Duck! and Gather

Full Stop! Retraction! It’s the SSRIs, Stupid

Posted on: February 17, 2008

Steven Kazmierczak is the latest infamous school shooter. This time, the campus police responded within minutes, thus keeping the body count down to a “low” 6.

The odd thing about this case is that Mr. Kazmierczak was not odd. He wasn’t an anti-social wierdo. He wasn’t one of those kids who made other people feel uncomfortable (e.g. Mr. Cho).

On the contrary, Mr. Kazmierczak is universally described as having been kind, considerate, accomplished, highly intelligent, warm, raised by a stable loving family, etc, etc.

This case caught my interest due to this obvious non sequitur (i.e. wonderful guy goes psycho).

Over the past four years, I’ve cited the school-shooting epidemic as part of a larger social pathology that includes serial killings, “going postal”, abortion as birth control, and the like. I’ve lumped all of these pathologies together as natural symptoms of a diseased, irresponsible, collapsing society.

That is, I’ve argued that our post-modern oil-based life within a country that has virtually no cultural glue binding us together has no precedent in recorded history, and is entirely unsustainable. The human animal is not meant to live the way we live today in America, where:

  • none of us is responsible for the resources that keep us alive (e.g. food, water, health-care, shelter, heating, etc.) and we don’t even know the people who produce them, and
  • we have no culture — no national food, beliefs, myths, heroes, etc. — that binds us together (indeed the only common trait shared by any two randomly chosen Americans is the belief that each is free — i.e. none of us is necessarily bound to anyone else)

I believe that the above conditions make America ripe for the greatest collapse in modern history. I believe that we are currently in the final preliminary days of “normalcy”. And in these “normal” days, guys like Steven Kazmierczak are a dime a dozen.

But, actually, Steven Kazmierczak was not dime a dozen. Not that nice, well-raised, bright, promising, etc., etc., kid. No, there has to be something else there beyond the broader national unraveling dynamic.

Dig a little on the Internet, and the answer is obvious: It’s the SSRIs, stupid.

Strange that I missed that angle until just now. For four years on this site, Big Pharma has served as my “poster child” of the sort of old corporate industry that emerged 50+ years ago as a blindingly useful industry. But over the decades, and up through today, that industry has transformed itself into a deadly scourge that is killing us.

I won’t bore you now with examples of the last statement (read, e.g., my About page) — other than to point you to the link above for one example. Click it and dive in.

The biggest “story” of the Steven Kazmierczak incident is the story told by this link– a story that no major media is yet touching. None of them. That silence tells you all you need to know about the major media.

14 Responses to "Full Stop! Retraction! It’s the SSRIs, Stupid"

The story not being told is that Kazmierczak was molested as a Roman Catholic altarboy, most likely at Queen of the Rosary Catholic Church in Elk Grove Village. All an investigator need do is find the list of altarboys before its sent to the Memory Hole.

Thanks Truthsayer. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if what you say is true. Kazmierczak was taking SSRIs to treat chronic depression and anxiety. What the hell could be causing a promising 27-year-old to have chronic depression and anxiety? My guess would be something nasty from his childhood. What you cite would fit the bill perfectly. And if that’s the case, then the hanging question that won’t be addressed in the major media is: Given his troubled childhood and his resulting adult depression/anxiety, were there remedies he could have pursued other than SSRIs?

Very Interesting blog.

There are many thoughts about SSRIs. Going cold turkey off SSRIs is dangerous and full of unpleasant symtoms for most people. So was the immediate withdrawal the trigger? He had been on Prozaac for many years. I find it difficult to believe that the SSRIs were the trigger. His girlfriend said he wasn’t acing “erractic” when he went off his meds.

Even though I am not an SSRI fan, I don’t believe the med was the problem.

I believe that chronic unhealthy influences on a perpetual basis that escalate that are thought to be acceptable are what help people come to a place of snapping: the horror flick tatoo, the guns, etc. Think about it. It’s about congruency. This kid stood for social justice and worked in the corrections arena. Then he has guns (and he isn’t a hunter) and a serial killer tatoo on his body? This is incongruent.

I think it has less to do with the meds, then continually living life in an incongruent way. He was suppose to have a stable childhood. Maybe what Truthsayer is saying is true.

But lots of people get molested at a young age, and don’t premeditively plan a serial killing.

I think it’s less to do with the meds or withdrawal from the meds (since he has had 2 other guns in his home for the last 2 years), than it does with not dealing with childhood trauma in a solid and helpful way. I believe he tried (since he graduated with a social justice degree), but healing is more than getting a degree.

His girlfriend said that he was the kindest person you ever wanted to meet. This is incongruent with his actions. She also said that one act does not define your entire life. This may be true if it were suicide only, but when homicide enters the picture, this is the way he will be defined.

This is definately a symptom of a very, very sick society.

There is personal responsibility and then there is responsibility as a whole. We must start saying yes to healing and no to crap, both personal and societally.

