Generic Paxil Suicide Lawsuit

Citizens Commission on Human Rights Award Recipient (Twice)
Humanist, humorist

Monday, February 24, 2020

Prostate Cancer UK - Venue: Hampton In Arden

I don't often get involved in charity events, there's too many and one never knows if the money raised goes through pharma-funded organisations.

However, when I first heard of the Prostate Cancer Awareness Fundraiser in a village where I used to reside (Hampton-In-Arden), I had no hesitation in lending my support as my father (86) has recently been diagnosed with this.

Event organiser, David Castle, (pictured below) was delighted with the outcome. He told me, "I can’t believe that a conversation over a few beers with Ollie Basnett (Guitarist for 2 Weeks Notice) in November at the White Lion in Hampton culminated in what happened on Saturday. The turnout was amazing and people were so generous. Great music great food and alcohol made it a night to remember. Many thanks to sponsors and donations for the raffle. We are up to over £8k which is beyond my wildest dreams."

Event Organiser, David Castle

Live music on the night was provided by The Red Skies Band and 2 Weeks Notice, two bands that are well worth hiring should you have an event of your own.

A great time was had by all and I got to catch up with old friends and even made some new ones. It was a night when a community came together and dug deep into their pockets. They are quite a breed those Hamptonites!

I salute you all.

Bob Fiddaman

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

You've Been Labelled

Dr Jonathan N. Stea, Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary

Dr Jonathan N. Stea is a Clinical Psychologist whose speciality is concurrent disorders. He is an "Adjunct Assistant Professor" at the University of Calgary.

His "antipsychiatry" label is just one example of what those in the prescribed harm community face on a daily basis on Twitter. It would appear that those who choose to go public about their experience with psychiatric medication are, according to Stea, deterring people from getting treatment and stigmatizing.

If one looks at the product labelling of any psychiatric medication one will find warnings of increased suicidality, withdrawal problems, sexual dysfunction, to name but a few.

Do we see the likes of Stea labelling the creators of the product labels, namely the drug companies and the regulators?

If, by speaking out about personal experiences, people are labelled by healthcare professionals such a Stea, what then for the drug companies and global regulators? Are they stigmatizing and antipsychiatry because they warn about the dangers of taking psychiatric medication?

Stea isn't the only one, there are many more 'professionals' on Twitter that try to silence those harmed by the very same pills they prescribe.

My question is simple:

Why such disdain for patients harmed by psychiatric medications?

Answers on a postcard to:


Bob Fiddaman

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Jordan Peterson - Akathisia

Jordan Peterson (above) is a Canadian clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto.

Peterson was prescribed a low dose of a benzodiazepine a few years ago for anxiety following an extremely severe autoimmune reaction to food, according to his daughter, Mikhaila.

Last year, when his wife, Tammy, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the dose of the benzo, believed to be clonazepam, was increased. Clonazepam is a sedative used to treat seizures, panic disorder, and anxiety. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NBCI) also suggests that clonazepam is effective in managing neuroleptic-induced akathisia.

After Peterson's dose was increased he began to suffer. His daughter, Mikhaila, on her YouTube channel, tells viewers:

"It became apparent that he was suffering from both a physical dependency and a paradoxical reaction to the medication. A paradoxical reaction means the drugs do the opposite of what they’re supposed to." Mikhaila added that her father experienced akathisia, which she explains as a condition “where the person feels an incredible, endless, irresistible restlessness, bordering on panic, and an inability to sit still. The reaction made him suicidal.”

She's correct. Akathisia is a precursor to suicide and drug companies have known about this for a long time and failed to warn either prescribing physicians or the consuming public about this dangerous condition.

In 1998, Dr Roger Lane, who, until early 2001, was the Medical Director of the Zoloft Product Strategy Team at Pfizer, wrote about the association and risk of violence and suicide for all SSRI drugs. As Dr Lane writes, these conditions are sometimes hard to detect and diagnose, although not so hard to treat. E.g. “SSRI-induced akathisia is a relatively rare event but is frequently unrecognized when it does occur . . . In addition to the obvious motor (objective) manifestations of ‘inability to sit still’, most researchers agree that akathisia has a strong psychological component. The most outstanding feature of akathisia is subjective distress.

Lane warned, "It may be less of a question of patients experiencing fluoxetine-induced suicidal ideation, than patients feeling that ‘death is a welcome result’ when the acutely discomforting symptoms of akathisia are experienced on top of already distressing disorders.” For this reason, is it imperative that both physicians and their patients be forewarned and alerted about this serious risk."

