Medical examiner confirms death of 9-yr-old Colony, TX boy was

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):

This suicide is much too similar to little Gabriel Myers’ (7) suicide
in Florida last year – while in the custody of CPS! He too was on
similar medications when he impulsively hung himself with a shower
hose in the bathroom.

Both types of medications have an FDA black box warning for suicide
for this age group. WHY?!!! Want to talk about him being exposed to
something toxic? This is it! Why as a society do we allow this to
continue?!!! Why is it okay for doctors to give patients drugs that
could cause suicide?

Here is the warning given for Strattera which is prescribed for ADHD.
[And a similar warning was given to all antidepressant and mood
stablizing medications (which Montana was also taking).]

9/05 From Web MD: “The FDA is advising health care providers and
caregivers that children and adolescents being treated with Strattera
should be closely monitored for worsening of symptoms as well as
agitation, irritability, SUICIDAL THINKING OR BEHAVIORS, and unusual
changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of
therapy or when the dose is changed (either increased or decreased).”

“THIS MONITORING SHOULD INCLUDE DAILY OBSERVATION BY FAMILIES AND
CAREGIVERS AND FREQUENT CONTACT WITH THE PHYSICIAN, says the FDA.”
[Emphasis added]

What kind of close monitoring is this when he hangs himself in a
nurses office?! Why did none of the professionals working with Montana
withdraw him from the medications which had been producing these
suicidal thoughts for some time BEFORE he lost his life? I see these
FAR TOO OFTEN and the children are getting younger and younger as
those who should be caring for them ignore these strong FDA warnings
that are the next closest thing there is to banning a group of drugs!

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/021710dnmetlancesuicide.12e83ee14.html?so=TimeStampAscending&ocp=5#slcgm_comments_anchor

Medical examiner confirms death of 9-year-old Colony boy was suicide

11:13 PM CST on Thursday, February 18, 2010

By WENDY HUNDLEY/The Dallas Morning News
whundley@dallasnews.com

The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office ruled Thursday that a
9-year-old boy from The Colony committed suicide.

Montana Lance

The determination rules out speculation that Montana Lance’s death was
an accident.

Montana was found hanging in a bathroom at Stewart’s Creek Elementary
School around 1 p.m. Jan. 21. He was taken to Baylor Medical Center at
Carrollton, where he was pronounced dead.

Lt. Darren Brockway of The Colony police said the medical examiner’s
ruling is consistent with police conclusions about the death.

“He’d gotten in trouble at school and panicked,” Brockway said. “He
just felt there was no other way out.”

There had been speculation that Montana watched a television show
about teen suicide the night before his death and was copying what he
saw with no real intention to kill himself.

“We ruled that out as an option after talking to his parents,”
Brockway said. “He didn’t watch that show.”

Also Online

01/25/10: Friends, family stunned by apparent suicide of 9-year-old boy

Link: Leave your condolences for the family of Montana Lance

Still, experts say children as young as Montana may not fully
comprehend the consequences of their actions. A suicidal act may be a
spur-of-the-moment act, like an outburst or a tantrum, they say.

“It was more of a conscious decision he made in a moment of high
anxiety,” Brockway said.

A spokesman for the Lance family could not be reached for comment
Thursday. A police report says Montana’s father had insisted the death
was accidental.

Brockway said Montana had been upset on the day of his death after he
was sent to the office for misbehaving in class. He locked himself in
the school nurse’s restroom and didn’t come out.

After about 10 minutes, the nurse got a key to open the door and found
the child unconscious.

Montana had attached the buckle of a brown cloth belt to a hook of a
device used to help disabled people use the restroom, according to a
police report. He was found with the belt around his neck with his
feet off the floor. Police found no notes or messages.

He had been taking medication for mood swings and for attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder, and had been having suicidal thoughts
for about two years, the police report states.

In 2007, Montana’s parents, Jason and Debbie Lance, sought treatment
for their son for ADHD.

In 2008, they told the doctor that the boy had been talking about
committing suicide, and he was referred to a psychiatrist, according
to the police report.

After Montana’s death, Child Protective Services opened an
investigation to determine whether abuse or neglect were contributing
factors.

That investigation has not been completed, but the family’s other two
children have not been removed from the home, CPS spokeswoman Marissa
Gonzales said.

Gonzales said CPS has had no prior involvement with the Lances and
routinely investigates child fatalities.

With the medical examiner’s ruling, police plan to close their
investigation with no charges filed, Brockway said.

