Crucial Newtown Shooting Questions Not Yet Asked

What do School Shooters Have in Common?

by Gracelyn Guyol

Debate following the Newtown school shootings has focused primarily on outlawing automatic weapons and turning schools into fortresses with guards.  Yet many crucial questions remain unasked. The most obvious is what do all school shooters have in common?

A list of teens committing school violence in the U.S. from 1988-2006 (below), according to Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights, reveals most were currently using or recently taken off psychiatric prescriptions, primarily antidepressants.

  • 1988 James Wilson, age 19, on Xanax, killed 2 eight-year-olds, wounded 9 others in South Carolina.
  • 1997 Luke Woodham, age 16, on Prozac, killed his mother and 2 students, wounded 7 others in Mississippi.
  • 1997 Michael Carneal, age 14, on Ritalin, killed 3 teens, wounded 5 others in Kentucky.
  • 1998 Andrew Golden, age 11, and Mitchell Johnson, age 13, on Ritalin, killed 4 students and a teacher, wounded 10 others in Arkansas.
  • 1998 Kip Kinkel, age 15, coming off Prozac and an amphetamine, murdered his parents and 2 students, wounded 22 others in Oregon.
  • 1998 Unnamed minor, age 14, on Zoloft, held 5 classmates hostage with gun but surrendered peacefully in Idaho.
  • 1999 Shawn Cooper, age 15, on SSRI antidepressant and Ritalin, fired 2 shotgun rounds at school but missed students in Idaho.
  • 1999 Eric Harris, age 18, ringleader in Columbine massacre was taking Luvox. He and co-shooter, Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and wounded 23 others in Colorado.
  • 1999 T. J. Solomon, age 15, on Ritalin, wounded six classmates in Georgia.
  • 2000 Elizabeth Bush, age 14, on Prozac, shot at students, wounding 1 in Pennsylvania.
  • 2001 Jason Hoffman, age 18, on Celexa and Effexor, wounded three students and 2 teachers in California.
  • 2001 Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, was on Effexor when he took 23 classmates and a teacher hostage with a rifle before “waking up” and surrendering to authorities in Washington state.
  • 2003 Ryan Furlough, age 19, on Effexor, killed classmate by spiking soda with cyanide in Maryland.
  • 2004 Jon Romano, age 16, on medication for depression, opened fire with shotgun, hitting one teacher in the leg in New York state.
  • 2005 Jeff Weise, age 16, on Prozac, killed his grandparents, 8 students, and 1 teacher, wounding 7 others before killing himself in Minnesota.
  • 2006 Alvaro Castillo, age 19, treated at state psychiatric hospital with drugs, killed his father and wounded 2 students at school in North Carolina.
  • 2006 Tyrell Glover, age 19, on Prozac, went to school with air rifle, planning to take students hostage and be gunned down by police in North Carolina.


Psychiatric drugs are well known to cause mania, psychosis, hostility, aggression, and homicidal thoughts.  Antidepressants have received 99 drug regulatory agency warnings from ten countries and the European Union.  Since August 2004, US labels for all antidepressants caution against these and other dangerous side effects.

What else did the teens have in common?  All except one were boys.  Nearly all used firearms, which raises the question, how do minors obtain lethal weapons so easily?


What Makes School Tragedies Predictable Yet Continuous?

David Healy is an internationally respected Professor of Psychiatry at Wales’ Cardiff University, researcher, and author of 150-peer-reviewed articles and 20 books.  His 2006 study, “Antidepressants and Violence:  Problems at the Interface of Medicine and Law,” notes the rapid behavioral deterioration triggered by antidepressant use.  Using information from pharmacological data and nine criminal trials of violent assaults between 1990 and 2005, the study concludes SSRIs use is directly connected with violence.

Given such strong, international warnings, why are doctors quick to put kids on a drug, or several, or take them off without close supervision?  Healy’s latest book, Pharmageddon, is the riveting story of how pharmaceutical companies have hijacked healthcare in America, how greed has trumped children’s safety and long-term health. But calls for change by mental health professionals are becoming urgent and more frequent.

