MEDS FOR PTSD: Soldier with brain injury, treated for PTSD commits suicide

Note: Anyone who has suffered a brain injury should never be given an antidepressant according to Dr. Jay Seastrunk, a neurologist. It can lower the seizure threshold and produce seizure activity faster than normal.

Also keep in mind that antidepressants affect memory so strongly that “amnesia” is listed as a “frequent” side effect. Combine that with the information we have that Alzheimer’s is a condition of elevated serotonin levels and antidepressants are designed to specifically increase serotonin levels and you can see how many of the problems Ray was dealing with we being caused by the medication he was being given.

Dr. Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director, International Coalition for Drug Awareness, www.drugawareness.org
____________________________________________________________________________________

In the very hours we were celebrating Andrew in Washington, tragedy was unfolding in Texas. Lt. Col. Raymond Rivas, a 53-year old civil affairs officer who had dedicated his career to rebuilding war torn countries, was found dead in his car in the parking lot of Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio Texas.

Colleagues of Ray’s said prescription pills and notes he wrote to his family and wife, Colleen, were found. A military source told me all indications are Ray took his own life.

His devastated family understandably declined to talk publicly, and the military won’t discuss the case citing privacy concerns. But friends and colleagues I spoke to confirmed that Ray had suffered multiple blast injuries to his brain from bomb attacks during several deployments over the years.

In October 2006, Ray survived an attack in Iraq that rendered him briefly unconscious. He was transferred to Europe but somehow talked the doctors into sending him back to the war zone. A week later, ill and confused, he was sent back to the United States.

A close associate tells me that at first, despite being diagnosed with traumatic brain injury in Iraq, some doctors thought Ray might be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. They didn’t realize he had all the symptoms of traumatic brain injury. He had trouble talking, reasoning and remembering.

He was sent to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio so he could be near his family, but for the first few months he just sat in his room. Fellow soldiers helped him with his bathing, dressing and eating.

Finally, Ray was assigned a case manager, and things began to move rapidly. He got therapy and was able to go home.

But by all accounts from his friends, Ray had become seriously debilitated by the injuries to his brain. A private email shown to CNN revealed that Ray had been diagnosed with rapidly emerging Alzheimer’s disease. The cumulative impact of all those bomb blasts were destroying his brain. Colleagues say Ray knew he might have to move to an assisted living facility.

Ray’s doctors are not discussing his treatment because of privacy concerns.

A colleague told me Ray was tired and in pain on the night of July 15. He was found in his car in the parking lot at the army hospital where he had spent so long trying to get better.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/27/starr.extraordinary/index.html?iref=24hours
Behind the Scenes: Triumph and tragedy for two wounded soldiers

* Story Highlights
* CNN’s Barbara Starr celebrated a victory and mourned a loss on July 15
* An injured Marine was celebrating getting into Harvard Law School
* On same night, a warrior with a traumatic brain injury was found dead in his car
* Men’s stories are linked — both pleaded with the government to aid injured soldiers

By Barbara Starr
CNN Pentagon Correspondent

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Where were you on the night of July 15? You may not even remember, but for me it was an extraordinary evening, an evening of unimaginable triumph and unbearable tragedy.

But I would not actually know everything that happened until the night was long over.

A couple of weeks before July 15, a friend who works with injured troops emailed me to say it was time for Andrew’s going away party.

Andrew Kinard is a young Marine I first met a few years ago at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington where he was recovering from a devastating IED attack in Iraq. He had stepped on the roadside bomb and lost his entire body below the hips.

The party being arranged was Andrew’s farewell to D.C. Andrew is off to the rigors of Harvard Law School. He’s says he’s itching to get into a courtroom.

You need to remember the name Andrew Kinard. Many of his friends believe Andrew is such an amazing man that he will become president of the United States. If I had to bet, I’d say it could happen.

I wouldn’t have missed the party for the world. I was touched that this tight-knit community of wounded warriors had included me in this very special, very intimate evening.

There was a display of photos of Andrew serving in Iraq. I suddenly realized I never knew how tall he was before the war. There were a few sniffles and wiping of eyes in the room for a Marine whose dream of service to his country ended within a few months of getting to Iraq. But sniffles didn’t last long and the evening became one of hugs, laughter and good wishes (and more than a few beers) for a young Marine who had triumphed over what the war had dealt him.

But my warm feelings didn’t last long. The next day another source in the wounded troop community came to me in the Pentagon hallway with another tale.

“You have to do something about the story of Ray Rivas,” he said.

In the very hours we were celebrating Andrew in Washington, tragedy was unfolding in Texas. Lt. Col. Raymond Rivas, a 53-year old civil affairs officer who had dedicated his career to rebuilding war torn countries, was found dead in his car in the parking lot of Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio Texas.

Colleagues of Ray’s said prescription pills and notes he wrote to his family and wife, Colleen, were found. A military source told me all indications are Ray took his own life.

His devastated family understandably declined to talk publicly, and the military won’t discuss the case citing privacy concerns. But friends and colleagues I spoke to confirmed that Ray had suffered multiple blast injuries to his brain from bomb attacks during several deployments over the years.

In October 2006, Ray survived an attack in Iraq that rendered him briefly unconscious. He was transferred to Europe but somehow talked the doctors into sending him back to the war zone. A week later, ill and confused, he was sent back to the United States.

