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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Depression: Cases Number 1, 2 and 3




Over the next couple of weeks I am going to focus on depression, moreover, on media reports of bizarre behavior by people who have been diagnosed with depression. First it's important to understand how depression is defined.


Definition of depression according the National Health Service [NHS] in the UK [1]

Psychological symptoms include:


  • continuous low mood or sadness
  • feeling hopeless and helpless
  • having low self-esteem 
  • feeling tearful
  • feeling guilt-ridden
  • feeling irritable and intolerant of others 
  • having no motivation or interest in things
  • finding it difficult to make decisions
  • not getting any enjoyment out of life
  • feeling anxious or worried 
  • having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself


Social symptoms include:


  • not doing well at work
  • taking part in fewer social activities and avoiding contact with friends
  • neglecting your hobbies and interests
  • having difficulties in your home and family life


Question I'm putting out is simple really. Given that all the above are actually symptoms of depression how do depressed people, who remember, take part in fewer activities, have no motivation or interest in things, have continuous low moods and sadness, get from that to the following...

Case # 1

October 16, 2003 A Boonville, Ind., man remained in recovery Wednesday after shooting himself in the leg on Victoria National Golf Course, officials reported. The 21-year-old man, who police refused to identify during their investigation, is believed to have fired the shots between midnight Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday. He also allegedly stole a golf cart, and shot one of the greens multiple times. [2]

Question: How does someone who remember, takes part in fewer activities, have no motivation or interest in things, have continuous low moods and sadness, all of a sudden feel the urge to travel to a golf course, steal a golf cart then start randomly shooting?

Another part of the story reads:

"We got a call about (the golf cart), and a deputy went to investigate it," said Warrick County Sheriff Marvin Heilman. "Apparently, someone at the golf course stole a golf cart and wrecked it against a tree, (and) they found several areas of one of the greens had been damaged by gunshots." On the green, deputies also found erratic tracks from a golf cart and shells from several different guns. All of those guns - a shotgun and three handguns, a .357 Magnum, a 9mm and a .22-caliber - allegedly belonged to the shooter's family, Heilman said. All were purchased legally. "Shortly after (that run), the sheriff's office received a call from St. Mary's, where a subject was being treated for multiple gunshot wounds to his legs," Heilman said. "There is some reason to believe from the investigation that those wounds were self-inflicted." Deputies believe that, as he shot up the green, the suspect also put three shots into his leg, Heilman said. He then made his way home, where his mother drove him to the hospital, officials said. 

There is no mention in the NHS symptoms of depression 'checker' of an impulsive urge to steal golf carts then drive them erratically around a golf course, when that golf course was closed to the public. Furthermore, there is no mention in the NHS symptoms of depression 'checker' that a sign of depression is someone who feels the sudden need to shoot at a green on a golf course.

The 21 year old's mother is also quoted in the article:

She later told investigators her son had been taking medication for depression, which may have contributed to Sunday's incident.


Given that none of the above behavior, apart from self-harm, is included in the NHS checklist could we take it that the medication made the 21 year old carry out these random bizarre acts?



Case # 2

November 4, 2011

A man who stole shopping and milk trolleys has been slapped with a community service order.

Thomas Rainey was found to have a stash of shopping and milk trolleys worth £5,000 at his home in Stockport.

The retired council flagger, 52, denied he had taken the trolleys to sell them for scrap – claiming he used them to help his businesswoman ex-partner transfer goods from warehouses to her three shops.

And he blamed his hoarding behaviour on severe depression and diabetes, a court heard. [3]

Question: How does someone who remember, takes part in fewer activities, have no motivation or interest in things, have continuous low moods and sadness, all of a sudden feel the urge to steal 54 supermarket trolleys and stack them neatly in his backyard?

The newspaper article continues with...

In court, Rainey told the bench that he believed a change in his medication had affected his behaviour. Mrs Parrot added: “I also think his health and mental problems have had some effect on his behaviour."

I find it bizarre that Mrs Parrot would add that his mental health problems, which was 'depression' had some effect on his behaviour particularly when the NHS checklist does not mention random acts of stealing supermarket and milk trolleys... and stacking them neatly at ones home address. Mrs Parrot was Thomas Rainey's defence lawyer.

Given that none of the above behavior is included in the NHS checklist could we take it that the medication made Thomas Rainey carry out these random bizarre acts?


Case # 3

09 September 2009

A MAN who admitted running around the Waterside with an axe has been given a three month jail term suspended for three years.

Gary Keith Millar, 40, pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon on July 19, 2009.

A previous hearing, the court heard that police were called to the Bonds Street area to investigate reports of a man 'running round with an axe in an agitated state.

The 40-year-old went into his brother's house and family members were able to remove the top of the axe and give it to police. [4]

Question: How does someone who remember, takes part in fewer activities, have no motivation or interest in things, have continuous low moods and sadness, all of a sudden feel the urge to run around with an axe?

The article confirms Millar's diagnosis of depression with, "During sentencing at the City’s Magistrate’s Court, defence solicitor Maeliosa Barr said Millar was a “very vulnerable man” and suffered from depression."

Again, I find it bizarre that a defence lawyer would use her client's depression as an excuse particularly as there is no mention of randomly running around a waterside waving an axe in the NHS depression checklist.

The article also states the following:

"He realised that by not taking his medication he got himself into the difficulty he now faces."

I find this striking. Is he suggesting that his illness caused the axe incident, is he blaming the missing of a dose?

Again, running around with an axe is not part of the NHS symptom checker for depression so why would he think his medication was so important?

We all know that missing doses of antidepressant-type medications can cause a whole heap of bizarre patterns of behaviour. Why was this overlooked?

Could we take it that the medication, or sudden withdrawal from it, made Gary Keith Millar run around the waterside waving an axe?

If it can be proven that the above bizarre acts were caused by a reaction to the medication then surely we could go a step further and make claims that people who kill whilst on these medications for depression could also claim that it was a reaction to the medication? There is nothing more bizarre than a depressed person killing someone else, I mean, it's not even listed as a symptom is it?


More case reports coming soon.



Bob Fiddaman.





[1] Clinical depression - Symptoms
[2] Man shoots self in leg at golf course
[3] In the cart: Man from Stockport who stole 54 supermarket trolleys
[4] Waterside man ran around with axe

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