582 total views, no views today

Medical examiner confirms death of 9-yr-old Colony, TX boy was suicide

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):

This suicide is much too similar to little Gabriel Myers’ (7) suicide in Florida last year – while in the custody of CPS! He too was on similar medications when he impulsively hung himself with a shower hose in the bathroom.

Both types of medications have an FDA black box warning for suicide for this age group. WHY?!!! Want to talk about him being exposed to something toxic? This is it! Why as a society do we allow this to continue?!!! Why is it okay for doctors to give patients drugs that could cause suicide?

Here is the warning given for Strattera which is prescribed for ADHD. [And a similar warning was given to all antidepressant and mood stablizing medications (which Montana was also taking).]

9/05 From Web MD: “The FDA is advising health care providers and caregivers that children and adolescents being treated with Strattera should be closely monitored for worsening of symptoms as well as agitation, irritability, SUICIDAL THINKING OR BEHAVIORS, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of therapy or when the dose is changed (either increased or decreased).”

“THIS MONITORING SHOULD INCLUDE DAILY OBSERVATION BY FAMILIES AND CAREGIVERS AND FREQUENT CONTACT WITH THE PHYSICIAN, says the FDA.” [Emphasis added]

What kind of close monitoring is this when he hangs himself in a nurses office?! Why did none of the professionals working with Montana withdraw him from the medications which had been producing these suicidal thoughts for some time BEFORE he lost his life? I see these FAR TOO OFTEN and the children are getting younger and younger as those who should be caring for them ignore these strong FDA warnings that are the next closest thing there is to banning a group of drugs!

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/021710dnmetlancesuicide.12e83ee14.html?so=TimeStampAscending&ocp=5#slcgm_comments_anchor
Medical examiner confirms death of 9-year-old Colony boy was suicide

11:13 PM CST on Thursday, February 18, 2010

By WENDY HUNDLEY/The Dallas Morning News
whundley@dallasnews.com
The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office ruled Thursday that a 9-year-old boy from The Colony committed suicide.

Montana Lance
The determination rules out speculation that Montana Lance’s death was an accident.

Montana was found hanging in a bathroom at Stewart’s Creek Elementary School around 1 p.m. Jan. 21. He was taken to Baylor Medical Center at Carrollton, where he was pronounced dead.

Lt. Darren Brockway of The Colony police said the medical examiner’s ruling is consistent with police conclusions about the death.

“He’d gotten in trouble at school and panicked,” Brockway said. “He just felt there was no other way out.”

There had been speculation that Montana watched a television show about teen suicide the night before his death and was copying what he saw with no real intention to kill himself.

“We ruled that out as an option after talking to his parents,” Brockway said. “He didn’t watch that show.”

Also Online
01/25/10: Friends, family stunned by apparent suicide of 9-year-old boy

Link: Leave your condolences for the family of Montana Lance

Still, experts say children as young as Montana may not fully comprehend the consequences of their actions. A suicidal act may be a spur-of-the-moment act, like an outburst or a tantrum, they say.

“It was more of a conscious decision he made in a moment of high anxiety,” Brockway said.

A spokesman for the Lance family could not be reached for comment Thursday. A police report says Montana’s father had insisted the death was accidental.

Brockway said Montana had been upset on the day of his death after he was sent to the office for misbehaving in class. He locked himself in the school nurse’s restroom and didn’t come out.

After about 10 minutes, the nurse got a key to open the door and found the child unconscious.

Montana had attached the buckle of a brown cloth belt to a hook of a device used to help disabled people use the restroom, according to a police report. He was found with the belt around his neck with his feet off the floor. Police found no notes or messages.

He had been taking medication for mood swings and for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and had been having suicidal thoughts for about two years, the police report states.

In 2007, Montana’s parents, Jason and Debbie Lance, sought treatment for their son for ADHD.

In 2008, they told the doctor that the boy had been talking about committing suicide, and he was referred to a psychiatrist, according to the police report.

After Montana’s death, Child Protective Services opened an investigation to determine whether abuse or neglect were contributing factors.

That investigation has not been completed, but the family’s other two children have not been removed from the home, CPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales said.

Gonzales said CPS has had no prior involvement with the Lances and routinely investigates child fatalities.

With the medical examiner’s ruling, police plan to close their investigation with no charges filed, Brockway said.