A close associate tells me that at first, despite being diagnosed with traumatic brain injury in Iraq, some doctors thought Ray might be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. They didn’t realize he had all the symptoms of traumatic brain injury. He had trouble talking, reasoning and remembering.

He was sent to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio so he could be near his family, but for the first few months he just sat in his room. Fellow soldiers helped him with his bathing, dressing and eating.

Finally, Ray was assigned a case manager, and things began to move rapidly. He got therapy and was able to go home.

But by all accounts from his friends, Ray had become seriously debilitated by the injuries to his brain. A private email shown to CNN revealed that Ray had been diagnosed with rapidly emerging Alzheimer’s disease. The cumulative impact of all those bomb blasts were destroying his brain. Colleagues say Ray knew he might have to move to an assisted living facility.

Ray’s doctors are not discussing his treatment because of privacy concerns.

A colleague told me Ray was tired and in pain on the night of July 15. He was found in his car in the parking lot at the army hospital where he had spent so long trying to get better.

But Ray will be remembered for all he did for others. Even with all his suffering, he wanted to make sure other injured troops were helped. In April he and his wife Colleen went to Capitol Hill to testify with other wounded warriors about their needs.

Sitting on that panel with Ray was Andrew Kinard.

All AboutBrooke Army Medical Center

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MED for DEPRESSION: 5 Dead at Baghdad Psychiatric Center: May 11th: Ir…

Paragraphs 8 through 10 read: “Russell went to the combat stress center at Camp Liberty where mental-health workers evaluate soldiers for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Russell was close to the end of his deployment. He was given medication and his sidearm was taken away, a routine precaution for soldiers receiving counseling.”

“On May 11, after a dispute at the center, Russell was ordered to leave. Outside, he allegedly grabbed a gun from his escort, burst into the center and started firing. He submitted to arrest minutes later.”

Dead were Navy Cmdr. Charles Springle, 52, of Wilmington, N.C.; Maj. Matthew Philip Houseal, 54, of Amarillo; Staff Sgt. Christian Enrique Bueno-Galdos, 25, of Paterson, N.J.; Spc. Jacob David Barton, 20, of Lenox, Mo., and Pfc. Michael Edward Yates Jr., 19, of Federalsburg, Md.

http://www.amarillo.com/stories/072809/new_news8.shtml

Web-posted Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Soldiers’ families await hearing
Los Angeles Times

SHERMAN – Tears come to Elizabeth Russell’s eyes when she thinks of the five American soldiers her son is accused of gunning down in a moment of rage in Iraq.

She prays for them: the Navy officer, the Army psychiatrist, and three enlisted men, and their widows, parents and children.

She also prays for her son, Army Sgt. John Russell, who faces five counts of premeditated murder for what happened May 11 at a combat stress center near Baghdad.

Russell, 44, is in custody in Kuwait, awaiting an Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a preliminary hearing. Under military law, a conviction can carry a death sentence; the minimum is life in prison.

In more than seven years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, there have been cases of alleged attacks among U.S. troops, but never one in which a soldier stands accused of killing five colleagues.

The Russell case also brings up issues of how the Army evaluates the mental health of troops in combat zones, many of whom, like Russell, have endured repeated deployments. The Army is now studying the psychological services available to soldiers in Iraq.

Russell had been a competent communications technician but hardly a stellar performer. After 16 years, he was still a sergeant. He had lost a stripe earlier for unauthorized absence.

Russell went to the combat stress center at Camp Liberty where mental-health workers evaluate soldiers for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Russell was close to the end of his deployment. He was given medication and his sidearm was taken away, a routine precaution for soldiers receiving counseling.

On May 11, after a dispute at the center, Russell was ordered to leave. Outside, he allegedly grabbed a gun from his escort, burst into the center and started firing. He submitted to arrest minutes later.

Dead were Navy Cmdr. Charles Springle, 52, of Wilmington, N.C.; Maj. Matthew Philip Houseal, 54, of Amarillo; Staff Sgt. Christian Enrique Bueno-Galdos, 25, of Paterson, N.J.; Spc. Jacob David Barton, 20, of Lenox, Mo., and Pfc. Michael Edward Yates Jr., 19, of Federalsburg, Md.

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Postpartum Depression & Medication: Mother Dismembers her Infant: Texas

Paragraph 3 reads: “‘She was a sweet person and I still love her, but she needs to pay the ultimate price for what she has done,’ the baby’s father, Scott W. Buchholtz, told the San Antonio Express-News Monday. ‘She needs to be put to death for what she has done’.”

Paragraph 8 reads: “Sanchez and Buchholtz lived together during the pregnancy and the first two weeks after their son was born, Buchholtz told the Express-News. The paper reported that an infection complicated Sanchez’s recovery from giving birth, and she was required to use a catheter for about a week. That setback darkened her mood, and she was soon diagnosed with postpartum depression.”

Paragraphs 9 & 10 read: “She moved out of the couple’s shared home July 20. On Saturday, she showed up to see Buchholtz at his parents’ house. She became agitated when he told her he needed a copy of the baby’s birth certificate and Social Security card, Buchholtz told the paper.

