Normal Topic Tricyclic Antidepressants and Polygraph (Read 5589 times)
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Tricyclic Antidepressants and Polygraph
Nov 2nd, 2016 at 4:59am
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I'm required to take a bi-annual polygraph as a result of a parole condition.  I recently took my second polygraph and failed on two questions.  I'm trying to figure out why.  The two questions are:
1) Within the past 6 months, have you viewed x-rated material?
2) Within the past 6 months, have you used illegal substances?

I answered "no" to both of them and that's the truth.  I am a fairly squared away guy (Navy Veteran) who made a poor choice 6 years ago and is now on parole for it.  As a condition of my parole, I urine test once a week at a program and once a month at the parole office with results always returning back negative for illegal substance use.  I don't use anything illegal (or legal for that matter).  Note: My criminal offense was not drug related, either.  Still, the urine test clearly indicates that I'm being honest and that I'm not using drugs. Why would poly conflict?

The same for the x-rated material.  I haven't seen anything of the sort.  I'm a church going, god-fearing man who avoids pornography (I'm not judging those who don't follow my beliefs, just saying).  Why would poly give a result that I'm being dishonest?

This is what's bothering me, because I know what I've seen and done over past 6 months.  I know without any doubt that I was being honest, yet the poly came back that I was being dishonest. 

I recently started taking Nortriptyline, which is a tricyclic antidepressant.  I had to ramp up my dosage every week by 10mg until I hit 50mg.  I hit 50mg the week before the test.  I've been searching the internet for possible answers, because I'm baffled about it.  My parole agent isn't too happy about the results and neither is my therapist (assigned by parole).  My therapist stated that she was surprised at the results, because I'm very squared away and have myself together.  Not your typical "criminal" in any sort.  Does anyone have any sort of information regarding this particular class of drugs that I can read?  I'm looking for answers because it's bothering me.   

  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: Tricyclic Antidepressants and Polygraph
Reply #1 - Nov 5th, 2016 at 10:56am
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Does anyone have any sort of information regarding this particular class of drugs that I can read?


There's nothing in the polygraph literature about the effects of any kind of antidepressant drugs on polygraph outcomes. But one might surmise that the effect would be similar to their effect on the outcome of palm readings.

Polygraphy is a pseudoscience. The lie detection "tests" in use today were developed in the last century by interrogators including Leonarde Keeler, John Reid, and, most notably, the late Cleve Backster (a crackpot who believed that plants can read human thoughts).

It is quite common for truthful people to wrongly "fail" a lie detector "test." Attempting to determine why this happened in any particular case is kind of like trying to determine why a coin toss turned out tails rather than heads.

To better understand your polygraph experience, see our book, The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, which provides a thorough debunking of polygraphy (as well as tips on how to avoid another false positive outcome).
  

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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Adam Apeman
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Re: Tricyclic Antidepressants and Polygraph
Reply #2 - Nov 28th, 2016 at 7:38pm
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This makes me angry that the US government is using this pseudoscience as a condition of parole.  A polygraph test should be illegal for any use other than a parlor trick.
  
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Re: Tricyclic Antidepressants and Polygraph
Reply #3 - Nov 30th, 2016 at 2:43am
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Adam Apeman wrote on Nov 28th, 2016 at 7:38pm:
This makes me angry that the US government is using this pseudoscience as a condition of parole.  A polygraph test should be illegal for any use other than a parlor trick.


I'm glad I'm not alone Apeman.  It actually is illegal, we just don't have any leaders with the moral courage to do anything about it.  Using the polygraph as sole means to re-incarcerate someone, regardless of the terms of the parole, is false imprisonment.  I understand the polygraph can also be solely used to determine probable cause in Massachusetts.  Lets look at the Merriam-Webster definition of due process -  a judicial requirement that enacted laws may not contain provisions that result in the unfair, arbitrary, or unreasonable treatment of an individual —called also substantive due process.  It sure seems logical to me that to use something that is proven to be inaccurate to any degree as sole means for incarcerating or obtaining a warrant is unfair, arbitrary, or unreasonable treatment.  These polygraph examiners in law enforcement took an oath to support and defend the Constitution and the are wiping their a**es on it.  

         Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
         Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.

         Sir John Harrington    (1561-1612)
« Last Edit: Nov 30th, 2016 at 3:20am by Wandersmann »  
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Re: Tricyclic Antidepressants and Polygraph
Reply #4 - Dec 29th, 2016 at 4:30pm
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I didn't know Massachusetts accepted polygraph as probable cause.  I guess that's better than throwing a suspected witch into water to see if they float.
  
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Re: Tricyclic Antidepressants and Polygraph
Reply #5 - Dec 30th, 2016 at 1:14am
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phrend wrote on Dec 29th, 2016 at 4:30pm:
I didn't know Massachusetts accepted polygraph as probable cause.  I guess that's better than throwing a suspected witch into water to see if they float.


Actually, I think the logic behind each method is the same. I guess a suspected witch who could tread water would be accused of using countermeasures.  Maybe today's polygraph examiners are the same morons who ran the Salem Witch Trials and were caught in a time warp ?
  
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Tricyclic Antidepressants and Polygraph

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