Lanes article, “SSRI-Induced Extrapyramidal Side-Effects and Akathisia; Implications for Treatment”, appeared in the Journal of Psychopharmacology (J Psychopharmacol. 1998;12(2):192-214.)

Mikhaila currently has two videos posted on YouTube. The first, from September 2019 and an update which was uploaded yesterday.

In the February update, Mikhaila tells viewers:

"After several failed treatment attempts in North American hospitals, including attempts at tapering and micro-tapering, we had to seek an emergency medical benzodiazepine detox, which we were only able to find in Russia. It was incredibly gruelling and was further complicated by severe pneumonia which we’ve been told he developed in one of the previous hospitals. He’s had to spend 4 weeks in the ICU in terrible shape, but, with the help of some extremely competent and courageous doctors, he survived.  The decision to bring him to Russia was made in extreme desperation when we couldn’t find any better option. The uncertainty around his recovery has been one of the most difficult and scary experiences we’ve ever had."

Between them, both videos have amassed over one and a half million views.

I'd like to thank Mikhaila for raising awareness on this issue, which, only last week, was played down by two high profile psychiatrists on Twitter. (See 'Two Psychiatrists Explain Akathisia')

For more information on akathisia and the numerous drugs that can cause it (over 500) please visit and take the Akathisia 101 online accredited course. You might just save a life!

Here are Mikhaila's two videos, after which is an educational video from MISSD (The Medication-Induced Suicide Prevention and Education Foundation in Memory of Stewart Dolin)

Bob Fiddaman

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Natalie Gehrki 7 Years

Tomorrow marks the death anniversary of 19-year-old Natalie Gehrki who, on February 6, 2013, was compelled to end her young life.

In 2003, Natalie became somewhat anxious and shy and after a visit to see a psychiatrist she started on her spiral of decline. Prozac, an SSRI, was recommended. Neither Natalie or her mother, Kristina, were provided with informed consent. In fact, Kristina, in an article she wrote some years later, said, "The doctor skipped over risks vs. benefits."

In 2003 there were no black box warnings on SSRIs so neither Natalie or her parents knew anything much about it. Shortly after taking Prozac Natalie became increasingly anxious and agitated, withdrawn and apathetic, she also developed new fears and obsessions. By the middle of 2004, she had started to self-harm, light cuts to her arm were evidence of this. Her prescriber, instead of withdrawing the drug, increased the Prozac dosage.

Earlier that year (March 2004) the FDA had advised all doctors that SSRIs pose life-threatening risks to children. Neither Natalie or her parents were given this information from Natalie's prescriber.

This from her mother:

"Natalie also lost her ability to participate in physical activities. Her fifth-grade diary reflects she felt uncoordinated, “couldn’t catch a ball,” and was often “the last person picked” for sports teams. This was significant given that Natalie previously showed excellent fine motor skills and happily out-climbed friends at the rock climbing wall.

"Natalie’s doctor started offering new diagnostic guesses. They included borderline personality disorder, emotional lability, OCD and manic depression. She diligently updated her charts, but didn’t update us with new Prozac information. Natalie’s symptoms were far more serious than her original presenting symptom of anxiety."

In the summer of 2005, Natalie was instructed by her prescriber to take a "medication holiday”. The prescriber wanted to see how Natalie would fair when not taking Prozac. There was no tapering regime offered, just an abrupt stop.

Days after stopping Prozac Natalie told her mom that she wanted to kill herself. One has to bear in mind that at this point Natalie was just an 11-year-old girl. Terrified, her mother took her to hospital. After a brief consultation with the hospital psychiatrist, it was recommended that Natalie needed to restart her Prozac, in addition, she needed more drugs. Risperdal, an antipsychotic was thrown into the mix. Once again, no informed consent was given to either Natalie or her parents.

The horror-train ride wasn't over for Natalie - some years down the line Zoloft, an SSRI, came into play. Natalie's behaviour changed, she became unusually problematic in her behaviour. Her mother informed the prescriber of the change in Natalie. Despite this, Natalie remained on Zoloft.

More agitation and anxiety ensued and Natalie's self-harming was getting worse. On hearing this her prescriber added Valium, an anxiolytic and sedative, to Natalie's regime.

Good grades at school turned into bad grades and Natalie, not being able to sit in her chair at school, opted instead to wander around the classroom.

Between 2010-2013 her mother believed the Zoloft was causing the problems. She writes:

"I believed the 100 mg of Zoloft should be stopped and that perhaps it was prescribed at too high a dose. I asked about metabolism and noted Natalie’s petite size (under 5 feet tall and 110 pounds). The psychiatrist retorted dosage has “nothing to do with metabolism.”