Sanchez ran out of the home with her son in a car seat, threw the car seat into the front passenger seat of her car and sped away without buckling him in, the paper said. She left behind a diaper bag, her purse and her medication.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j65NeeVH5ihfMyvu7qiBZWQBV-kgD99NHC180

By PAUL J. WEBER (AP) – 1 hour ago

SAN ANTONIO ­ Relatives of the Texas mother of a 3 1/2-week-old boy found dismembered in his bedroom said she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and postpartum psychosis, and the father of the slain baby said he wants the woman executed.

Otty Sanchez, 33, is charged with capital murder in the death of Scott Wesley Buchholtz-Sanchez. When authorities found the infant’s body Sunday, Sanchez told officers the devil made her do it, police said.

“She was a sweet person and I still love her, but she needs to pay the ultimate price for what she has done,” the baby’s father, Scott W. Buchholtz, told the San Antonio Express-News Monday. “She needs to be put to death for what she has done.”

Relatives and Buchholtz told the newspaper Sanchez’s mental health deteriorated in the week before her son’s death. Buchholtz, who called his son “baby Scotty,” said she often talked about how she needed to see a counselor. Sanchez told detectives she had been hearing voices.

Otty Sanchez’s aunt, Gloria Sanchez, told The Associated Press that her niece had been “in and out” of a psychiatric ward, and that the hospital called several months ago to check up on her.

Sanchez was hospitalized Tuesday with self-inflicted stab wounds and was being held on $1 million bail. Police have said she does not have an attorney. Authorities found the baby with three of his toes chewed off, his face torn away and his head was severed.

Otty Sanchez’s sister and her sister’s two children, ages 5 and 7, were in the house at the time, but none were harmed.

Sanchez and Buchholtz lived together during the pregnancy and the first two weeks after their son was born, Buchholtz told the Express-News. The paper reported that an infection complicated Sanchez’s recovery from giving birth, and she was required to use a catheter for about a week. That setback darkened her mood, and she was soon diagnosed with postpartum depression.

She moved out of the couple’s shared home July 20. On Saturday, she showed up to see Buchholtz at his parents’ house. She became agitated when he told her he needed a copy of the baby’s birth certificate and Social Security card, Buchholtz told the paper.

Sanchez ran out of the home with her son in a car seat, threw the car seat into the front passenger seat of her car and sped away without buckling him in, the paper said. She left behind a diaper bag, her purse and her medication.

Buchholtz’s mother called 911, and a sheriff’s deputy investigated the incident as a disturbance, according to court records. The next day, authorities said, she killed her son.

Officers called to Sanchez’s house at about 5 a.m. Sunday found her sitting on the couch screaming “I killed my baby! I killed my baby!” San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said.

McManus described the crime scene as so grisly that police officers barely spoke to each other while looking through the house.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Suicide: Man Out of Prison for 3 Hours: England

Notice from the article below that this fellow had been abruptly discontinued from his antidepressant when incarcerated in November. Then while still in the critical withdrawal stage was re-introduced to the use of an antidepressant – likely a new one since jails and prisons have access to a select few they prescribe. So he likely had three strikes against him leading to his sudden and very determined suicide.

Dr. Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director, International Coalition For Drug Awareness

Paragraph four reads: “The jury inquest at Nottingham Coroner’s Court heard Mr Brown had been at the prison for five weeks and was four days away from being released when he was seen by a psychiatrist and given anti-depressants.”

SSRI Stories note: The most likely time for suicidal behaviors and SSRI antidepressants are: 1. When first starting the drugs: 2. When stopping the drugs. 3. While increasing the dose: 4. While decreasing the dose. 5. When switching from one SSRI to another antidepressant.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/homenews/Coroner-criticises-healthcare-Nottingham-Prison/article-1196220-detail/article.html

Coroner criticises healthcare at Nottingham Prison
Monday, July 27, 2009, 07:00

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A CORONER has criticised health services at Nottingham Prison after an inmate committed suicide hours after his release.

Gary Brown, 39, of Cranwell Road, Strelley, drowned on December 24, 2007.

He was seen jumping off Trent Bridge less than three hours after he was released from the prison.

The jury inquest at Nottingham Coroner’s Court heard Mr Brown had been at the prison for five weeks and was four days away from being released when he was seen by a psychiatrist and given anti-depressants.

Notts coroner Dr Nigel Chapman said there was a “huge gap” between Mr Brown seeing a GP on his arrival at the prison and seeing a psychiatrist.

The inquest heard there was a lack of communication between health workers, and one doctor at the prison called it “an entirely haphazard system”.

Mr Brown arrived at Nottingham Prison on November 15, 2007. He saw a GP, Dr Lloyd, the next day, who said Mr Brown was not showing symptoms of mental health problems.

Mr Brown said he had previously been prescribed anti-depressants but Dr Lloyd did not renew the prescription as he could not obtain any previous medical records.

Other members of the health team said they tried to get hold of Mr Brown’s medical records but were unable to trace them.

Dr Julian Kenneth Henry, who also saw Mr Brown, told the inquest the amount of time between the prisoner arriving and seeing a psychiatrist was “unprecedented”.

He said: “Unfortunately, in a prison setting there are an awful lot of people involved and there are failures of communication on a daily basis.

“It’s an entirely haphazard system. It’s a very disjointed system and there is not an excuse for it.”

Mr Brown saw psychiatrist Dr Trevor Boughton on December 20 and was given a prescription for anti-depressants.

Dr Boughton said Mr Brown seemed anxious but not psychotic or suicidal.