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ANTIDEPRESSANT: Makes Teenage Girl Angry All the Time: Massachusetts

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):

How tragic that this poor young woman would have to turn to
the Dear Abby column (or whatever they call it now) for help with this! Why
would her own doctor not know enough to explain to her that this antidepressant
is causing her blood sugar to drop producing adrenalin rushes as the body’s
attempt to normalize sugar? Since adrenalin is your fight or flight hormone it
is no wonder she is angry all the time and no wonder it affects relationships as
the patients become meaner and meaner when they cannot control their blood sugar
levels due to the effects of these drugs.

You ask if she has been screened for diabetes? I may not show
up yet, but soon will with her pancreas experiencing that strong of a negative
effect from the antidepressant. This is a very bright young woman to be able to
notice what effect this drug is having upon her. And her mother may change her
mind about having her daughter take the antidepressant when her daughter
violently attacks her in a rage produced by the drug! What a shame her
mother is not listening to her as she cries out for help knowing what
violence the drugs are causing her to be capable of, yet frightened to verbalize
those horribly violent thoughts previously so completely foreign to
her.
__________________________________
Last part of paragraph two reads:  ” However, the
antidepressant causes me to be uncontrollably angry
all the time.
I also don’t sleep well when I take it, which just adds to
my irritability. It has gotten so bad that it has started to affect my
relationships with friends and family.”

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091130/LIFE/911300302/-1/ENTERTAIN

Teen frets taking her antidepressants

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar
November 30, 2009 12:00
AM

Dear Annie: I am a 16-year-old girl who still wets the bed. I have
tried everything from wearing an alarm to taking medication.

I am now on
a prescription that works by telling my kidneys to stop producing urine,
although it doesn’t work all the time. A urologist prescribed an antidepressant

that prevents me from sleeping too deeply. With the combination of these two
medicines, I no longer wet the bed. However, the antidepressant causes me to be
uncontrollably angry all the time. I also don’t sleep well when I take it, which
just adds to my irritability. It has gotten so bad that it has started to affect
my relationships with friends and family.

My mom wants me to keep taking
it because it works. But, Annie, I don’t like being angry all the time, and I
don’t want to be on medication for the rest of my life. What can I
do?

­ At a Loss

Dear At a Loss: Most teens with enuresis are
exceedingly deep sleepers, and many also have a small bladder, exacerbating the

problem. We assume you have been screened for diabetes and a genetic link, and
that you don’t drink alcohol. Many sufferers do well with a moisture-sensor
alarm, and we’re sorry that doesn’t work for you. The other common treatment is
the medication you currently are using. However, since you are having unpleasant
side effects, please discuss this with your doctor. It’s possible your dosage
can be altered so you can still get the benefits without such a big emotional
swing. Also discuss exercises to strengthen and enlarge your bladder. For more
information and to keep abreast of new developments, contact the National Kidney
Foundation (kidney.org) at 1-888-WAKE-DRY
(1-888-925-3379).

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A Mother’s Experience w/Antidepressants

“To the FDA Advisory Panel on Antidepressant Safety in Children.”

My name is Sylvia Olsen and I am the mother of eight children from Salt Lake City, Utah. I suffered for many years with clinical depression and in 1988 my psychiatrist put me on an SSRI medication. I was told that, because it was clinical depression, I would need to take it for the rest of my life. Subsequently, when I got pregnant with my eighth child in 1991, I asked if I could keep taking the medication. My doctor said there was no evidence of negative side effects, and since I was already on it, I just kept taking it. Looking back, I believe the medication produced an overriding feeling of “everything is fine” which clouded my judgment. Normally, I would think twice before even taking an aspirin when I was pregnant. After all, we are talking about the development of a human being.

My son, Taylor, was born weighing much less than any of my previous seven children and displaying an irritability I had never experienced. I soon noticed his body was tense all the time and his movements stiff. The slightest sound would startle him to the point of screaming and, often, even as he slept, his arms would be held stiff and straight up from his body. Although I’ve had no experience personally taking care of “crack babies”, as they used to call them, I kept thinking how he reminded me of things I had heard about them. He would cry continually and seemed to find great comfort in being wrapped very snugly in a blanket and held very tightly.

As Taylor grew, we also had to deal with episodes of unreasonable displays of anger. When he got upset about something as simple as his shoe tied wrong, it was as though he had no ability to reason. He would scream, kick, and flail completely out of control. We would have to put our arms around him to restrain him from hurting himself or trashing his room and sit there for as long as half an hour before he would start to gain control of himself and stop screaming and gnashing. Then, everything would be fine as if nothing had happened. Other than this, and some allergies and skin problems, things appeared normal until he started school.