"We explained Natalie’s adverse reaction to Prozac and offered to provide all medical records. The doctor didn’t want the records, declaring, “I make my own diagnosis.”

The prescriber reassured Natalie and her mother that Zoloft was okay. During this period Natalie continued to take Zoloft and her mother recalls that Natalie's faulty cognitive reasoning, memory loss, and destructive, risky behaviour all became worse.

In November of 2012, Natalie's Zoloft dosage was increased from 100mg to 150mg, shortly after this increase Natalie's gait changed and she started shuffling her feet as she moved. She also started skin-picking, something her prescriber put down to possible 'Obsessive-compulsive disorder' (OCD)

I'll leave the last words to her mom:

"One week later, Natalie had a scheduled therapy appointment. She was feeling ill, complained of “swollen throat glands” had a fever and headache. She thought she had the flu. Natalie tried to sleep but had terrible insomnia. She called the doctor to cancel her appointment. The doctor suggested they have telephone therapy instead. During their phone call, Natalie said she had been vomiting, discussed her “increasing OCD symptoms,” and Natalie cried. I later learned the psychiatrist instructed Natalie—without ever seeing her—to start taking 200 mg of Zoloft. Again, no informed consent, no risks vs. benefits, and caregivers left in the dark. Abductor Number Four doubled Zoloft the last 12 weeks of Natalie’s life. The doctor scheduled a follow-up appointment in two weeks. This is not close monitoring.

"Two days after taking the maximum Zoloft dose as prescribed, Natalie was dead. She had valiantly raged against the dying light for nearly half her life but was no match for 200 mg of Zoloft. She died of a violent self-sustained injury, but did not die by her own hand: She was chemically tortured, suffered and died at the hands of her doctors. Their negligence was medical violence. As is typical of akathisia-induced death, Natalie, who was born a gentle soul, did not go gently into that good night."

Kidnapped: Natalie’s Story is in two parts. You can read them here and here.

Kristina can be reached via Twitter here.


Blog Commentary

Two years ago, Kristina and I spent time together at the Hard Rock Cafe in Panama City, Panama. On the eve of Natalie's death anniversary, we wandered around the hotel in search of any AC/DC memorabilia. As our search was coming to an end, I noticed a T-Shirt in a glass cage. The shirt once belonged to Dixie Chicks singer/songwriter, Natalie Maines.

I find this comforting as it was the Dixie Chicks that helped me through my severe Seroxat withdrawal. I mention this in my book, 'The Evidence, However, is Clear: The Seroxat Scandal.'

I believe that Kristina's daughter somehow guided Kristina to this, just to let her know that she was now free from suffering.

The message on the front of the T-Shirt reads: "Free Natalie."

Bob Fiddaman

Monday, February 03, 2020

Two Psychiatrists Explain Akathisia

Remember the names, folks.

On the left, we have Tyler Black, MD, Suicidologist and expert in emergency psychiatry. On the right, George Dawson, Psychiatrist, addiction psychiatrist, neuropsychiatrist, physician.

These two professionals have opened a can of worms on Twitter after claiming that they have both suffered akathisia. Miraculously, they claim, the akathisia was brought on by strenuous exercising!

This is a first, folks as every medical book or piece of literature regarding akathisia may have to now be re-written.

Up until their claims (Fig1), it was thought that akathisia was a condition caused by the adverse effects of treatment with many prescribed and over-the-counter drugs. To develop akathisia one can only ingest a drug, there is no other way of developing it. Dawson and Black's claims change all that.


Dawson and Black's comments caused outrage amongst Twitter users, a selection of which are below.

One concerned patient advocate, Kristina Gehrki, whose daughter, Natalie, died an iatrogenic death brought on by akathisia, felt compelled to tweet The Royal College of Psychiatrists President, Wendy Burn, whose response did nothing but fan the flames.

Burn, as per usual, completely missing the point.

Shortly after the critiques of Dawson and Black's assertions that akathisia can be caused by exercise, Black somewhat retracted his statement with:

The Medication-Induced Suicide Prevention and Education Foundation in Memory of Stewart Dolin (MISSD) reached out to Dawson, their tweet and his reply can be seen here.

Dawson's claim of being an expert in diagnosing akathisia and movement disorders is deeply worrying given his earlier claims that he developed 'acute akathisia' after strenuous exercise. How can one claim to be an expert in diagnosing akathisia when one falsely claims akathisia can be brought on through exercise?