He said: “He seemed very eager to be released from prison. He spoke very fondly of his brother, whom he was hoping to spend Christmas with.”

The inquest heard the medication was not likely to have had any effect on Mr Brown by the time he was released four days later.

Senior prison officer Vince McGonigle said Mr Brown was released between 9am and 9.30am on December 24 and seemed “in an agitated state”.

Less than three hours later, at around 11.45am, a member of the public saw him jump from Trent Bridge into the River Trent.

Kyle Charles told the inquest: “I saw a person in the water and tried shouting at him. I managed to get the orange ring off the wall and threw that into the water but he swam away from it.

“When he saw me taking my jacket off he held his nose and then started to push himself under the water. He went down, came back up, went down and never came back up again.”

Mr Brown’s body was pulled from the water at 2.55pm. There was no evidence of any violence and no alcohol found in his system.

The jury returned a verdict of suicide, with a majority of six to two. They said there had been a “severe breakdown” of communication during Mr Brown’s care.

Coroner Dr Chapman said: “Clearly there have been difficulties here and the prison has taken those on board.”

But he said Mr Brown’s time in prison would have been a good opportunity to put him on medication and monitor him.

He added “a simple phone number” for a crisis team would be beneficial for people leaving prison.

samantha.hughes@nottinghameveningpost.co.uk

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Pharmacist Kills Robber: Includes False Memories: Oklahoma

Paragraph 8 reads: “‘I can’t ever get rid of that, and so I’m treated with a sleeping medication and anti-depressants to try to get me past that.”

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=12&articleid=20090726_298_0_Apamcs638535

Record of OKC pharmacist involved in shooting in doubt

By NOLAN CLAY NewsOK.com
Published: 7/26/2009 8:00 AM
Last Modified: 7/26/2009 8:02 AM

A pharmacist charged with murder told police he had killed before, while overseas in the first Gulf War. But according to his military records, he was never there.

Instead, Jerome Jay Ers-land spent the war in 1991 as the pharmacy chief at the military hospital at Altus Air Force Base in southwestern Oklahoma, records show.

Ersland fatally shot a robber May 19 at the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in Oklahoma City.

The shooting attracted national attention when prosecutors charged him with first-degree murder, alleging he went too far while defending himself. Military veterans rallied to his support after he described himself as an Army veteran injured during Operation Desert Storm. He told The Oklahoman in May he hurt his back during a mortar attack.

Ersland, 57, of Chickasha, insisted again Friday that he served in Iraq during the war. He said he flew overseas from Altus to supply Army troops with nerve agent antidotes and spent time in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq. He said he was there for about 48 days, both before and after the war started. He said he was in the Air Force but serving as a liaison to the Army. He insisted he was injured while overseas, but didn’t know how bad he was hurt at the time. He said he hid his back injury from the military so “I wouldn’t get kicked out.”

He would not say Friday whether he killed anyone in combat.

“There’s no way to prove it,” Ersland said. “And I found out if you can’t prove it, you can’t say it. … I know now that I have to be able to prove everything on paper. … I can tell you one thing, though. That is: I do have dreams, bad nightmares, about that, every night. … That’s every night. They’re just horrible dreams, about six specific soldiers being dead … lying beside one another and they haven’t been body bagged yet and I knew all of them. And then I always dream about body parts of Iraqis, of people.

“I can’t ever get rid of that, and so I’m treated with a sleeping medication and anti-depressants to try to get me past that.”

The government last week released to The Oklahoman eight pages about Ersland’s military service, first in the Army and then in the Air Force. Reporters also reviewed other records about Ersland’s military service.

Prosecutors doubted Ersland’s accounts about his Gulf War service, and they subpoenaed his military papers from the government to check his statements. Prosecutors received a thick envelope of Ersland’s military papers Thursday.

“They verify exactly what we assumed about … his comments about his military record,” Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said.

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PAXIL: Man Kills Brother: Arizona

THIS MAKES ME SICK!!!!! I CALLED ON THIS CASE AS SOON AS IT HAPPENED AND IT WAS RIGHT IN MY HOME AREA ON TOP OF THAT!!!!! THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE LOST THIS CASE!!

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Gene & Rosie Meysenburg
To:
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 2009 13:08:16 -0500
Subject: PAXIL: Man Kills Brother: Arizona
Paragraphs 10 through 15 read: “Was drug to blame?”

“Defense attorney David Thorn said it is not accurate that the blackout was caused by drinking, though Elliott had a couple of glasses of wine the afternoon before the incident.”

The police report stated nothing about Elliott being extremely intoxicated; he was lucid, articulate and cooperative, Thorn said.

Instead, the blackout could have been caused by an anti-depressant called Paxil, which Elliott had recently been prescribed, Thorn said. There have been several civil cases contending Paxil caused someone to kill themselves or someone else without warning.

Doctors interviewed by the defense could not say beyond a reasonable doubt that Paxil was the cause, Thorn said. However, there is evidence the drug can cause a small percentage of people to take out-of-character actions.

Hoggatt said he did not have enough information to draw conclusions from the Paxil cases.

http://www.douglasdispatch.com/articles/2009/07/26/news/breaking_news/doc4a6bf083dbd2b495068709.txt

Man gets 11-year term for killing his brother
By Adam Curtis
Wick News Service
Published/Last Modified on Saturday, July 25, 2009 11:59 PM MDT

BISBEE ­ More than a year after fatally shooting his brother, Jason Elliott, with a shotgun in the Double Adobe area, Wayne Michael Elliott, 37, received his sentence Friday.

