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Ten years ago, teacher and artist Lisa Pugh was depressed, housebound, in constant pain and could only get up the stairs by crawling. She'd just been given a diagnosis of fibromyalgia—after suffering on-and-off with aches and pains, severe fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for nearly two decades—and was told by her doctor that she'd only get worse.
On Christmas day, 1956, in Stolberg, Germany, a baby girl was born with no ears. Her father was a chemist at the company Chemie Grünenthal, and his wife had taken samples of the company's sedative drug, Distaval, which were handed out to employees. Distaval—containing the active ingredient thalidomide—was sold over-the-counter as a remedy for a variety of ailments, including morning sickness. No one realized at the time that this baby would be the first of thousands to suffer tragic deformities and disabilities from the drug.
People who carry out mass shootings are often suspected of being on antidepressants—but new research suggests that over-the-counter painkillers could also be playing a part