1991 FDA Antidepressant Hearing: Suicide & Suicide Attempt by Pharmacist Maria Malakoff

Maria Malakoff

Maria warned back in 1991 that the day would come that every family in America would be affected by antidepressants if the FDA did not issue warnings. Tragically her statement has proved prophetic!

I would like to introduce you to my dear friend Maria Malakoff. Everyone needs to hear her testimony. Maria and her husband Gary were both pharmacists. Both were placed on Prozac about the same time for different reasons. Maria first attempted suicide on Prozac, stopped the drug, and began warning Gary of the dangers. He thought he was fine until one day out of the blue he stood in front of her and their four children while they were watching TV, and shot himself. Their full story can be found in the book Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? available at www.drugawareness.org

Hear Maria’s testimony before the 1991 FDA panel on Prozac and suicide here: https://youtu.be/A3XiFW9VWYc

Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director,

International Coalition for Drug Awareness

www.drugawareness.org & http://ssristories.drugawareness.org
Author: ”Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World” & Withdrawal CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!”

WITHDRAWAL WARNING: In sharing this information about adverse reactions to antidepressants I always recommend that you also give reference to my CD on safe withdrawal, Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!, so that we do not have more people dropping off these drugs too quickly – a move which I have warned from the beginning can be even more dangerous than staying on the drugs!

WITHDRAWAL HELP: You can find the hour and a half long CD on safe and effective withdrawal helps here: http://store.drugawareness.org/ And if you need additional consultations with Ann Blake-Tracy, you can book one at www.drugawareness.org or sign up for one of the memberships in the International Coalition for Drug Awareness which includes free consultations as one of the benefits of that particular membership plan. For only a $30 membership for one month you can even get 30 days of access to the withdrawal CD with tips on rebuilding after the meds, all six of my DVDs, hundreds of radio interviews, lectures, TV interviews I have done over the years PLUS access to my book on antidepressants (500 plus pages) with more information than you will find anywhere else (that is only $5 more than the book alone would cost) at www.drugawareness.org. (Definitely the best option to save outrageous postage charges for those out of the country!)

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PROZAC & ALCOHOL: Former Wall Street Investment Banker Becomes an Alcoholic: New York

Paragraphs 9 through 12 read:  “Like many people he knew, Mr. Goldberg had been on Prozac since college, during the height of its wonder-drug status. He blames the drug, and the emotional numbness he said it induced, for the heavy drinking binges in his 20s. “I couldn’t drink one beer,” he said.  ‘It had to be like 10.’ ”

“He quit drinking in 1999 after a family intervention and stopped smoking cigarettes the next year. Then in 2001, he decided to stop taking Prozac after meeting with a naturopath who taught him about natural herbs and the dangers of pesticides.”

“But quitting Prozac wasn’t easy. It precipitated what Mr. Goldberg described as a three-and-a-half-year struggle for survival that included a suicide attempt. During this time, he broke up with his girlfriend, moved back in with his parents and lost nearly a million dollars in Web investments when the dot-com bubble popped.”

“Still, he refused to go back on antidepressants. Adhering to a 100 percent organic diet, he said, helped him turn the corner. So did the 2004 film “What the Bleep Do We Know!?” a New Age documentary about the life-altering powers of positive thinking, which he said he considers the  ‘most important movie ever made’.”

Note from SSRIStories.com & Drugawareness.org:  Withdrawal can often be more dangerous than continuing on a medication.  It is important to withdraw extremely slowly from these antidepressants, usually over a period of a year or more, under the supervision of a qualified specialist.  Withdrawal is sometimes more severe than the original symptoms or problems.