It really is a wrong message to send out, particularly as exercise is often used to combat depressive episodes. By Dawson and Black claiming exercise can cause akathisia, they may be scaring people who want to use this route rather than a medicalised one. Quite why they have done this is anyone's guess.

Dawson and Black seem to be fully supported by the President of RCPsych, who, back in November endorsed Black's account to her followers, this too is deeply concerning. Burn's advice to Black, well, mute people, "You don't have to hear what they are saying about you."

What a wonderful legacy she is leaving behind!

There's nothing like a psychiatrist who ignores voices of those harmed by the very same drugs they've prescribed.

For more information on the **REAL** causes of akathisia please take the free, accredited Akathisia101 Course here.

Bob Fiddaman

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Evelyn "Evie" Pringle

Evelyn Pringle

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of the extraordinary investigative journalist, Evelyn Pringle.

'Evie', as I knew her, was the key reason I started writing this blog back in 2006. We would later correspond and help one another with various articles.

I first became aware of Evie's work after reading the excellent, Drip, Drip, Drip, Paxil Info Leaks Out, a superb piece of investigative journalism. I highly recommend you read it. The expose is from 2006 but it gives you an insight into Evie's brilliant mind and investigative skills.

Some years down the line we made contact after she learned about this British blogger guy linking to her articles.

In 2010, I received a 58-page document from the Federal Aviation Administration. It was regarding a Freedom of Information request I had submitted in relation to a proposal that will allow pilots to control aircraft whilst on certain SSRI medications.

Much of 2010 was taken up with me reporting on the Sara Carlin inquest, to be honest, I reached the point of burn-out once the inquest had finished.

I, therefore, forwarded the 58-page document on to Evie. I didn't really know anyone else who could do it justice.

Here is the result of Evelyn Pringle's study of the 58-page document: SSRIs Render Unfriendly Skies

Some years later Evie became a talk-show host covering such topics of government corruption and paedophile rings in Hollywood. She was never one to mince her words.

Evie's work is spread far and wide across the internet and after contacting me I helped her catalogue her articles so she could put them all in one place. Evelyn Pringle's Catalog of Articles was a result of that collaboration.

My one regret in life is that I never got to meet Evie in person, we corresponded and spoke on the phone, for those who never knew her, she was an extremely funny individual who swore like a docker and who was passionate about unveiling corruption. We lost touch as the years wore on and I didn't know she had been suffering an illness.

Fly high, sister, and thank you for giving me a voice and nurturing my skills as an investigative researcher. I shall live forever in your debt.

Your friend,



Bob Fiddaman

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Esketamine UK: The Good News ~ The Bad News

Yesterday, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) announced that Spravato (esketamine) not be recommended for use because of uncertainties over its clinical and cost-effectiveness.

The media picked up on this and many, initially including myself, were happy that such a strong message had been sent out by NICE.

However, there's a big clue in the words 'not recommended'.

Spravato is a nasal spray and according to Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, the company that market and manufacture it, is indicated for treatment-resistant major depressive disorder in adults.

Treatment-resistant depression, for those who don't know, means, if you've been treated for depression but your symptoms haven't improved, you may have treatment-resistant depression. Big clue in the word 'may'.

In a nutshell, those patients who have been taking antidepressant-type medication, including antipsychotics, to treat their depression may not have needed them in the first place because, it appears, we are now being told that this type of medication has no effect on certain groups of people. Nobody knows who those 'people' are or why antidepressants don't work for them. Pretty much in the same way nobody knows why they work for some people.

One would have thought that investigative research into this was paramount but instead we have a new label, 'treatment-resistant depression' and, wonder of wonders, a new drug that can help this group.

It makes me wonder why a person who takes a product becomes the fault of that product. If I purchased a box of matches and they didn't light when struck, would I be labelled as having some sort of disorder?

I first became aware of ketamine to treat depression back in 2013 when I learned of one of the most bizarre studies I'd ever read. I've read many more bizarre studies since then but this one piqued my interest.

The 2011 study was carried out by Gregory Larkin and Annette Beautrais, the conclusion of which found that the intervention of administering the horse tranquillizer, Ketamine, to patients suffering from depression or displaying suicidal tendencies is "likely to be effective and appropriate for only some subgroups of the depressed and suicidal emergency department population."

The study, carried out on 15 patients, ran over a period of just 10 days and saw patients given a single dose of Ketamine [dose depending on weight] and then monitored over a period of four hours whereby they were given a set of questions using the Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale [MADRS]. These ratings were obtained at baseline, and at 40, 80, 120 and 240-minute intervals. Patients were then contacted over a period of 10 days.