One highly respected researcher, Nancy Andreasen, editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Psychiatry from 1993 to 2005, began a long term study of schizophrenic patients in 1991 that periodically measured brain volumes using magnetic resonance scans.  Her 2003 and 2005 published results noted brain volume reductions but attributed such losses to the disease.  Andreasen latest study, published in February 2011 Archives of General Psychiatry, drew vastly different conclusions that rocked the mental health community.  Based on MRI scans of 211 schizophrenic patients monitored from 7 to 14 years, she concluded long-term use of antipsychotics and clozapine were definitely associated with brain shrinkage, that these changes were not caused by the disease, and severity was directly related to dose and length of use.

Industry awareness was further heightened when a trio of books from highly credible authors was  released around the same time, also documenting serious health risks from taking psychiatric drugs.

Marcia Angell, MD, former Editor in Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine,critiqued the three books in June 2011 New York Review of Books.  Award-winning author Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic, psychologist Irving Kirsch’s The Emperor’s New Drugs, and psychiatrist Daniel Carlat’s Unhinged, The Trouble With Psychiatry, all represent different perspectives.  Yet they agreed on the ineffectiveness and physical damage caused by psychoactive prescriptions.

Citing fifteen years of research and meta-analysis of numerous studies, Kirsch reveals psychiatric drugs to be only slightly more effective than placebos.  Carlat unveils the collusion between psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies and outlines how the profession should be reformed. Whitaker questions why the number of disabled mentally ill in the United States has tripled over the past two decades, in spite of presumed “improved” treatment with psychiatric medications.   He details the harm drugs cause and charts how the incidence of mental illness has risen in tandem with their use.

Yet none of the three propose what might replace psychiatric drug treatment.  Although effective holistic protocols have been used for over 50 years, they are not taught in medical schools or covered by insurance.


How Troubled Children Might be Safely Treated

During his 30-year career directing a research facility, a mental health clinic, and working with over 30,000 patients, William J. Walsh, PhD, developed effective, drug-free, biochemical protocols for treating patients with behavioral disorders, ADHD, autism, depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Walsh’s methods evolved from his research and long collaboration with two other pioneers credited with developing effective drug-free treatment for schizophrenia patients in the 1970s and 1980s:  Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, FRCP(C), and Carl C. Pfeiffer, MD, PhD.  In a new book aimed at medical practitioners, Nutrient Power, Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain, Walsh offers an overview of effective biochemical processes for unraveling and resolving the causes of any mental disorder currently in use.

Author Gracelyn Guyol, ended personal bipolar symptoms in 2002 using Walsh’s approach.  Her first book, written for patients, Healing Depression & Bipolar Disorder Without Drugs, lead to her delivering 7-hour continuing education seminars for medical practitioners.  In 2010, she wrote a simple, concise consumer guide, Who’s Crazy Here?,featuring non-drug steps to recovery for nine mental disorders.  In 2012, Guyol produced a series of 13 educational 55-minute DVDs, “Restoring Health Holistically,” six of which discuss various holistic options for treating mental disorders.

A free e-book for consumers, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments in Psychiatry, covers the most common causes of mental disorders and drug-free solutions.  Authored by alternative mental health doctors, researchers, and leaders, it is available online from Flying Publisher.

Inflammation’s Role in Serious Illness

How is Inflammation Related to Mental Illness?

by Gracelyn Guyol

Anne’s arthritic shoulder pain prevented her from sleeping on either side at night.  Her father’s shoulder joints had calcified following years of inflammation.  Imagine Anne’s surprise when her pain ended just six weeks after adopting a holistic, drug-free treatment.

Pain, swelling, and heat of inflammation are crucial signals attracting the body’s teams to repair injured tissue.  Yet chronic inflammation wreaks havoc and contributes to serious diseases.

A survey of 3 million people revealed 50% now use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) beyond 30 days.  Chronic inflammation can result from cancers, heart problems, asthma, lupus, bone infections, even allergies, anything that triggers a perpetual immune response.  Inflammation in the brain is a factor in mental disorders.  It also alters the immune system in ways suggesting it has a role in type 2 diabetes.

How can you curtail inflammation?  Instead of risking gastrointestinal bleeding or other effects from NSAIDs, holistic medical practitioners prescribe these solutions.