Additiional note from SSRIStories.com & Drugawareness.org:The Physicians Desk Reference states that antidepressants can cause a craving for alcohol and can cause alcohol abuse. (Check out the SSRIs & Alcohol article atwww.drugawareness.org for additional information on alcohol cravings.) Also, the liver cannot metabolize the antidepressant and the alcohol simultaneously, thus leading to higher levels of both alcohol and the antidepressantin the human body. The Physicians Desk Reference states that antidepressants can cause a craving for alcohol and can cause alcohol abuse. (Check out the SSRIs & Alcohol article atwww.drugawareness.org for additional information on alcohol cravings.) 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.nytimes.com/2011/02/03/fashion/03close.html
By JED LIPINSKI

Published: February 2, 2011
THE sidewalks of the East Village were packed with chain smokers and European bar-hoppers, but Max Goldberg, a self-appointed organic-food guru, ducked into Commodities Natural Market, a modern health-food store on First Avenue. He was conducting product research.

He studied a jar of Arrowhead Mills creamy organic peanut butter and remarked on the superior growth conditions of peanuts from New Mexico compared with those from Georgia. Then he pointed to a pack of banana-flavored YoBaby, a brand of organic yogurt for infants. “This is the only Stonyfield product with bilingual labels,” he said, praising the wisdom of appealing to the country’s surging Hispanic market. “I eat it all the time.”

Never mind that Mr. Goldberg has no degree in nutrition or was once a Jack Daniels-swilling party boy whose dinner often consisted of four Gray’s Papaya hot dogs piled with sauerkraut.

But just as big corporations like Wal-Mart have embraced the emerging organic food market, Mr. Goldberg, 41, a former Wall Street investment banker, has discovered a potential career niche as an expert on organic food. Branding himself as a regular guy who took his health into his own hands, Mr. Goldberg now dispenses advice on how to eat and shop organic through his popular Twitter feed and blog, livingmaxwell.com.

For organic naïfs, the site offers answers to common Google searches, like which vegetables and fruits are worth buying organic (answer: conventional produce that is high in chemicals, like peaches and apples). It also features traffic-boosting interviews with organic-food fans like the actress Rachelle Lefevre, who played the evil vampire Victoria from “Twilight,” and humorous asides on his failed attempts to date women who eat nonorganic food.

“I don’t think people know where to begin with organic food in this country,” Mr. Goldberg said over a slice ofpizza covered with uncooked vegetables and a pint of green juice at Caravan of Dreams, a vegan cafe on East Sixth Street. Doe-eyed and boyish in a gray wool sweater and Seven jeans ­ both nonorganic, he confessed ­ he brought to mind a younger, slimmer Matthew Broderick. “They say, ‘Oh, it’s too expensive’ or ‘I don’t know where to get it,’ ” he said. “So I’m trying to teach them by making the information on my blog as accessible as possible.”

As a man who blends his own Brazilian nut milk each morning, Mr. Goldberg gives advice that carries a certain authority. But he is no Dr. Andrew Weil, a fact he’d be the first to admit.

Raised in an affluent suburb of Boston, Mr. Goldberg graduated from Brown University in 1992 and took a job with Prudential Securities. After three years he left to attend Columbia Business School, and he went on to work for various biotech and software companies.

Like many people he knew, Mr. Goldberg had been on Prozac since college, during the height of its wonder-drug status. He blames the drug, and the emotional numbness he said it induced, for the heavy drinking binges in his 20s. “I couldn’t drink one beer,” he said. “It had to be like 10.”

He quit drinking in 1999 after a family intervention and stopped smoking cigarettes the next year. Then in 2001, he decided to stop taking Prozac after meeting with a naturopath who taught him about natural herbs and the dangers of pesticides.

But quitting Prozac wasn’t easy. It precipitated what Mr. Goldberg described as a three-and-a-half-year struggle for survival that included a suicide attempt. During this time, he broke up with his girlfriend, moved back in with his parents and lost nearly a million dollars in Web investments when the dot-com bubble popped.

Still, he refused to go back on antidepressants. Adhering to a 100 percent organic diet, he said, helped him turn the corner. So did the 2004 film “What the Bleep Do We Know!?” a New Age documentary about the life-altering powers of positive thinking, which he said he considers the “most important movie ever made.”