There was no control group in this study.

In essence, it appears that the study only lasted 4 hours and the follow-up [10 days] was presumably to follow-up on the 15 patients to see how they were coping [ie; side effects, if depression or suicidal thoughts had returned]

Back in 2013, I laughed off the study, I mean who in their right mind would prescribe a party drug to depressed and suicidal people? It will never take off, I thought.

How wrong was I?

March 5, 2019

Some 8 years after the bizarre study carried out by Larkin and Beautrais, the FDA announced that it was approving Spravato for treatment-resistant depression. Their blurb read:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Spravato (esketamine) nasal spray, in conjunction with an oral antidepressant, for the treatment of depression in adults who have tried other antidepressant medicines but have not benefited from them (treatment-resistant depression).
The approval came despite mixed results in the esketamine clinical trials. Esketamine improved depression in two late-stage studies compared with placebo. But the drug fared no better than placebo in two others. I'd say that was a 50/50 benefit/risk type of drug, wouldn't you?

Moreover, the FDA seemingly glossed over the adverse events in the clinical trials. Three patients who received the drug died by suicide during clinical trials, compared with none in the control group. This, to me at least, makes the drug more of a 40/60 benefit-risk type of drug.

Two months after FDA approval, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended that it be approved in Europe too. This recommendation was sealed on December 19,2019 when Janssen announced that the European Commission (EC) had approved Spravato nasal spray, in combination with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), for adults living with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder.

28 January 2020

The NICE website runs with the headline, "Nasal spray medicine for treatment-resistant depression not recommended by NICE"

The statement, if one reads between the lines, seems more about the cost of Spravato more than the concerns about its efficacy and safety. However, one line from the statement is striking. It reads, "...there is uncertainty about the effect of stopping esketamine treatment."

So, what does Janssen make of all this? Well, pulling statements from various media articles it appears they're not happy.

Here's what Janssen-Cilag executive Jennifer Lee had to say:
“...current NICE technology appraisal processes are not fit for purpose in terms of evaluating innovative technologies for complex mental health conditions.”

What's complex about someone not benefitting from antidepressant treatment?

It's here we learn that Janssen are now widening their net. They have now applied for an addition to the label stating that Spravato be used for people with major depression considered to be a suicide risk, based on its rapid onset. (Refer back to Larkin & Beautrais)

The publication of the NICE draft guidance kicks off a consultation period until 18 February 2020, with a second appraisal committee meeting expected in March or April to consider the comments received.

In the meantime, Janssen executives will be liaising with NICE officials, no doubt to tell them how wonderful Spravato is and to ignore the three suicides in the clinical trials. Who knows, they may even offer Spravato to the UK along with a subsidizing plan, given that the NICE draft seems to be more focused on its cost than the safety of the patients who take it.

One thing though, if NICE does a U-Turn then they will have to show the public the evidence that suggests the effect of stopping esketamine treatment isn't an issue. Given the shortness of these clinical trials I suspect they will approve it with the caveat, "Patients must be monitored, particularly during withdrawal of esketamine."

Russian Roulette, folks!

Or am I just an old cynic?

Bob Fiddaman


Suicide Prevention and Ketamine - Larkin & Beautrais

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Celebrities Keeping The Myth Alive

Below is a list of celebrities who are keeping the myth of the chemical imbalance alive. Many of these celebrities are influential and their social media accounts have thousands, sometimes millions of followers.

Click on their names to see what they have said about the chemical imbalance.

Once you have gone through the list (if you can stomach it) ponder this:

Imagine if each of these celebrities retracted their statements and started to ask questions as to why they were led to believe in this myth. Further, imagine if these celebrities put their weight behind prescription drug-induced akathisia and suicides.

Most, if not all, can be contacted via their social media accounts.

Bob Fiddaman

Here's the list...


For more influential individuals and organisations touting the chemical imbalance as truth, visit here.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Happy Holidays: A Year in Review

For the mothers and fathers who have loved and lost.
For the husbands and wives who have loved and lost.

For the brothers and sisters who have loved and lost.
For those of you that have loved and lost friends.

For those of you that have suffered long-term harm.
For those of you who continue to fight the cause.

"Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." ~ Andy Dufresne: Shawshank Redemption

I salute you all.

May this holiday period, whatever you wish to call it, bring you love, light and peace.

Time to put my feet up, crack open a few tinnies and dwell on the past 12 months.

Here are, in no particular order, 10 of the most viewed blog posts for 2019. Thank you for your continued support.