Although, he seemed to be bright and aware at home, in school he struggled with reading, writing, spelling and math, unlike his older brothers and sisters. Even though his tantrums are almost non existent now,(we believe through the help of nutritional supplements) and his academics have improved a lot, he has always required remedial help. One thing that always comes up when talking to school aids who have worked with Taylor, particularly, one-on-one, is that they are puzzled by one thing in his learning process. He will appear to understand something perfectly, a math process for instance, and even be doing it on his own for a while, when suddenly, in the middle of the same work, it’s as though a light bulb goes off and he has no knowledge of even being taught the process. Then, later, he knows how to do the problem again as if he never lost it! They say it appears to be some odd kind of glitch in his brain, and I believe it is just another symptom of the developmental problems due to the SSRIs I was taking when pregnant with Taylor.

I believe there are safe and affective ways of dealing with clinical depression in children other than the use of SSRIs and that the benefits do not outweigh the risks and unknown side effects.

Antidepressants do not actually heal the human mind. If they did, then we would see a decline in depression across our nation, but we do not. Please look at the possibility that there is another way to treat this growing problem that, I believe, SSRIs only mask. Even John March, chief of child psychiatry at Duke University, who receives grants from Lilly and research funds from Pfizer, said, “These medicines are not a panacea, and will not, on average, carry kids to remission.”

After eight years on these medications, I once spent a several months trying to cut back by just a few milligrams and suffered terrible bouts of depression from the withdrawal. Yet, later, through the help of a nutritionist, I was able to wean off of them completely in just a three month period. That was seven years ago and I have not suffered from depression since.

Sylvia Olsen
St. George, UT

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Pregnant on SSRIs

“My son, Taylor, was born weighing much less than any of my previous seven children and displaying an irritability I had never experienced.”

To the FDA Advisory Panel on Antidepressant Safety in Children,

My name is Sylvia Olsen and I am the mother of eight children from Salt Lake City, Utah. I suffered for many years with clinical depression and in 1988 my psychiatrist put me on an SSRI medication. I was told that, because it was clinical depression, I would need to take it for the rest of my life. Subsequently, when I got pregnant with my eighth child in 1991, I asked if I could keep taking the medication. My doctor said there was no evidence of negative side effects, and since I was already on it, I just kept taking it. Looking back, I believe the medication produced an overriding feeling of “everything is fine” which clouded my judgment. Normally, I would think twice before even taking an aspirin when I was pregnant. After all, we are talking about the development of a human being.

My son, Taylor, was born weighing much less than any of my previous seven children and displaying an irritability I had never experienced. I soon noticed his body was tense all the time and his movements stiff. The slightest sound would startle him to the point of screaming and, often, even as he slept, his arms would be held stiff and straight up from his body. Although I’ve had no experience personally taking care of “crack babies”, as they used to call them, I kept thinking how he reminded me of things I had heard about them. He would cry continually and seemed to find great comfort in being wrapped very snugly in a blanket and held very tightly.

As Taylor grew, we also had to deal with episodes of unreasonable displays of anger. When he got upset about something as simple as his shoe tied wrong, it was as though he had no ability to reason. He would scream, kick, and flail completely out of control. We would have to put our arms around him to restrain him from hurting himself or trashing his room and sit there for as long as half an hour before he would start to gain control of himself and stop screaming and gnashing. Then, everything would be fine as if nothing had happened. Other than this, and some allergies and skin problems, things appeared normal until he started school.

Although, he seemed to be bright and aware at home, in school he struggled with reading, writing, spelling and math, unlike his older brothers and sisters. Even though his tantrums are almost non existent now,(we believe through the help of nutritional supplements) and his academics have improved a lot, he has always required remedial help. One thing that always comes up when talking to school aids who have worked with Taylor, particularly, one-on-one, is that they are puzzled by one thing in his learning process. He will appear to understand something perfectly, a math process for instance, and even be doing it on his own for a while, when suddenly, in the middle of the same work, it’s as though a light bulb goes off and he has no knowledge of even being taught the process. Then, later, he knows how to do the problem again as if he never lost it! They say it appears to be some odd kind of glitch in his brain, and I believe it is just another symptom of the developmental problems due to the SSRIs I was taking when pregnant with Taylor.

I believe there are safe and affective ways of dealing with clinical depression in children other than the use of SSRIs and that the benefits do not outweigh the risks and unknown side effects.