Gradually, his quest to keep toxins out of his body made him want to help others do the same. He started his Web site in 2009, intending it as an organic-food counterpart to green blogs like TreeHugger and Ecofabulous. Skeptical friends from the financial world who ate nonorganic food were his first Web interview subjects.

Since then, Mr. Goldberg has interviewed notable advocates of sustainable food like Joel Salatin and Gary Hirshberg, who were both featured in the documentary “Food, Inc.” To build his audience, he responds to every person who comments and follows 17,576 people on Twitter. “Everyone who follows me I follow back,” he said. “It’s a karma thing.”

His business background still shows through. He admits to harboring dreams of his own Food Network show, or a line of livingmaxwell-brand products, like organic energy bars or a fruit and vegetable wash.

But for now, he’s trying to establish himself among the city’s organic elite, people like Marcus Antebi, who owns the Juice Press, an organic juice bar on East First Street that claims to offer the widest variety of pressed juice formulas in the city. After pizza, Mr. Goldberg swung by the juice bar, where Mr. Antebi greeted him, “ ’Sup Max.”

Mr. Goldberg was pleased. “They sell three of my top five organic trends of 2011 here,” Mr. Goldberg said, referring to a list he created that comprises chia seeds, farro, kale chips, palm sugar and pressed juice. He picked up a container of chia-seed pudding and made his ruling: “This stuff is going to be huge.”

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ANTIDEPRESSANT, PAIN KILLER & ALCOHOL: Soldier: Suicide Attempt: Iraq/Colorado

Paragraphs three through five read: “It did not work. He was prescribed a
list of medications for anxiety, nightmares, depression, and headaches
that made him feel listless and disoriented.”

“His weekly session with a nurse case manager seemed inadequate to him.
And noncommissioned officers ­ soldiers supervising the unit ­
harangued or disciplined him when he arrived late to formation or violated rules.”

“Last August, Crawford attempted suicide with a bottle of whiskey and
painkillers. By the end of last year, he was begging to get out of the unit.”

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2010/04/25/some_soldiers_find_no_
relief_in_transition_units/

Some soldiers find no relief in transition units

Army defends efforts to help returning troops

By James Dao and Dan Frosch

New York Times / April 25, 2010

COLORADO SPRINGS ­ A year ago, Specialist Michael Crawford wanted
nothing more than to get into Fort Carson’s Warrior Transition Battalion, a
special unit created to provide closely managed care for soldiers with
physical wounds and severe psychological trauma.

A strapping Army sniper who once brimmed with confidence, he had returned
emotionally broken from Iraq, where he suffered two concussions from
roadside bombs and watched several platoon mates burn to death. The transition
unit at Fort Carson seemed the surest way to keep suicidal thoughts at bay,
his mother thought.

It did not work. He was prescribed a list of medications for anxiety,
nightmares, depression, and headaches that made him feel listless and
disoriented.

His weekly session with a nurse case manager seemed inadequate to him. And
noncommissioned officers ­ soldiers supervising the unit ­
harangued or disciplined him when he arrived late to formation or violated rules.

Last August, Crawford attempted suicide with a bottle of whiskey and
painkillers. By the end of last year, he was begging to get out of the unit.

“It is just a dark place,’’ said the soldier, who is waiting to be
medically discharged from the Army. “Being in the WTU is worse than being in Iraq.
’’

Created in the aftermath of the scandal in 2007 over shortcomings at
Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Warrior Transition Units were intended to be
sheltering way stations where injured soldiers could recuperate and return to
duty or gently process out of the Army. There are about 7,200 soldiers at
32 transition units across the Army, with about 465 soldiers at Fort Carson’
s unit.

But interviews with more than a dozen soldiers and health care
professionals from Fort Carson’s unit, along with reports from other posts, suggest
that the units are far from being restful sanctuaries.