Q&A with Carmine Pariante
An interview with Carmine Pariante, a professor of biological psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College, London, and consultant perinatal psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. The interview didn't go as planned and was abruptly terminated.

50 Years and Still Rockin'
Celebrating with friends - The 50th anniversary of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights Award show in Los Angeles.

Pariante's Dish of the Day
A short documentary in which Carmine Pariante claimed that he could grow depression in a Petri-dish.

Hashtag Backfires on Twitter
The hashtag #ITakeMyMedsForMentalHealth was heavily promoted on Twitter. Leading psychiatrists jumped up and down, at the same time sending out dangerous information.

Royal College of Psychiatrists in Dubious U-Turn
Years of public denial regarding withdrawal problems then an admittance that there 'may be a problem', this admittance, obviously came with caveats and no apology.

The ADD/ADHD Infomercial
Watch how an ADHD 'expert' diagnoses an audience member with ADHD, it took him less than 30 seconds. David Blaine, eat your heart out!

Suicide Expert Embroiled in Twitter Controversy
UK Suicide 'expert' joins forces with former UKIP press secretary, Jasna Badzak and retweets her outlandish claim that those in the #PrescribedHarm community are nothing more than "a dangerous cult".

PHE Review Dilutes SSRI Problem
Public Health England releases a  review of available data and published evidence on the problems of dependence and withdrawal associated with some prescribed medicines, but did they dilute it?

UK Suicide Expert: Akathisia Can Make People Suicidal
UK Suicide 'expert' finally admits akathisia can make people suicidal. Controversially, he claims the UK government won't allow him to alter the suicide strategy plan. Was he telling the truth?

The Death of Elisa Lam
A viral video, an endless list of conspiracy theories. I research the case and find startling evidence previously missed.

Thanks for reading, folks.

Bob Fiddaman

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Turning Something Bad Into Good (Spin)

Jacob Polete (16)

Sean Polete shared his concerns about antidepressants and whether a prescription contributed to the suicide death of his 16-year-old son, Jacob Polete, on Nov. 30, 2018.

Jacob's Dr didn't inform him about the black box warning. He didn't inform him that he was prescribing it off-label' and that it wasn’t approved to treat depression in teens.

Jacob's father told the Dayton Daily News:

“I didn’t do the research because I felt like, well, I’m just happy to have somebody giving us some advice. These antidepressants and things have significantly different effects on a child’s brain and it’s much different than the adult brain.”

Step forward the spin doctors.

V. Grace Matheson, MD, PhD

In the same article, Dr. Virginia Grace Matheson, a child psychiatrist at Dayton Children’s Hospital, said:

“For most children, the drugs work. We don’t want them to be afraid of the medicine. The vast majority of cases, the medication will really help the child feel better and if they are having suicidal thoughts as part of their depression, it will relieve those in most cases. But there are those kids who have the adverse effects.”

Matheson added:

“Most of them [antidepressants] work in a very similar way, so we can sort of extrapolate from the adult data. It doesn’t mean that it’s not safe or it doesn’t work. Sometimes a child prescribed antidepressants actually has a form of bipolar disorder that wasn’t detected.”

T.J. Grimm, retail and ambulatory director for University Hospitals in Cleveland, and president-elect of the Ohio Pharmacists Association, added:

“There are people who, because they’ve heard about increased suicides, they’ve heard these medicines don’t work, (they’ve been) scared off. ”

Jacob Polete was just 16-years-old. Part of his online obit reads:

He attended Fairhaven church where he volunteered at Celebration Place, a program serving children 5 to 13 years old coping with life’s tough issues. Jacob was an avid naturalist, a fan of bushcraft, and wilderness survival. He enjoyed hiking in the woods, biking riding, and exploring large cities like New York and rural areas like the Metro Parks. He was not a fan of suburbs. He had recently started working as a bagger at Dorothy Lane Market, and was very proud of himself for saving his earnings to buy himself a new bicycle. Jacob loved food challenges, cooking, and pushing the limits of his taste buds with strong flavors and strange foods. He was fearless and impulsive, and never backed away from a challenge. He had great compassion and love for his furry friend Athena and an intimate circle of friends. His loving yet mischievous personality, combined with his intelligence and innate wisdom, gave the sense of being in the presence of an old soul. He was captivated by Lord of the Rings, both the books and the movies, and the band Pink Floyd. He was a curious experimenter and delved deeply into chemistry and botany. Since early childhood, Jacob was a skilled “deconstructive engineer,” and took apart every object he could get his hands on.

Read the full vomit-inducing spin by the 'experts' here.