Thanks Kathy. Very interesting take. Re the girlfriend, I’d take what she said with a bit of grain of salt. Realize that the “erratic” comment about the kid originally came from the girlfriend to the police on the day of the event (i.e. her unprepared comments). Three days later, in a CNN interview, she said he wasn’t acting erratic, just a little more “annoyed” than unusual.

Why would she change her story? Obvious answer: to absolve herself of any blame. Think about it: she was his “girlfriend” who followed him from NIU to IU, and lived with him. But they weren’t ‘romantically involved’. Yet you read her CNN comments and you realize that she was the most intimate friend of this guy. What was going on there? I’ll bet anything that the “girlfriend” harbors more than a little guilt about how everything turned out.

Back on the SSRIs, it seems the kid stopped them cold turkey two to three weeks ago. Is it possible in your experience that multiple years of taking SSRIs followed by stopping taking them suddenly could produce a dangerous self-and-or-other destructive mindset that could last 2-3 weeks?

Also, did you click that link? Do you find it interesting that so many of these “infamous” school shooters were on SSRIs? Is that just a random data point? I don’t know myself, I just find that data to be highly suspicious.

Consider the SSRI morning commercials targeted to sad women: 15 seconds of the 30-second commercial is devoted to listing many side-effects. But I’ve never heard such a commercial that included self- and/or other- destructive impulses as one of the possible side effects.

Kathy, also on your “lots of people get molested but don’t grow up to be serial killers” comments, I think that comment captures the huge blind-spot of America. America can’t seem to grok the possibility that the same toxin given to you, me, and Truthsayer could produce no symptoms in Truthsayer, depression in you, and extreme violence in me.

Sure, most molested people don’t grow up to be killers. But in the next breath I’d bet almost no molested children grow up with no pathology whatsoever — where “pathology” can mean anything from obesity, to sexual dysfunction, to degenerative disease, to mania, etc., etc. But only the killers make the national news.

Hey man, I can’t edit all my typos in the last reply. I was typing a million miles an hour.

Anyway, what I was trying to say in the above, is that I think perhaps SSRIs (or their immediate withdrawal) played a part in this guy snapping. But a small, small part.

Could a severe withdrawal off meds cause an apparently caring loving kind honors student to go on a killing spree?

I doubt it.

Like I said above, I believe it is living an incongruent life over years that creates this behaviour. And the further and further the incongruence, the more difficult to be sane.

I too am interested in this story because of that fact. How many serial killers that blow up high school/university students have loving girlfriends that go on CNN saying that he was kind and would never hurt anyone? This is the first to my recollection.

That’s why this story is so fascinating. It is a reflection of the “culture” or “non-culture” of American society. It is a reflection of an “anything goes” society that has lost respect for itself, and placed “freedom” over common decency, connection and respect.

This story was weird.

What I found even more weird. Was the story of Latina Williams (a nursing student in Baton Rounge) who killed 2 classmates and then herself. Typically, you don’t hear of females doing these kinds of things.

I don’t get the killing other people thing. If people are so anxious/fearful/mad/depressed, then why not just do the suicide thing? Why take others down too? Especially when it’s predmeditated.

What it is is a lack of respect for life, for self and for others.

I just don’t get the killing others part of this. Especially when you stand for social justice and especially when you are described as kind and caring.


Well said! All I can say is ya gotta live in America for awhile, but also have lived in other countries, to see the following strange thing about America: here, when one has a problem (e.g. me, others, my family, my country, whatever), the solution is never to look inside yourself first for solutions, but rather to look only outside yourself, identify the “culprit”, “push” it, and just keep pushing until it moves. Serial killers, going postal, and school shooters are just the extreme form of this deep societal dynamic.

I could flip all the way over now to American finance and show you the same dynamic. “Push, keep pushing, eventually, the problem will resolve.” Next we could go to Iraq. Then over to “health” care. Then to these political primaries. It doesn’t matter the domain. The dominant meme is “push and push harder if that doesn’t work.”

When it has become obvious to one of us that no more pushing will help, it doesn’t take long for that person to become yet another Chicken Little about America’s future.

Interesting exchange.

I’ve rethought my position. Perhaps cold turkey withdrawal could be “the straw the broke the camels back”. Especially if I entertained the notion that molestion manifests in different patholgies: homicide, suicide, apathy, whatever.

I’ve had lots of patient’s (against my advice), go cold turkey off SSRIs, and have wicked withdrawals. Never violent tendencies (to others) though. Even when some wean off, side effects are pretty tough.

But here’s the thing I don’t get.

So the guy says to himself, shit, I’m not taking that crap anymore (SSRIs). And during those 2 – 3 weeks as he was having premeditative thoughts, don’t you think a “loving, caring, kind” guy, would go, shit, I’m thinking about blowing people up. Better gets back on those meds. We know he was intelligent. I don’t get that.

This is what I think happened. He went off the meds, and there was some kind of subtance abuse (illegal drugs) during that time he went cold turkey. I could see someone who is puportedly described as “caring and wouldn’t hurt anyone” do that under those conditions.

I couldn’t find the source of where you thought he and his girlfriend weren’t romantically involved.

My understanding is that they were living together in the last year.

