescription drug prednisone may have been a contributing factor in causing a psychotic break in former Col. Russell Williams, who's crime spree is believed to have begun out of the blue sometime in 2007... right around the time he was prescribed a series of drugs to deal with chronic pain.

Now of course, it's no excuse for his actions, but it does perhaps shed some light on how he supposedly "fell through the cracks" of the military's psychological screening programs. The side affects of some of these powerful drugs are not even close to being well understood, and in some cases have even been covered up by the big drug companies.

One example that I'm personally somewhat familiar with is the drug Viiox, which is now off the market, but was prescribed to me for a minor but painful injury I had a few years back. (pre-2004) One of the fairly rare side effects of that drug was depression, and I had a pretty weird experience while on it. I had a dream one night while taking it, during which a former classmate of mine died. But for the next two days, I was in a pretty depressed state, having somehow mixed my dream into reality, thinking that my friend had ACTUALLY died. It was difficult to separate the two, but when I finally realized what the drug was doing to my head, I stopped taking the meds right away. It was a pretty scary experience though, realizing that a supposedly "safe" drug had so badly messed with my mind.

But more and more these days, this sort of thing seems to be happening. According to this Toronto Star article, prescription drugs may be considered a contributing factor in some violent crimes. I think it's interesting that this has come to light in the Williams case.

In some ways, it actually makes me feel a little better. Rather than a secret nut-job having been on the loose for decades, having completely fooled the system, his crimes may have instead been more recently initiated by a bi-polar psychotic break, possibly induced by prescription drugs.

"Pharmakeia" ("Witchcraft") indeed... food for thought, at the very least.



  • At Fri Nov 19, 08:52:00 p.m. EST, Blogger Bec said…

    I am very sympathetic to those that suffer side effects from this level of pain medication. My spouse was prescribed Oxycotin for a herniated/displaced C6/7 and besides the fact that we'd be idiots to tell a soul for fear of a home invasion, the side effects were profound.
    He too chose pain over the side effects after the surgeon said surgery was to risky.

    Having said that I sympathize with victims of this pain, I'm not sure how I feel about this revelation about Williams though.
    I would hate to see this become the new excuse of the week and I can see the potential of that happening.

    This now has become a different story and because I have seen what can happen with these powerful medications, I'd like to think that a real man would have asked for help from anyone but especially his spouse.

  • At Fri Nov 19, 11:30:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    1. Please don't put Colonel in the same sentence with him. He was stripped of the rank, and the mention of his name with that honour (even with the word former in front) is abhorrent.

    2. I wonder: Did you convert during the Viiox episodes?

  • At Sat Nov 20, 02:13:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I couldn't agree more. I don't remember what it was called but about three yrs ago I was given a prescription for migraine. I didn't have the script filled, then was horrified to read people had committed violent offences while taking this drug. People who surprised themselves.

    I'm female, with an adult son, so I really think about this Williams case. There but for the grace of God go I.

    Despite what some would do to him, he is still a human being. We don't know and we don't understand.

    May God bless his Soul.

  • At Sat Nov 20, 07:31:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is all incredibly sad. I, too, came across these articles suggesting there might be a link to Russel's crimes and Predizone.

    In a way, he could be considered as another victim. He must have had really bad lawyers.

  • At Sat Nov 20, 05:06:00 p.m. EST, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    Real nice Anon@11:30, real nice... let me guess, you're a Liberal Party member, right? Your intolerance of people of faith sounds oh so familiar...

  • At Sun Nov 21, 12:18:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A tumor of the brain can also produce the bizarre
    change in personality that Williams seemed to under go
    he seemed to be aware that what he did was wrong
    but lacked empathy
    I do not condone the crime but if investigation helped understand medical problems from drugs or brain tumor our knowledge would help prevent further crimes from taking place

  • At Sun Nov 21, 04:29:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is Anon@7:31. I would like to better clarify my comment. I wasn't suggesting Williams should be off the hook for his crimes, but that if Prednizone was indeed a factor, it just adds yet another unsettling layer of complication.

    Also, I regret my implication that his legal team didn't do their very best for him. I'm very sure they did. After all, the guy confessed. That's the problem with clicking the mouse before thinking things through, as I've now taken the time to do.

  • At Sun Nov 21, 06:49:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You softies are too easy on this guy.

    You should know by now that if you're really Conservatives, the only option is to throw him in the dungeon and lose the key.

    Or maybe this is the required crocodile tears, to show the 70% of sane Canadians that you're not really that bad. Nice try.

  • At Thu Nov 25, 07:18:00 p.m. EST, Blogger Anon1152 said…

    "Real nice Anon@11:30, real nice... let me guess, you're a Liberal Party member, right? Your intolerance of people of faith sounds oh so familiar..."

    I admit that I know very few people, who are no doubt not representative of any group in particular, but the strongest liberal supporters I know are and have always been regular churchgoers.


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