Elliott, who pleaded guilty last month in Cochise County Superior Court to second-degree murder, was sentenced to 11 years without the possibility of early release. Judge Wallace Hoggatt decided Elliott will receive credit for the 446 days he has already served and will not have to pay restitution to his family.

Elliott could have been sentenced to as much as 22 years in prison or as little as 10 years. Hoggatt said a mitigated term was appropriate in this case because of several factors, including the fact that Elliott called the police himself and cooperated with officers at the scene.

Anthony Elliott, the defendant’s father, asked the judge to take this into consideration. At the time of the incident, Anthony Elliott said, he was traveling to England and there was no one else at the house to call authorities. There were two vehicles at the house, which was only about 15 miles from Mexico, but his son did not try to flee, Anthony said.

Other mitigating factors included Elliott’s minimal criminal history and his history of alcoholism, Hoggatt said. “I don’t think anyone questions his remorse in this case.”

Elliott has told the court he has no memory of what happened but still pleaded guilty. On Friday, he said, “I would do anything to change what happened, I would do 50 years in solitary confinement without a second thought.

“I know we need resolution to help my parents move on. I will accept whatever you give me.”

Prosecuting attorney Doyle Johnstun said the fact Elliott was blacked out from drinking could pose an even greater danger to the community. “Given his history of problems with alcohol, it’s far from certain this wouldn’t happen again.”

Johnstun recommended 10 to 16 years in prison, based on the potential risk to the community but also factoring in the wishes of the victims.

Was drug to blame?

Defense attorney David Thorn said it is not accurate that the blackout was caused by drinking, though Elliott had a couple of glasses of wine the afternoon before the incident.

The police report stated nothing about Elliott being extremely intoxicated; he was lucid, articulate and cooperative, Thorn said.

Instead, the blackout could have been caused by an anti-depressant called Paxil, which Elliott had recently been prescribed, Thorn said. There have been several civil cases contending Paxil caused someone to kill themselves or someone else without warning.

Doctors interviewed by the defense could not say beyond a reasonable doubt that Paxil was the cause, Thorn said. However, there is evidence the drug can cause a small percentage of people to take out-of-character actions.

Hoggatt said he did not have enough information to draw conclusions from the Paxil cases.

Before being escorted out of the courtroom, Elliott wished his sister a happy birthday.

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Paragraphs 10 through 15 read: “Was drug to blame?”

“Defense attorney David Thorn said it is not accurate that the blackout was caused by drinking, though Elliott had a couple of glasses of wine the afternoon before the incident.”

The police report stated nothing about Elliott being extremely intoxicated; he was lucid, articulate and cooperative, Thorn said.

Instead, the blackout could have been caused by an anti-depressant called Paxil, which Elliott had recently been prescribed, Thorn said. There have been several civil cases contending Paxil caused someone to kill themselves or someone else without warning.

Doctors interviewed by the defense could not say beyond a reasonable doubt that Paxil was the cause, Thorn said. However, there is evidence the drug can cause a small percentage of people to take out-of-character actions.

Hoggatt said he did not have enough information to draw conclusions from the Paxil cases.

http://www.douglasdispatch.com/articles/2009/07/26/news/breaking_news/doc4a6bf083dbd2b495068709.txt

Man gets 11-year term for killing his brother
By Adam Curtis
Wick News Service
Published/Last Modified on Saturday, July 25, 2009 11:59 PM MDT

BISBEE ­ More than a year after fatally shooting his brother, Jason Elliott, with a shotgun in the Double Adobe area, Wayne Michael Elliott, 37, received his sentence Friday.

Elliott, who pleaded guilty last month in Cochise County Superior Court to second-degree murder, was sentenced to 11 years without the possibility of early release. Judge Wallace Hoggatt decided Elliott will receive credit for the 446 days he has already served and will not have to pay restitution to his family.

Elliott could have been sentenced to as much as 22 years in prison or as little as 10 years. Hoggatt said a mitigated term was appropriate in this case because of several factors, including the fact that Elliott called the police himself and cooperated with officers at the scene.

Anthony Elliott, the defendant’s father, asked the judge to take this into consideration. At the time of the incident, Anthony Elliott said, he was traveling to England and there was no one else at the house to call authorities. There were two vehicles at the house, which was only about 15 miles from Mexico, but his son did not try to flee, Anthony said.

Other mitigating factors included Elliott’s minimal criminal history and his history of alcoholism, Hoggatt said. “I don’t think anyone questions his remorse in this case.”

Elliott has told the court he has no memory of what happened but still pleaded guilty. On Friday, he said, “I would do anything to change what happened, I would do 50 years in solitary confinement without a second thought.

“I know we need resolution to help my parents move on. I will accept whatever you give me.”

Prosecuting attorney Doyle Johnstun said the fact Elliott was blacked out from drinking could pose an even greater danger to the community. “Given his history of problems with alcohol, it’s far from certain this wouldn’t happen again.”

Johnstun recommended 10 to 16 years in prison, based on the potential risk to the community but also factoring in the wishes of the victims.

Was drug to blame?