Improved Diet.  Foods dominating the American diet result in excessive production of arachidonic acid that fuels an inflammatory cascade.  Avoid red meats, processed foods, fried or hydrogenated fats, sugar, caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and produce sprayed with pesticides.   Eat poultry, eggs, fish, soy, tree nuts, peas, beans, 5-9 organic vegetables (for vitamins and minerals) and 2-3 whole fruits (for anti-oxidants) daily.  Use cold pressed olive or nut oils.  Consider lab testing for antibodies to wheat and dairy, common undiagnosed food allergies.

Antioxidants.  Free radicals are made by the body during normal metabolism, energy production, and exercise.  Antioxidants combat free-radicals, reduce inflammation, and slow aging.  Holistic practitioners recommend a combination of antioxidant sources:  fresh fruits and supplements of vitamins C, A, and E, curcummin, resveratrol, green tea, quercetin, astaxanthin, alpha lipoic acid, or glutathione.  The body can make some internal enzymatic antioxidants but requires traces of copper, zinc, manganese, and iron for the process.

Take a daily vitamin and mineral supplement to assure all vital nutrients are available to fuel enzymatic and cellular functions.  Look for a brand containing 200 mcg of selenium, a potent antiviral and antioxidant.  In addition, take 4000 IU of vitamin D3 and 2,000 mg of anti-inflammatory Omega 3 essential fatty acids.

Exercise causes free radicals, yet moderate amounts improve the body’s capacity to produce antioxidants.  Seek balance, not extremes.

Avoid environmental toxins, like chemicals and pesticides, cigarette smoke, pharmaceutical drugs causing inflammation, manmade radiation, and excessive sun exposure.


Gracelyn's Anti-inflammatory Diet

Specific foods cause the body to create arachidonic acid, which increases inflammation that contributes to mental disorders, tumor growth, arthritis, and many other degenerative diseases.  This diet is recommended by many naturopathic doctors to lower production of arachidonic acid and inflammation.


  • Red meat
  • Fried foods, saturated fats, transfats/hydrogenated oils
  • Sugar, artificial sweeteners
  • Refined foods, white flours and white rice
  • Dairy products
  • Wheat products such as pasta, bread, cereals
  • Peanuts or peanut oil
  • Soft drinks, sweetened juices
  • Coffee, black tea, colas, and chocolate
  • Alchohol
  • Hormones, exposure to herbicides or pesticides.

Do Eat, Organic When Possible

  • Chicken, Turkey (“free range,” antibitoc & hormone free)
  • Fish (Limit to 2-3 servings a week due to mercury and other toxins)
  • Legumes such as peas, beans, lentils
  • Soy products (tofu, tempeh, cheese) 2-3x/week only
  • Eggs, organic and hormone free only
  • 2-3 fruits a day of differing colors
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Essential Fatty Acids, especially Omega-3s and 9s
  • Small quantities of “good” oils such as olive, canola, walnut; none highly heated by frying
  • Filtered water, herbal teas, green tea, vegetable juices, diluted unsweetened fruit juices


Three small meals and two healthy snacks a day will help keep blood sugar, mood, and energy levels steady. Protein is the primary fuel for cellular replacement and repair (too much contributes to osteoporosis).  Carbohydrates provide sustained energy.  Eat small servings of gluten-free whole grains with meals or you’ll feel hungry frequently.  Enjoy nutrient-rich foods for snacks, but not more than once every 2-3 hours.  Each time you put something in your mouth (even a tiny candy), the body releases insulin, the “hunger hormone.”  Thus, constant snacking increases hunger.

Best Natural Antidepressants: Fish Oil, Vitamin D, Daily Exercise

What are the Best Natural Antidepressants?

by Gracelyn Guyol

Fish oils, vitamin D, and daily exercise are three remedies that consistently reduce depression by addressing common undiagnosed physical causes. All are scientifically proven yet so inexpensive they are seldom recommended by a medical industry focused on profits.  Patients suffering from mild seasonal to clinical depression should try these first.  Here’s why.

Omega 3 essential fatty acids, are “essential” for brain health, yet the body cannot make them.  Cold water fish and fish oil sources have the most therapeutic benefits, but Omega 3s are also found in walnuts, flax and chia seeds, dark leafy greens, seaweed, marine vegetables, and the 9th most common weed in the world, purslane.