Antidepressants do not actually heal the human mind. If they did, then we would see a decline in depression across our nation, but we do not. Please look at the possibility that there is another way to treat this growing problem that, I believe, SSRIs only mask. Even John March, chief of child psychiatry at Duke University, who receives grants from Lilly and research funds from Pfizer, said, “These medicines are not a panacea, and will not, on average, carry kids to remission.”

After eight years on these medications, I once spent a several months trying to cut back by just a few milligrams and suffered terrible bouts of depression from the withdrawal. Yet, later, through the help of a nutritionist, I was able to wean off of them completely in just a three month period. That was seven years ago and I have not suffered from depression since.

Sincerely,

Sylvia Olsen
574 Latonia Circle
St. George, UT 84790
(435)688-7915

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Uncontrolled Crying Withdrawing from Effexor

“Two days after my last dose was hell.”

 

One issue not brought up yet in the Effexor stories is that because it is so fast-acting, it should be taken at the same time every day. If I had known this, I would have disqualified myself from this medication.

If I had known about the withdrawal, I also would have decided to go without “this time.” But there would have been a next time. Now there won’t be a next time.
My initial complaint was a “different sort of depressed” feeling. Not like the major depressions I’ve had in the past, but uncontrolled crying and irritability. My psychiatrist, now that she is leaving her group, tells me that she was not allowed to offer psychotherapy, only drugs. I was not told this when I saw her, but I admit I was open to more drugs. I thought I had responded well to Zoloft in the past, but didn’t like being anorgasmic. I had responded very badly to Serzone. She first put me on Buspar, as she felt I was more anxious than depressed. I gave it what I felt to be a decent try (about 3 months) but the dizziness never really went away, and although I drink less than one drink a week, I was going to Tuscany and felt it quite unfair that I couldn’t drink while there. So I took myself off in about 2 weeks and one step down.
A month or so after I returned from the vacation, I was put on Effexor because of extreme fatigue, lethargy and bothersome “fuzzy brain”(that I had also brought to my GP and she had been unable to diagnose). [Note that all of these effects are listed as withdrawal symptoms with the SSRIs. Dr. Tracy]

I spent the next 5 months increasing my dosage on Effexor because it didn’t appear to be making anything worse, but I was still not better. I had also been suffering from extreme constipation (concurrent with the removal of Buspar) which after many GI tests my GI doctor ruled as “mulitcausal” and washed his hands of me.

The constipation became significantly less bothersome after a major stress date in my life passed. But by then insomnia compounded by nightmares were added to my list of symptoms.

I talked to all 3 doctors about the increasing muscle spasms I had been noticing. “That’s normal”was the most response I got. I was referred to a neurologist, who could find nothing but lessened reflexes on one leg. I was intermittently experiencing buzzing in my brain that I was afraid to mention to anyone.
I felt urges to voluntarily spasm my neck muscles, and the longer I delayed doing so, the more it felt involuntary when I finally relented (voluntary tics??). I worried about myself!!

Since I hope to get pregnant soon, my husband and I decided that I needed to get off of the Effexor — definitely not enough benefit for that kind of risk. I weaned myself in what I thought was a slow manner — a minimum of a week between drops, some drops I stayed on for 2 1/2 weeks. 5 drops in all.

Two days after my last dose (yesterday) was hell — and I also received “Prozac Backlash”in the mail. Talk about reading about yourself! I now believe that many of the symptoms that kept me on the Effexor were really withdrawal symptoms!
I would sometimes take it at 10 in the morning, sometimes at 2 in the afternoon. If I’d forgotten, I would take it at night and then try to wait until the evening the next day, but then would be back to the morning.

Now I am very worried about how long I will be experiencing all the buzzing and dizziness (ironic, my left ear says “quack quack”to me a few times a minute), the urge to spasm, the crying and irritability (thank God my husband not only understands but is very relieved to finally have a reason for some of my complaints!).

And my psychiatrist? I saw her about two weeks ago and let her know how I had been coming off the Effexor. She never mentioned any side effects or to take it slower. I indicated that I would like: 1) a short-term sleeping aide to help get my sleep schedule back on track and 2) something to take when the stress builds up to too much and I “flip”. My preference is to sleep until I am better, and I didn’t want to keep raiding my medicine cabinet for whatever heavy-duty painkillers were still in there.

What did she prescribe? Neurontin. To take “as needed”for both purposes. No wonder there is such a movement towards “alternative”medicine. I don’t know if I’ll ever trust a drug prescription again.

I am so glad I am not exposing a growing fetus to this!

L G
Austin, TX

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 49.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

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