For many soldiers, they have become warehouses of despair, where damaged
men and women are kept out of sight, fed a diet of powerful prescription
pills, and treated harshly by noncommissioned officers. Because of their
wounds, soldiers in Warrior Transition Units are particularly vulnerable to
depression and addiction, but many soldiers from Fort Carson’s unit say their
treatment there has made their suffering worse.

Some soldiers in the unit, and their families, described long hours alone
in their rooms, or in homes off the base, aimlessly drinking or playing
video games.

“In combat, you rely on people and you come out of it feeling good about
everything,’’ said a specialist in the unit. “Here, you’re just floating.
You’re not doing much. You feel worthless.’’

At Fort Carson, many soldiers complained that doctors prescribed drugs too
readily. As a result, some soldiers have become addicted to their
medications or have turned to heroin. Medications are so abundant that some
soldiers in the unit openly deal, buy, or swap prescription pills.

Heavy use of psychotropic drugs and narcotics makes it difficult to
exercise, wake for morning formation, and attend classes, soldiers and health
care professionals said. Yet noncommissioned officers discipline soldiers who
fail to complete those tasks, sometimes over the objections of nurses and
doctors.

At least four soldiers in the Fort Carson unit have committed suicide
since 2007, the most of any transition unit as of February, according to the
Army.

Senior officers in the Army’s Warrior Transition Command declined to
discuss specific soldiers. But they said Army surveys showed that most soldiers
treated in transition units since 2007, more than 50,000 people, had liked
the care.

Those senior officers acknowledged that addiction to medications was a
problem, but denied that Army doctors relied too heavily on drugs. And they
strongly defended disciplining wounded soldiers when they violated rules.
Punishment is meted out judiciously, they said, mainly to ensure that soldiers
stick to treatment plans and stay safe.

“These guys are still soldiers, and we want to treat them like soldiers,’’
said Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Grantham, commander of the Warrior
Transition Battalion at Fort Carson.

The colonel offered another explanation for complaints. Many soldiers, he
said, struggle because they would rather be with regular, deployable units.
In some cases, he said, they feel ashamed of needing treatment.

“Some come to us with an identity crisis,’’ he said. “They don’t want to
be seen as part of the WTU. But we want them to identify with a purpose
and give them a mission.’’

Sergeant John Conant, a 15-year Army veteran, returned from his second
tour of Iraq in 2007 a changed man, according to his wife. Angry and sullen,
he reported to the transition unit at Fort Carson, where he was prescribed
at least six medications a day for sleeping disorders, pain, and anxiety,
keeping a detailed checklist in his pocket to remind him of his dosages.

The medications disoriented him, Delphina Conant said, and he would often
wander the house late at night before curling up on the floor and falling
asleep. Then in April 2008, after taking morphine and Ambien, the sleeping
pill, he died in his sleep. A coroner ruled that his death was from natural
causes. He was 36.

Delphina Conant said she felt her husband never received meaningful
therapy at the transition unit, where he had become increasingly frustrated and
was knocked down a rank because of discipline problems. “They didn’t want
to do anything but give him medication,’’ she said.

© Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company.
.

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PROZAC: Suicide Attempt: Teen: New York

Paragraph three reads:  “His father was an abusive heroin
addict, whose crazy, rebellious streak he emulated. A wild kid who was beaten by
his stepfather and uncle, Cage got into drugs and was committed by his mom to a
psychiatric hospital as a teen. There, he was among the first test
cases for
Prozac, and he attempted suicide with
shoelaces
and the tape from a
Big Daddy Kane cassette. Such trials are
recounted throughout his catalog, and his persona­a decadent, nihilistic,
drug-addled MC­was cultivated in his single “Agent Orange” and 2002 debut,
Movies for the Blind.”

http://www.dallasobserver.com/2009-11-26/music/rapper-cage-takes-off-in-a-new-direction-whether-anyone-follows-or-not/

Rapper Cage Takes Off in a New Direction, Whether Anyone Follows or
Not

By Chris
Parker

Published on November 25, 2009 at 1:52pm

Details:

Cage performs with Less Than Jake on Wednesday, December 9, at the
Granada Theater.