What I thought was weird, was that she knew that there were 2 guns in the house over the last 2 years and it didn’t flinch her. Maybe that’s the norm in America. I don’t know. Where people have guns. I mean no one has guns in their home in Canada unless they’re hunters more or less.

I guess what makes this story “scary”, is that if a kid like this could do it, we all are capable. But that’s what self-responsibility is all about. Understanding that we are all capable of doing the greatest good and greatest harm. And that when we know that it is our responsibility alone (with the help and support of loved ones), that the walk we walk and the talk we talk have everything to do with what makes us tick, – and only then, do I think that the scales will tip toward good instead of harm.

I think you’re exactly right. Looking outside the self and pushing and pushing harder, leads to dysfunction. When we start looking inside, accepting what is there, and believe that change starts with ourselves first, – there will be much less harm in the world.

Remember that song: “Let Peace Begin With Me”. That’s where it starts.

That’s the thing. Teaching our children to take responsibility for all that they do and all that they think. And on the other hand, teaching our children to allow others to take responsibility for what they do (not take it on).

I think that America would be the most powerful nation on earth if self-responsibility were more important (or as important) as freedom was.

Well, all I can say, is that I get my news from Duck and Gather.

I don’t read the newspapers (other than our own local one that has the local sports events, and community news), don’t watch news on T.V., don’t check the news on the internet, so I’m pretty much ignorant to what happens in the world.

I was interested in this story because of the “intimate girlfriend” angle. I find it utterly fascinating that someone who clearly cares about the killer (watch the CNN video where she describes him as a “victim too” and cries because she misses him), and that he clearly cares about her (see his Valentines day card to her), would do this.

I guess I always had this idea that people who did these kinds of things were loners, friendless, unloved and ostracized.


Somone actually love and cared about this guy (other than his parents), so that makes it frickin’ strange.

It all comes back to self-responsibility. No matter how much you are loved and cared about. No matter how much you are supported, in the end, it all rests on yourself.

A final point. I’m definately not a holy roller by any stretch. But I do believe in God and Christ and often find comfort in my beliefs surrounding these “fellas”.

I wonder if this kid abandoned religion completely after his (possible) molestation? I wonder if people who are involved in a “healthy Christian” environment – i.e. respect for life, caring for others, do onto others, etc. – have ever been serial killers.

I would bet no. But I don’t know.

Okay, final comment. So let’s take the position that SSRIs played a significant role in this guy’s killing spree.

Does it mean that SSRIs were his saving grace? (i.e. he wasn’t violent when taking them and he would have killed people earlier if he was never on them? aside: it was reported that in his earlier years he was violent when he was off them). So he should have been on them permanently?


Does it mean that SSRIs were his scourge? (i.e. that if he never took them in the first place, the best that would have happened would have been chronic anxiety/depression, and the worst, suicide). So he should have never taken them period?


Does it mean that SSRIs were everyone’s scourge? (i.e. immmediate withdrawal was the trigger for the carnage, not the depression/anxiety itself). So he should have seen a medical professional who would have treated him as a whole, and helped him wean off of the meds safely with proper nutritive brain chemical support.

I’ll definately be following this story.

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. I’m addicted to this blog today.

Okay. This guy send his girlfriend in the mail, “The AntiChrist” by Nietzsche. Well I had never heard of this author. I read him on Wikipedia. Strange. I think that Nietzsche is an “8”. So this guy (who we think may have been molested by a trusted member of the Christian religion), is sending his girlfriend this clearly rebellious Christian material. I mean, if you take to heart what this author is saying, and start believing this shit, man …. you could do some weird stuff. Apparently Nietzsche became insane after he wrote the book. (In my humble opinion, he was off his rocker when he was writing the book).

I now think that this Steve guy was misdiagnosed. I think he was schizophrenic and never received the proper meds. That’s my take on this story after all I’ve read.

I dunno. We leave in a strange world on a strange planet.

Tomorrow I think I’ll just go back to my ignorance, cooking all my meals from scratch and just playing pick-up morning basketball. Phew!!!

Yeah, schizophrenia was my first guess. I suspect many if not most of these school shooters are Enneagram Fives — the type that goes schizophrenic when insane.

BTW — thanks for all of the great comments. I’ll respond when my work day lets up.

Thanks for all the comments Kathy. Very interesting takes. Your reason for interest in this case is the same as mine. What psycho has a nice, surprised girlfriend, and is universally said to have been nice, etc.? Four days after the event, the media has gone through this kid’s history with a toothpick looking for any signs of violence toward others. From what I read today, the worst days of this guy’s life prior to Thursday don’t look any worse than the worst days of probably 90% of Americans. I mean, everybody has “really bad” days now and then, and if the media put them altogether in one condensed story, anybody would look wacko. But having read this sort of stuff for this kid, I still don’t see a straight path from those worst days of his to what he did on Thursday. This distinguishes him from Cho of Vignia Tech last year. You read about that guy’s life and the deadly conclusion of it fits the rest of the story. Not so with Kazmierczak. Hence the SSRI angle.

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for the money has gone too far

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