In the meantime, this is for Dr Virgina Grace Matheson.

Bob Fiddaman

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Death of Elisa Lam

21-year-old Elisa Lam

This is a blog about the bizarre case of 21-year-old Elisa Lam, a Canadian student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, whose body was recovered from a water tank atop the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles on February 19, 2013.

Many readers may have already seen the related YouTube video which was released by the LAPD. It has gone viral with over 24 million views.

In the footage, below, Lam is seen exiting and re-entering the elevator, talking and gesturing in the hallway outside, and sometimes seeming to hide within the elevator, which itself appears to be malfunctioning. Her actions caught on CCTV prompted many theories about her disappearance and death which include speculations that she was either murdered, died by suicide, or experienced some sort of paranormal activity.

The LAPD was contacted by Lam's parents from their Vancouver home. After an investigation into her whereabouts revealed nothing, the police issued a Missing Person's poster (Fig 1)

(Fig 1)

Here's the CCTV footage

Sometime after the LAPD publicly released the video, guests at the Cecil Hotel had complained about low water pressure and that the water was black. Upon investigation of the rooftop tanks, Lam's body was found naked with her clothes floating next to her.

Two days later the Los Angeles coroner's office issued a finding of accidental drowning, with bipolar disorder as a significant factor. In June of the same year, a full coroner's report was released. This is where we, for the first time, have access to Lam's toxicology report. The full report lists Lam's death as an "accident."

Before reading it, it's interesting to note that days prior to her death, Lam was room sharing at the hotel. The other two roommates complained to hotel management that Lam's behaviour was "odd". Lam was then moved to a room on her own.

Here's the toxicology report that piqued my interest. (Click on images to enlarge)

As you can see, Lam was medicated with Wellbutrin, Lamictal, Seroquel and Effexor, four potent psychiatric drugs. Four drugs, when taken together, throw up major interactions, as seen here.

Given Wellbutrin, Effexor and Lamictal were found in her system (Fig 2), a logical question is did Lam abruptly stop taking Seroquel?

Tiffany Hahn, a licensed Private Investigator in the State of California, raises a very important question about this. She writes, "Elisa Lam has a prescription for Quetiapine. The Quetiapine was prescribed by Dr. Sarah E. Scarfe and filled at London Drugs (Canadian Pharmacy), 604-570-0252, Prescription Number: 7153992; Prescribed 01/11/2013. She was issued 30 tablets. There were still 20 in the bottle. RX Directions: 2 Tabs QHS PRN (QHS = Abbreviation for L. quaque hora somni, every bedtime; PRN: Abbreviation meaning “when necessary”).

If there are 10 tablets missing from the bottle, Elisa Lam might have taken them in the 21 days between when they were prescribed (January 11, 2013) and her disappearance (February 1, 2013)."

Keywords here, "When necessary". So, one at bedtime and one whenever she felt like it. What Dr would advise a patient to take Seroquel "when necessary"? Doubling a dose and then halving a dose abruptly can have dire consequences for the patient. We can see that she didn't take one every night as only 10 were missing from her bottle. Missing doses like this can cause an array of problems. The patient information leaflet for Seroquel states: "If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time to take the next dose, wait until then. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten tablet."

Why then did her prescribing psychiatrist tell her to take one at bedtime and one  "when necessary" This would, in essence, be doubling her dose, would it not?

Fig 2

One has to ask why a 21-year-old woman had been prescribed these four drugs given their major interactions when combined. We can see from the report that her prescriber was Dr. Sarah Scarfe, a Psychiatrist who practices at Student Health Services Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, M334-2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, Canada.

On top of this, it is alleged that Lam also made posts on her blog referring to her Hypomania and depression. She also made a post where she detailed making an appointment with a doctor to discuss Electroconvulsive Therapy.

According to some prescribers, "bipolar disorder" may include psychotic episodes. However if, indeed, Lam was suffering "bipolar disorder", why would her condition cause psychosis and suicidal thinking? Aren't the drugs she was given supposed to effectively treat such things?

Let's look at the four prescription drugs, three of which, were found in her system (Effexor, Lamictal and Wellbutrin)

Wellbutrin - norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI) (GlaxoSmithKline)
The website VerywellMind tells us, "Antidepressants, including Wellbutrin, are widely used in managing depression in bipolar disorder. There are concerns when it comes to antidepressants and bipolar disease. One of these concerns is called phase switching, which is a shift in mood from depression to mania. This can be a serious problem because mania can result in impulsive or dangerous behavior."

It is used “off-label” to treat bipolar.