Just because an artist evolves doesn’t mean his
fans will. So, while Chris
Palko
, aka Cage, may have experienced a personal epiphany that’s taken his
music in a new direction, he doesn’t blame his fans for not wanting to come
along for the ride.

See, the rapper’s latest, Depart From Me, is
hardly a rap album at all. Rife with indie-tronic synth and raging guitars
(courtesy of ex-

Hatebreed guitarist Sean
Martin
), it follows up on the direction hinted at by his Darryl
Palumbo
2005 collaboration, “Shoot Frank,” off his second album, Hell’s
Winter
. Only, this time, there are hardly any beats at all. There’s also a
more positive tone­though only slightly more positive­which is
equally bewildering given the darkness Cage sings about.

His father was
an abusive heroin addict, whose crazy, rebellious streak he emulated. A wild kid
who was beaten by his stepfather and uncle, Cage got into drugs and was
committed by his mom to a psychiatric hospital as a teen. There, he was among
the first test cases for Prozac,
and he attempted suicide with shoelaces and the tape from a Big
Daddy Kane
cassette. Such trials are recounted throughout his catalog, and
his persona­a decadent, nihilistic, drug-addled MC­was cultivated in his
single “Agent Orange” and 2002 debut, Movies for the Blind.

He
dropped the drugs and degrading sexual undertone on Hell’s Winter, but
his latest even attempts to short-circuit some of the self-hate and angst. It’s
expressed on tracks like the punky “Fat Kids Need an Anthem,” which keenly
dissects his former food issues, and “Captain Bumout,” which repudiates his old
image, suggesting “there’s more than being in a club, getting drunk, one of us
throwing up and waking up like we’re in love.” One catalyst for both the change
in sound and expression is his friend and protégé Camu Tao, who died of cancer
last year.

“After he passed away, my entire world fell apart,” Cage says.
“I had never been so wounded in my whole life. I had been through so much. I
felt like in life, as a little kid, gritting your teeth and clutching your
fists, you can take anything, but then the grown man just is
broken.”

But, really, the change began several years ago, when Cage and
his tour mates watched videos of their performances and became dissatisfied with
the stale elements of typical hip-hop.

“We saw ourselves walking back and
forth on the videotape, trying to say ho,” Cage recalls. “After a while, you get
tired of doing the same thing over and over. And, then, it’s either join in on
the reindeer games or start your own.”

They watched videos of Black
Flag
and Iggy
Pop
, trying to adopt rock mannerisms. The change in music comes out of the
same impulse, as Depart From Me represents an attempt to bring the sound
in line with the stage show. To that end, Hatebreed’s Martin joins Cage and his
DJ on tour, playing guitar and keyboard parts. And, as such, even old songs are
getting a facelift.

Meanwhile, Cage’s spirit has already gotten one.
Watching his friend die of cancer made his bleak attitude hard to
sustain.

“I couldn’t come in and say, ‘Hey, listen to my songs. I know
you’re dying, but listen to my songs about wanting to die,'” he says. “I didn’t
know what to do, so I started making songs that were a little
happier.”

While he understands his fans’ frustration with the new

direction, he couldn’t care less about pissy blog rants or reviews.

“When
I was 16 years old, I was selling crack and was a buck-fifty, in people’s faces
with box cutters. I wasn’t sitting on the Internet, telling people they’re
faggots because I don’t like their music,” Cage says. “People don’t get it. The
record’s called Depart From Me, dude. You don’t get
it?”