Defense attorney David Thorn said it is not accurate that the blackout was caused by drinking, though Elliott had a couple of glasses of wine the afternoon before the incident.

The police report stated nothing about Elliott being extremely intoxicated; he was lucid, articulate and cooperative, Thorn said.

Instead, the blackout could have been caused by an anti-depressant called Paxil, which Elliott had recently been prescribed, Thorn said. There have been several civil cases contending Paxil caused someone to kill themselves or someone else without warning.

Doctors interviewed by the defense could not say beyond a reasonable doubt that Paxil was the cause, Thorn said. However, there is evidence the drug can cause a small percentage of people to take out-of-character actions.

Hoggatt said he did not have enough information to draw conclusions from the Paxil cases.

Before being escorted out of the courtroom, Elliott wished his sister a happy birthday.

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Senate Orders Study on Military Suicides

Paragraphs 7 & 8 read: “By voice vote, the Senate approved a Cardin-sponsored amendment to the 2010 defense authorization bill that would order an independent study by the National Institute of Mental Health on the potential relationship between suicide or suicide attempts and the use of antidepressants, anti-anxiety and other behavior-modifying prescription drugs.”

“That study is expected to take two years. In the meantime, Cardin’s amendment also would require a report every June from 2010 through 2015 giving the number and percentages of troops who are serving or have served in Iraq or Afghanistan who had prescriptions for antidepressants or similar drugs.”

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/07/military_suicides_antidepressants_072309w/

Senator: Study prescriptions-suicide link
By Rick Maze – Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Jul 23, 2009 11:32:42 EDT

The Senate on Wednesday ordered an independent study to determine whether an increase in military suicides could be the result of sending troops into combat while they are taking antidepressants or sleeping pills.

Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., who pushed for the study, said he does not know whether there is a link, but he believes prescription drug use, especially when it is not closely supervised by medical personnel, needs a closer look.

“One thing we should all be concerned about is that there are more and more of our soldiers who are using prescription antidepressant drugs … and we are not clear as to whether they are under appropriate medical supervision,” Cardin said.

The problem, he said, is that some antidepressants “take several weeks before they reach their full potential,” and during that time there is a risk of increased suicidal thoughts among 18- to 24-year-olds ­ an age group that includes many service members.

When people taking antidepressants are deployed, they may not be under close medical supervision, especially if they are in a unit that is on the move in combat, Cardin said.

“Surveys … have shown that as many as 12 percent of those who are serving in Iraq and 17 percent of those who are serving in Afghanistan are using some form of prescribed antidepressant or sleeping pills,” Cardin said. “That would equal 20,000 of our service members.”

By voice vote, the Senate approved a Cardin-sponsored amendment to the 2010 defense authorization bill that would order an independent study by the National Institute of Mental Health on the potential relationship between suicide or suicide attempts and the use of antidepressants, anti-anxiety and other behavior-modifying prescription drugs.

That study is expected to take two years. In the meantime, Cardin’s amendment also would require a report every June from 2010 through 2015 giving the number and percentages of troops who are serving or have served in Iraq or Afghanistan who had prescriptions for antidepressants or similar drugs.

The reports would not include names or any specifics that would identify the service members, Cardin said. “We protect their individual privacy,” he said. “There is no stigma attached at all to this survey.”

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From: Atracyphd1@aol.com
To: post@drugawareness.org, DCKCCPAS@aol.com, Atracyphd2@aol.com
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 03:08:48 EDT
Subject: ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Senate Orders Study on Military Suicides
Paragraphs 7 & 8 read: “By voice vote, the Senate approved a Cardin-sponsored amendment to the 2010 defense authorization bill that would order an independent study by the National Institute of Mental Health on the potential relationship between suicide or suicide attempts and the use of antidepressants, anti-anxiety and other behavior-modifying prescription drugs.”

“That study is expected to take two years. In the meantime, Cardin’s amendment also would require a report every June from 2010 through 2015 giving the number and percentages of troops who are serving or have served in Iraq or Afghanistan who had prescriptions for antidepressants or similar drugs.”

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/07/military_suicides_antidepressants_072309w/

Senator: Study prescriptions-suicide link
By Rick Maze – Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Jul 23, 2009 11:32:42 EDT

The Senate on Wednesday ordered an independent study to determine whether an increase in military suicides could be the result of sending troops into combat while they are taking antidepressants or sleeping pills.

Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., who pushed for the study, said he does not know whether there is a link, but he believes prescription drug use, especially when it is not closely supervised by medical personnel, needs a closer look.

“One thing we should all be concerned about is that there are more and more of our soldiers who are using prescription antidepressant drugs … and we are not clear as to whether they are under appropriate medical supervision,” Cardin said.

The problem, he said, is that some antidepressants “take several weeks before they reach their full potential,” and during that time there is a risk of increased suicidal thoughts among 18- to 24-year-olds ­ an age group that includes many service members.

When people taking antidepressants are deployed, they may not be under close medical supervision, especially if they are in a unit that is on the move in combat, Cardin said.

“Surveys … have shown that as many as 12 percent of those who are serving in Iraq and 17 percent of those who are serving in Afghanistan are using some form of prescribed antidepressant or sleeping pills,” Cardin said. “That would equal 20,000 of our service members.”

