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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Paxil Kid From Pictou County

I thought I'd heard the last of the Paxil horror stories. I thought doctors and psychiatrists would have got the message by now that Paxil is not safe, is not suitable for children and adolescents but...

A story hit me hard today, a realization that this abhorrent antidepressant is still destroying lives.

Shawna (not her real name but being used to protect the identity of her and her son) is a mother who has took it upon herself to fight for her 20 year-old son.

The story bears all the hallmarks of psychiatric abuse but, hey, how can you prove that when so many people believe that psychiatrists actually know what they are doing? In truth, they don't, in truth they use people as guinea pigs to see if they can tolerate drug a, b,c or d.

Shawna’s son was extremely shy and had just come out of a relationship. Shortly after he, according to a Canadian news website, "spiralled into a deep, dark depression that saw him in his unlit room, unable to sleep, eat or perform even day-to-day tasks."

His mother did what she thought best and took him to a hospital where he was prescribed Paxil... yup, just like that.

This from the article...

He was prescribed the anti-depressant Paxil which she was told would help alleviate his depression, but instead it made things worse.
Shawna said the side effects of the drug were probably more devastating than his symptoms of depression. He started to threaten to kill him himself, sending her “goodbye texts” and wandering off without any contact for hours and hours.
“It was just crazy thinking,” she said. “You couldn’t get him to do anything. She said the final straw was when he spent 32 hours straight on the rocks at a local beach, contemplating whether he wanted to take his own life.

Shawna's son was then admitted to hospital where, she says, he received no care and was just left sitting in a room  for three days with no visit from any psychiatrist. On the fifth day, however, he was seen by a psychiatrist.

**Insert drum roll here**

The psychiatrist told both Shawna and her son that he needed to be kept on the drug Paxil because it takes 30 days to work properly, despite the side effects.

Where does it say that on the Paxil labeling? Why didn't the psychiatrist associate Shawna's sons actions as an adverse reaction to the Paxil he was taking? If a patient is threatening to kill himself shortly after being put on Paxil why on earth didn't the treating psychiatrist acknowledge that this may have been down to the treatment?

So, Shawna's son continued to take the Paxil.

Here's the article again...

For the next month, she said, things were going from bad to worse.  He was in and out of Aberdeen’s mental health unit as well as Kentville and Antigonish’s units for short three-day stays. After being released from the units each time, she would have to call the police to help search for him because the suicidal thoughts kept coming and the wandering continued.

Mental Health and the Police

Here's where the story takes a rather absurd twist.

Shawna was told by a police officer that the only way her son could receive proper treatment would be if he was arrested. She was told by the officer that her son, once arrested, would then be "in the system" and "sent to Dartmouth for a 30-day mental health assessment."

A few months later her son was arrested for assault. Just as the police officer had told her, Shawna's son was given the treatment he needed - care. He is now on house arrest, under her care, and without the help of any psychiatric counseling.

The family doctor is slowing weaning him off the Paxil.


It's glaringly obvious to anyone reading this account that a 20 year-old kid was given a drug that gave him an adverse event, a dangerous adverse event. His treating psychiatrist should have intervened and guided his patient off the drug - instead, he chose to ignore the obvious signs of Paxil induced mania and told the kid to continue taking the medication. That's abuse by anyone's standards.

As for the mental health system in Nova Scotia, well, what can you say?

It takes an officer of the law to tell a patient's mother to, basically, get her son arrested, so he can receive appropriate treatment.

Talk about a comedy of errors!

Bob Fiddaman.

SourceMom desperate to get help for son