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CELEXA: Suicide Attempt: Arizona

Sentences two and three read:  “According to police, she
was semi-alert and slurring her speech. She informed police that she had
taken fifteen 20mg Celexa pills approximately two hours
before
calling police.”

http://wildcat.arizona.edu/police-beat/police-beat-oct-22-1.796330 #

Woman tries to overdose on
depression medication

UAPD officers were dispatched to the La
Aldea apartment complex at 825 E. Fifth St. on Oct. 11 at 1:56 p.m. in reference
to a resident who had attempted to overdose on prescription medication. Upon
arrival, officers made contact with the resident. According to police, she was
semi-alert and slurring her speech. She informed police that she had taken
fifteen 20mg Celexa pills approximately two hours before calling police. She
admitted that she did not want to die and had taken the pills because she was
upset that her therapist had terminated her sessions, believing she was unable
to further assist the woman. Tucson Fire Department emergency medical personnel
arrived on scene and transported the woman to University Medical Center for
treatment. While at UMC, mental health professionals signed an emergency
petition to commit the woman until additional mental health evaluations could be
performed

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ZOLOFT & WELLBUTRIN: Teen Attempts Suicide: Louisiana

First two paragraphs read:  “Now drug-free, J.K., a
Narconon Louisiana drug rehabilitation treatment graduate, tells the story of
how his addiction started and how it ended. J.K. spent his adolescent years
under the care of a psychiatrist. He started seeing the doctor when he was
12 or 13 up until the time he was 19 years old. Ten to
fifteen minutes into his first visit
he was diagnosed with bipolar
disorder, anxiety and unstable emotions. He was given Zoloft,
Atavan, and Klonopin as treatment.”

“Not only were J.K.’s
symptoms not helped by the drugs, but because of the side
effects of the Zoloft
he began experiencing suicidal
thoughts.
Due to these side effects his medication was switched to

Welbutrin, which not only increased his suicidal thoughts, but
caused him to overdose on his medications in what would be his
first suicide attempt. The FDA has since placed a black box warning on antidepressants warning of
this occurrence in adolescents and young adults.”

http://www.prleap.com/pr/142396/

Narconon Louisiana drug rehab graduate traces roots of addiction back to
psychiatric medications

DENHAM
SPRINGS, LOUISIANA
October 20, 2009 Health News

(PRLEAP.COM) Now drug-free, J.K., a Narconon
Louisiana drug rehabilitation treatment graduate, tells the story of how his
addiction started and how it ended. J.K. spent his adolescent years under the
care of a psychiatrist. He started seeing the doctor when he was 12 or 13 up
until the time he was 19 years old. Ten to fifteen minutes into his first visit
he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, anxiety and unstable emotions. He was
given Zoloft, Atavan, and Klonopin as treatment.

Not only were J.K.’s
symptoms not helped by the drugs, but because of the side effects of the Zoloft
he began experiencing suicidal thoughts. Due to these side effects his
medication was switched to Welbutrin, which not only increased his suicidal
thoughts, but caused him to overdose on his medications in what would be his
first suicide attempt. The FDA has since placed a black
box warning on antidepressants
warning of this occurrence in adolescents and
young adults.

In a recent interview J.K. explains that because of what he
had been told by his psychiatrist, he began to think that everything he was
thinking or feeling could be controlled by some kind of pill or
substance.

“Most times, these substances could be found in my own home,
inside little orange prescription bottles,” he explains, “[But then] I began
developing addictive personality traits by turning to street drugs, like
marijuana, cocaine, and pain killers to numb my emotions. Why? Because,
essentially, I had been told that having emotions is a disease that requires
treatment, or ‘management’.”

Once J.K. became addicted to street drugs as
well as his prescriptions, his problems continued to escalate. Luckily, before
he lost his life to drugs he found a rehabilitation facility with a totally drug-free
method
called Narconon Riverbend; located in Denham Springs,

Louisiana.

