Experts Reveal Whether Side Effects Of Valium Could Be Why Stephen Paddock Carried Out The Las Vegas Mass Shooting

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Stephen Paddock
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Experts weigh in.

Why?

That's the first question after a mass shooting: Why did this happen? 

Now that the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. modern history took place only days ago in Las Vegas, we, as a nation, crave one thing: a motive.

What could have inspired this man to kill 58 human beings and injure more than 400 others?

As many — including the FBI — have said, the shooter Stephen Paddock doesn't fit the "profile." He's double the age of the average shooter, no past history of mental illness or criminality ... so what's the deal?

Well, actress (and hard-core Scientologist) Kirstie Alley thinks the answer is psychiatric drugs. Keep in mind that part of practicing Scientology's beliefs is to avoid any type of psychiatric medication.

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A look back at Tom Cruise's comments after Brooke Shields talked about her post-partum depression will give you insight into how much Scientologists are against medication.

It was revealed that in June of 2017, Stephen Paddock was prescribed Valium for anxiety. News outlets are now linking the medication to the shooting, claiming that marksmen use Valium to calm themselves down to get a better shot.

According to Drugs.com:

Valium (diazepam) is a benzodiazepine. Diazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety.

Valium is used to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, or muscle spasms.

Valium is sometimes used with other medications to treat seizures.

For the sake of transparency, side effects DO include thoughts of suicide or self-harm.

But guess what? So does Singulair, a medication that treats asthma. 

I'm going to reveal a couple of truths about myself. Not because I'm trying to make this senseless tragedy about me, but because I want to be open and honest about psychiatric drugs.

Seroquel has saved my life.

Lexapro has saved my life.

Klonopin (much like Valium) has saved my life.

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All 3 of which have side effects that include change in mood, or suicidal thoughts. But I have not killed anyone.

I've even waited 18 hours for my husband to get home just to kill a tiny bug. I just don't have an underlying homicidal tendency in me.

In order to kill innocent people, you need to have some issues laying low under the surface. A drug that's supposed to help you can and will sometimes have the opposite effect. However, it's not the direct cause!

We reached out to two mental health professionals, psychotherapist Vincent Fitzgerald, LCSW who practices out of New Jersey and Nancy Brooks, M.S., PsyD from Pennsylvania to find out if Valium could be the direct cause of this massacre.

Fitzgerald said:

"It borders on irresponsibility to assume any one variable is to blame for such behavior, but we often need a scapegoat to help us cope. Although Paddock took a psychoactive drug that is associated with aggression, it doesn't mean it is linked to such an obviously premeditated plan. It is more likely his actions are the result of several variables such as genetic predisposition, stressors, drugs, etc."

Brooks had a similar response:

"Valium would not cause a person to commit murder.  What happened in Las Vegas was a result of a person’s thoughts, feeling, and behavior which resulted in a cognitive distortion.  He was probably prescribed Valium to address whatever he was feeling.  He developed a set of beleifs that lead him to commit this act.  There is nothing about Valium that could possibly cause a person to develop a plan and carry it out over the course of at least, several weeks.  There is not drug interaction that could cause this.  His actions were based on his choices."

The festival was packed with almost 22,000 people, 58 were killed, another 489 were injured, and the rest are still reeling from the indescribable nightmare of that night.

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I understand that we need a way to cope and heal, but blaming a drug that's helped so many people only hurts those people.

Mental health and the medication associated with it already has such a strong stigma. 

I grew up thinking that taking anti-depressants meant you were "crazy." No, it means you are strong enough to know that you need help.

We still don't know why Paddock was prescribed Valium. We still don't have a clear motive. But what we do have are people in need of our help during this trying time.

Let's not jump on any one thing. Let the detectives do their work. Let those with mental illness feel safe enough to admit they are taking prescription drugs without being made to feel like they are the next shooter. 

But most of all, let's love one another. 

This world needs it.

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