Wellbutrin carries a suicide risk on the patient information leaflet. It also carries a warning of akathisia, a condition which is best described as an 'inner restlessness and turmoil' that can become so overwhelming that death is a welcome result.

Lamictal - Antiepileptic (GlaxoSmithKline)
Lamictal was originally developed as an anticonvulsant to treat seizures and is often used with other medications in the treatment of bipolar.

In 2009, the FDA forced manufacturers of all antiepileptic drugs to include new warnings of possible suicide ideation.

The current Lamictal patient information leaflet carries a suicide warning. Akathisia is also listed as a side-effect.

Seroquel - Antipsychotic - AstraZeneca
Seroquel was approved in 2006 for the treatment of depressive episodes in patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It carries a suicide risk warning on the patient information leaflet. People taking Seroquel have a 30% to 40% chance of akathisia.

Seroquel has been the subject of more than 25,000 product liability lawsuits, including one brought by federal prosecutors. The federal litigation and other lawsuits alleged that AstraZeneca (Seroquel's manufacturer) did not disclose certain side effects of the drug, and encouraged doctors to prescribe the drug for treatments not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Effexor - serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) - was introduced by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in 1993. Since 2009, it has been marketed by Pfizer
Not indicated for bipolar, however, according to, "If you have bipolar disorder and take an SNRI, you may be at risk for triggering a manic episode."

In addition to birth defect lawsuits, other claims have been made for suicidal thoughts, violent behaviours and discontinuation syndrome, or on behalf of deceased loved ones. 

Effexor carries a suicide warning on its patient information leaflet. Akathisia is also listed as a side-effect.

Four drugs that carry suicide warnings, four drugs prescribed to this 21-year old woman by a psychiatrist, Dr. Scarfe, who works at a university that caters to young people ages 25 and under. The FDA's black box suicide warning for people age 25 and under was supposedly created to help teens and young adults be better informed about critical adverse drug effects. It is not clear whether Dr. Scarfe ever provided informed consent to Elisa. Many psychiatrists fail to provide informed consent and leave it to chance that a young person such as Elisa, would, somehow, automatically know to carefully read the microscopic fine print in each of the four drug leaflets.

Maybe bipolar disorder was a significant factor in this young woman's suicide or maybe, just maybe, the four drugs found in her system, all of which carry suicide warnings, contributed to her obvious psychosis as depicted in the CCTV footage and previous bizarre behaviour with roommates at the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

In September 2013, Lam's parents, David and Yinna Lam, filed a wrongful death suit, claiming the hotel failed to "inspect and seek out hazards in the hotel that presented an unreasonable risk of danger to Lam. In 2015, the suit was dismissed.

Maybe they would have had better luck filing suit against Lam's psychiatrist given the four drugs Lam was prescribed, three of which were in her system at the time of her increasingly "odd" behaviours and sudden death.

Bob Fiddaman

Learn more about akathisia here

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Louis Appleby Knew About Prescription Drug-Induced Akathisia in 2004

Louis Appleby Knew About Prescription Drug-Induced Akathisia in 2004

Following on from my previous post, UK Suicide Expert: Akathisia Can Make People Suicidal, it has come to light that the UK's 'expert' on suicide prevention, Prof. Louis Appleby, was warned about prescription drug-induced akathisia many years ago. Just as he does today, he ignored the akathisia and suicide links.

In 2004, Millie Kieve, founder of the APRIL Charity, called the Manchester Coroner's office as there has been a recent Roaccutane suicide. Millie was, and still is, concerned about the reaction of Professor Louis Appleby and why he fails to warn about medicines causing akathisia and suicide risk for some people. Back in 2004, Millie had written to Appleby but he had pretty much ignored her.

Millie recorded the conversation with the Manchester Coroner's office and tells them of her struggles with Louis Appleby. She also tells them that the 2004 suicide strategy plan, headed by Appleby, had no mention of prescription drug-induced suicides or indeed prescription drug-induced akathisia. She tells the Manchester Coroner's office that Appleby's office 'fobbed her off', claiming that "people might get more energy to kill themselves when they take antidepressants."

The call to the coroner sees Millie raise concerns about Appleby, SSRI drugs and other drugs, including Roaccutane, Dianette and Lariam.

This is a huge concern, so much so that MISSD (The Medication-Induced Suicide Prevention and Education Foundation in Memory of Stewart Dolin) an American non-profit organization dedicated to honouring the memory of Stewart Dolin and other victims of akathisia, has now reached out to Appleby on Twitter and have urged him to save lives.

Listen to the 14-minute phone conversation here

Bob Fiddaman

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