By voice vote, the Senate approved a Cardin-sponsored amendment to the 2010 defense authorization bill that would order an independent study by the National Institute of Mental Health on the potential relationship between suicide or suicide attempts and the use of antidepressants, anti-anxiety and other behavior-modifying prescription drugs.

That study is expected to take two years. In the meantime, Cardin’s amendment also would require a report every June from 2010 through 2015 giving the number and percentages of troops who are serving or have served in Iraq or Afghanistan who had prescriptions for antidepressants or similar drugs.

The reports would not include names or any specifics that would identify the service members, Cardin said. “We protect their individual privacy,” he said. “There is no stigma attached at all to this survey.”

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DEPRESSION MED: Mother Kills her 7 Month Old Twins: Attempts Suicide: …

First four paragraphs read: “Police are investigating reports the mother of twins found dead inside a Perth home was suffering depression.”

“Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Fyfe said prescription drugs for the woman were found alongside the unconscious mother and her seven-month-old twins, who media reports have named as Sophie and Lachlan.”

“Police believe the woman may have killed her son and daughter before attempting to take her own life.”

“Det Sen Sgt Fyfe said family members had told police the mother had been suffering postnatal depression and been prescribed drugs for treatment.”

http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/dead-twins-mother-was-depressed-report-20090707-dakd.html

Dead twins’ mother was depressed: report

Aleisha Preedy
July 7, 2009 – 1:49PM

Police are investigating reports the mother of twins found dead inside a Perth home was suffering depression.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Fyfe said prescription drugs for the woman were found alongside the unconscious mother and her seven-month-old twins, who media reports have named as Sophie and Lachlan.

Police believe the woman may have killed her son and daughter before attempting to take her own life.

Det Sen Sgt Fyfe said family members had told police the mother had been suffering postnatal depression and been prescribed drugs for treatment.

He said police had ruled that no one had forced entry into the house and the incident was being investigated as an apparent murder suicide.

“We are investigating reports the mother was suffering postnatal depression,” Det Sen Sgt Fyfe told reporters on Tuesday.

“We have been unable to confirm that at the moment.

“It appears she may have taken an overdose of prescription drugs but until later today when the toxicology reports are out, I can’t confirm that.”

He said the distraught father had been sedated and police hoped to speak to him later in the day.

The mother remained in a critical but stable condition in Royal Perth Hospital.

Major crime squad detectives were called to the home at the end of a cul-de-sac in Flintlock Street, Cloverdale about 3.30pm (WST) on Monday.

The twins were the couple’s only children.

© 2009 AAP

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DEPRESSION MED: Woman Turns Into a “Botox Bandit” Florida

Paragraph 19 reads: “In April, Tampa police reported they took Merk into protective custody for mental evaluation after she sent her ex-boyfriend a text message indicating she was suicidal. Police noted she was taking medication for depression.”

http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/article1015369.ece

Spa manager believes she is a victim of the Botox Bandit
By Justin George, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Friday, July 3, 2009

TAMPA ­ The woman came in looking to peel off her past.

Blond hair, blue eyes, gym shorts. Like the girl next door, thought the manager of Skin NV, a med spa that opened in May.

The client said her 10-year high school reunion was around the corner and she wanted to be the envy of everyone else.

The spa obliged.

Chemical peel: $50. Laser treatment: $348. A protein-rich recovery cream: $155. Clarisonic Skin Care Brush: $195. Prescription-grade Vitamin A: $74.

Then came the bill: $851.68, not uncommon in South Tampa, where looks matter and women have the means, said Anne Nelson, Skin NV’s manager.

The client wrote a check and signed it Jaimie Merk.

Five days later, on June 15, the check bounced. It bounced again on repeat tries. Nelson has the bank paperwork to prove it.

That’s when she learned the story of the Botox Bandit.

“What kind of girl does this?” she asks now. “I just don’t understand.”

• • •

On Jaimie Merk’s Facebook page, her profile photo flashes an even, bright white smile.

She’s single, 32, and says she works as a weight-loss clinic director.

She majored in psychology at the University of North Florida.

Yoga is her new obsession, she notes on Facebook. She loves lying in the sun, hearing a baby laugh and getting facials.

She has nearly 400 friends. Some write her daily.

She doesn’t like to be called “ma’am.”

Elsewhere, a different picture of Merk appears.

Once, in a courtroom, a doctor testified that her self-esteem was so low that she resorts to stealing Botox to feel better, according to an attorney who was part of the proceedings.

In April, Tampa police reported they took Merk into protective custody for mental evaluation after she sent her ex-boyfriend a text message indicating she was suicidal. Police noted she was taking medication for depression.

People victimized by Merk do not have much sympathy.

Their names show up in lawsuits and court judgments.

• • •

In August 2007, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office asked the public for help catching the “Botox Bandit.”

A woman had shown up at Rejuva Plastic Surgery Center and Medi-Spa, received a facial and cosmetic procedures, and then disappeared leaving an $850 bill. She used an alias.

The Sheriff’s Office had a picture of the suspect ­ made possible because the plastic surgeon had taken a “before” photo.

A tip led deputies to Jaimie Merk, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s officials said at the time.

It was just one of several cases that landed her on probation until 2012 for several convictions of grand theft and worthless checks in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, according to the state Department of Corrections.

Her civil court and probation files contain claims from pet supply stores, renters and even an adoption agency saying she owes them money.