Depression may simply be due to a deficiency of these essential fats or from an overload of “stiff” trans- and hydrogenated fats dominating Western diets.  The brain is 60% fat by weight, and fats eaten are raw materials used for constructing cell membranes, the “envelope” protecting cells and by which they communicate.   Magnetic resonance imaging shows depressed people have stiffer cell membranes that reduce both brain speed and responsiveness.

Groundbreaking clinical trials with bipolar patients directed by Andrew Stoll, MD, and a decade of research that followed, have made fish oil supplements standard treatment for all mental disorders, from autism to Alzheimers.  Holistic medical practitioners commonly prescribe three daily grams (3,000 mg) of natural fish oils for depression, at a monthly cost of $40-60.

Vitamin D deficiency is another contributing cause of depression and reduced immune function.  Natural vitamin D3 is produced when skin is exposed to the ultraviolet band (UVB) in sunshine.  According to the Vitamin D Council, several factors impact how much D is produced:

  • Angle of sun’s rays.  If your shadow is longer than you are tall, little D is being made.
  • Skin color.  People with fair skin need only 15 minutes of exposure; those with dark skin need up to six times longer.
  • Amount of skin exposed.  Forty percent of a body’s surface should be exposed, primarily the torso.
  • Age.  Vitamin D production takes four times longer for people over 60 and under 20.
  • Sunscreens 8 and above block 95% of production.
  • Cloud cover and air pollution can absorb UVB; glass blocks it totally.


Researchers in England found vitamin D deficiency associated with late-life depression in northern latitudes.  The farther from the equator, the less UVB received. Year-around ultra-violet light is present at US latitudes of zero to 35 degrees, meaning southern California and states from Arizona to North Carolina. At 40 degrees latitude, a cross-country band from Oregon through Nebraska, Chicago, and Pennsylvania, little is available November-March. Above 50 degrees latitude, in Alaska and most of Canada, has no UVB exposure October to early April.

University of Toronto studies shows vitamin D3 supplements are needed at doses above 4,000 IU/day (costing around $18 a month) to reach ideal serum levels of 50-70 ng/ml. Tanning beds elevate D levels quickly, but should not be used to the point skin turns pink or becomes “sunburned.”

Daily exercise is the quickest, least expensive, temporary antidepressant available.  Physical movement reduces stress hormones, improves digestion, and aids deep sleep required for mental health.  The only catch is it has to be done regularly.

A survey of 50,000 women by Harvard School of Public Health found those who exercise less and watch more television had a 20% higher risk of being depressed.  A 2010 meta-analysis of 16 clinical trials revealed regular exercise resulted in lower depressive scores.  An earlier 1997 meta-analytic review, using only clinically depressed subjects, found exercise combined with individual psychotherapy or exercise with drug therapy produced the largest effects.  Yet results were not significantly different from that produced by exercise alone, and better yet, exercise is free.

Psychiatric Drug Effectiveness Debate Heats Up

What Should Patients Use for Treatment Instead of Drugs?

by Gracelyn Guyol

Three new books critiqued in the New York Review of Books by Marcia Angell, MD, former Editor in Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, outline the failure and dangers of psychiatric drug treatment.  Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic, psychologist Irving Kirsch’s The Emperor’s New Drugs, and psychiatrist Daniel Carlat’s Unhinged, The Trouble With Psychiatry, all present differing perspectives.  All three agree on the ineffectiveness and health damage caused by psychoactive prescriptions.

Meta-analysis of numerous studies cited in the books show psychiatric drugs to be only slightly more effective than placebos. Worse yet, researcher Nancy Andreasen’s work reveals antipsychotic drug use is associated with brain shrinkage, and severity is directly related to dose and length of use. Award -winning author Robert Whitaker contends all psychiatric drugs create undocumented harm, charting how the incidence of mental illness has risen in tandem with psychoactive prescription drug use over decades.

Connecticut author Gracelyn Guyol, a recovered bipolar patient since 2002, applauds these works yet notes vital information remains missing from this debate:  What should patients use instead of drugs?  In a free, public service lecture on Sunday, September 18, 2011, 5-7 pm,  at First Congregational Church in New London, CT, Guyol will discuss non-drug options developed by pioneering medical practitioners over the past 50 years.

Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, psychiatrist at a Canadian mental hospital in the 1960s, began using specific vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to correct four common genetic errors and other biological causes found among residents, an approach called Orthomolecular (meaning “right” or “correct” molecule) Medicine.  Even patients with severe symptoms got better, eventually enabling 75% of his schizophrenic patients to attend school, hold jobs, and enjoy “normal” lives, something unheard of on psychiatric medications.

Hoffer’s method was expanded and refined by psychiatrist Carl Pfeiffer, MD, PhD, violent behavior researcher William Walsh, PhD, and others.  Orthomolecular practitioners around the world who help patients dramatically reduce or eliminate psychiatric symptoms now include naturopathic doctors as well as some medical doctors, psychologists, and nutritionists.

Psychiatric drug costs are unsustainable given today’s economic reality—for individuals as well as state and federal programs.  The good news is it cost Guyol under $3,000 (including airfare to an Orthomolecular clinic) to find solutions that ended her bipolar mood swings.  Although a princely out-of-pocket sum for many patients, it is small change compared to what is spent on psychiatric prescriptions ranging from $260 to $1,000 per person each month and average hospitalization costs of $11,000 for a single bipolar episode when multiple episodes in a year are common.

“Lab tests revealed I had two of four genetic errors that contribute to most mental disorders,” Guyol continues. “Taking high doses of specific vitamins, minerals, and amino acids ended my mania in just four months.  Monthly supplements now cost me $150.”  Why are most doctors unaware of these inexpensive options?  “Natural molecules cannot be patented to assure billions in medical industry profits,” she explains.

“Since half of mental patients do not improve on psychiatric medications, you could say half the $58 billion spent on US mental health care in 2006 was a waste—of tax dollars and human lives,” says Guyol.  “Orthomolecular medicine could save taxpayers billions next year and every year thereafter.  Even better, it offers the hope for recovery to millions who are chronically ill, often unemployed, living on disability, or incarcerated.  It will be interesting to see whether Congress seriously explores these options or allows the pharmaceutical industry to keep exploiting the mentally ill at taxpayers’ expense.”

Multi Mineral/Vitamin Guidelines for Adults

Why Take Natural Supplements?

by Gracelyn Guyol

You’ve no doubt heard conventionally trained doctors say vitamins and minerals just make “expensive urine.”  Yet 50% of Americans take them because they feel better, more energetic when they do.   Holistic practitioners notice that patient recovery from illness is improved by taking nutrients.  What levels and the best forms are hotly debated and individual needs vary widely.  Nevertheless, people always ask me what they should look for, so here are guidelines for adults:

Nutrient                                              Levels or Range

Vitamin A (mixed carotenoids)          10-15,000 IU

Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol)          400 IU

Vitamin B1 (thiamine)                         100-125 mg

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)                       50-75 mg

Vitamin B3 (niacin or niacinamide)   100 mg

Vitamin B5 (panthothenate)              400 mg

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)                     50-100 mg

Vitamin B9 (folic acid)                        800 mcg

Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin)         1000 mcg

Biotin                                                  800 mcg

Iodine (potassium iodide)                  150-200 mcg

Zinc (picolinate or true chelate)        15-30 mg

Selenium (selenomethionine)            *200 mcg

Copper (glycinate)                              2-3 mg

Manganese (aspartate)                       10 mg

Chromium (polynicotinate)                 *200 mcg

Potassium (aspartate)                          100 mg

Molybdenum (aspartate)                     100 mcg

Boron (glycinate)                                 2 mg

Vanadium (aspartate)                          200 mcg

Iron                                                       should only be taken if lab tests show a deficiency

*This level of selenium and chromium are VIP.  Selenium is a potent antioxidant and antiviral; chromium helps stabilize blood sugar (and mood) after 6-12 months use.

Individual Daily Additions:

Equally important daily nutrients that cannot be included in multi-vitamins at adequate levels (or they would be too big to swallow) include:

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)                    3-5000 mg

Calcium (citrate)                                  1000 mg

Magnesium (citrate or true chelate)   4-800 mg

Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids          1,000 to 3,000 mg (VIP for brain/mood health)

Vitamin D3                                           2-4000 IU (varies with sun exposure)