Those who have dealt with Merk wonder whether there are other victims.

• • •

Pregnant in 2004, Merk agreed to turn over her unborn child to adoptive parents through Heart of Adoptions of Tampa, according to a lawsuit the agency filed.

She told the adoption agency that she had no idea who the father was, the lawsuit stated. She said she met him at a bar.

Medical records stated that Joshua Sean Squires was the father. But Merk signed a notarized statement disputing that, the lawsuit said.

The adoptive parents and the agency paid her more than $5,000 for living expenses, attorney fees and other costs.

A few weeks later, the agency heard from Squires.

In an interview with the Times, he said he was in a weeks-­long relationship with Merk when she became pregnant.

“She knew she was pregnant with my child,” he said. “There was no one-night stand with anyone, and I was in the delivery room on Dec. 23, 2004.”

Squires, 30, now has custody of the 4½-year-old girl.

In 2006, a judge ordered Merk to pay the agency $6,113, court records show.

The agency’s executive director, Brigette Barno, said Monday that Merk has paid nothing.

• • •

In January 2008, prospective renters responded to an ad on Craigslist advertising a Seminole Heights house that belongs to Merk’s mother, according to Hillsborough property records.

Two of them, Angela Hart and Eric Younghans, wound up suing Merk in small claims court. Hart also sued Merk’s mother.

They say Jaimie Merk showed them a house and collected $1,900 from each of them.

Hart, suspicious after Merk delayed the move-in date, looked her up on Google and learned of her Botox Bandit past. She asked for her money back. In a court document, she said Merk agreed.

Younghans, meanwhile, learned from Merk that the house wouldn’t be available. Merk told him she would refund his money, he said.

Neither got a refund. Merk made excuses, they said. Sometimes she didn’t return calls.

In 2008, a judge ordered her to pay each $2,075. In Hart’s case, Merk’s mother was also held responsible, according to the final judgment.

So far, Hart, 30, has received $150, she said.

“She’s never going to learn her lesson,” Hart said of Merk. “People say people change. They don’t.”

Younghans, 56, has received $150, he said.

“She seemed very believable,” he said. “She’s very good at it.”

• • •

Merk did not respond to a voice mail message from the Times for this story. A note was left at her door seeking comment. An attorney who represented her did not call back.

“I’m not giving any comments,” said her mother, Debra Merk, who owns a $1.1 million waterfront house in Clearwater Beach. “As far as I know, what you’re saying is not true.”

• • •

In hindsight, the Skin NV manager said she felt a little wary about Merk’s June 10 check when she noticed the address in a neighborhood of rentals.

After the check bounced, she tried to call Merk. The phone numbers Merk left didn’t work.

Nelson sent her business partner to Merk’s stated address, a pink apartment building. The partner left a note.

No one called back.

Nelson contacted the Hillsborough County Victims Assistance program. A counselor helped her start the process of filing a bad check complaint. That process is now under way. No charges have been filed.

Nelson even tried to connect with Merk by inviting her to be a “friend” on Facebook.

Merk didn’t respond.

On June 25, after a Times reporter left messages for Merk, she sent an e-mail to the spa.

“I’m very sorry I did not contact you sooner,” she wrote. “I have not had a phone since you left that letter at my apartment, and I just received another letter in the mail today.

“I just want you to know that I am very sorry for this, and of course I’m going to pay for the services I received,” she wrote. “I am just not sure why you have chosen to take this further without even giving me the opportunity to rectify the situation.”

Merk said she would bring the money in this week.

Nelson told her the spa would be closed Friday.

By the end of the day Thursday, Merk hadn’t paid.

• • •

On a Facebook quiz, Merk writes that she loves the smell of flowers and wants to meet the man of her dreams.

Two things she is proud of? Her daughter and family.

Two things she is not proud of? “Let’s keep those in the closet,” she wrote.

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Justin George can be reached at (813) 226-3368.

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ZOLOFT: Woman Professional Comedian: Bizarre Behavior On Stage: Austra…

Last two paragraphs read: “The mother-of-five also told the disgruntled crowd that she was taking the prescription anti-depressant Zoloft before abusing audience members as they began to file from the theatre.”

“It was pretty disgusting,” one audience member told Confidential

SSRI Stories Note: The Physicians Desk Reference states that antidepressants can cause a craving for alcohol and alcohol abuse. Also, the liver cannot metabolize the antidepressant and the alcohol simultaneously, thus leading to higher levels of both alcohol and the antidepressant in the human body.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25727787-12377,00.html

By Amy Harris | July 03, 2009
Article from: The Courier-Mail

FEMALE comic Fiona O’Loughlin’s admitted to being drunk before collapsing on stage, shocked audience members said.

They told Confidential she also admitted to being on anti-depressants during her bizarre Brisbane performance.

O’Loughlin, who is part of the In Stitches program at QPAC’s Cremorne theatre, was on stage for just 25 minutes before organisers chose to scrap the performance and refund audience admission.

It’s understood the comedienne, who is part of Channel Seven’s Dancing With The Stars lineup, staggered around the stage and slurred her words before admitting she had come from a ‘boozy lunch’ at an Italian restaurant.

The mother-of-five also told the disgruntled crowd that she was taking the prescription anti-depressant Zoloft before abusing audience members as they began to file from the theatre.

“It was pretty disgusting,” one audience member told Confidential

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