During his treatment he had to come to terms with his past
problems as well as the road that his psychiatric therapy led him
down.

“I had let drugs take over my life to such a huge extent that I was
no longer able to take care of myself or those around me,” he says. “I regret
that I have been lied to by a multi-billion dollar Psychiatric industry. I
regret that I tried to end my own life twice. I’m angry that these events were
the ‘side-effects’ of psychotropic medication. I especially regret the effect
that these events had on my family.”

No longer holding on to regret, J.K.
has now successfully overcome his prescription and street drug addiction and is
happily living life 100% drug-free. Today he is in control of his life – not a
psychiatrist, not street drugs or prescriptions.

J.K. does warn doctors
in the type of medications they prescribe, saying; “Next time you hand out a
prescription for the latest fad in psych meds, remember that your signature
could be the worst thing that ever happened to your ‘patient’”.

The
Narconon program specializes in getting people off all drugs and has helped
thousands become free from medications. If you or someone you know is addicted
to street drugs or prescriptions and is looking for a way to successfully get
off drugs permanently contact Narconon Louisiana today at
866-422-4650.

497 total views, 2 views today

ANTIDEPRESSANT: Unexpected Suicide Attempt: Permanent Brain Damage: NY

Paragraph 3 reads:  “Confused and distraught, Ms.
Schortemeyer, who was living in Wisconsin at the time, booked a plane ticket to
New York and spent the next 10 days waiting for her 50-year-old father to wake
from a coma. But Mr. Schortemeyer, who attempted suicide by hanging himself in a
backyard garage at his home in Rocky Point, suffered lasting brain
damage
and severe memory loss. He is now under supervision at Hempstead
Park Nursing Home and does not remember ever trying to commit suicide, his
daughter said.”

Paragraph 14 reads:  “According to Ms. Schortemeyer,
her father, a former Manorville volunteer firefighter and classic car
aficionado, was good humored and a hard worker. He loved his
children, and would bring his two daughters boxes with gifts from home on
monthly visits when they were in college, Ms. Schortemeyer said.

However,
Mr. Schortemeyer suffered from loneliness and was on medication for

depression, Ms. Schortemeyer
said.

http://www.27east.com/story_detail.cfm?id=232464&town=Sag%20Harbor&n=Sag%20Harbor%20woman%20advocates%20for%20suicide%20prevention%20awareness

Sag Harbor woman advocates for suicide prevention awareness

By Bryan Finlayson
Sep 7, 09 10:32 AM

Two years ago in June, Ann Marie Schortemeyer, 25, was
driving home from work when Karen Mayer, her aunt, phoned with
news.

After an attempted suicide, Edwin Schortemeyer, Ann Marie’s father,
a veteran union plumber from Manorville, was in critical condition at John T.
Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson.

Confused and distraught, Ms.
Schortemeyer, who was living in Wisconsin at the time, booked a plane ticket to
New York and spent the next 10 days waiting for her 50-year-old father to wake
from a coma. But Mr. Schortemeyer, who attempted suicide by hanging himself in a
backyard garage at his home in Rocky Point, suffered lasting brain damage and
severe memory loss. He is now under supervision at Hempstead Park Nursing Home
and does not remember ever trying to commit suicide, his daughter
said.

Now, Ms. Schortemeyer, who lives in Sag Harbor, is on a quiet
mission to spread awareness about suicide prevention on Long Island. She and her
fund-raising group, Eddie’s Angels, which has five members, collect donations
for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention [AFSP], a nationwide
organization that advocates research into the causes of suicide. To date, they
have collected $2,208 for the foundation.

Ms. Schortemeyer is also
participating in a suicide awareness walk at the Old Westbury Gardens in Old
Westbury on October 4, about a month after September 10, which is World Suicide

Prevention Day.

“I don’t think people realize how big a problem
depression and mental illness can be,” Ms. Schortemeyer said last week. “It can
affect anyone. I thought my dad was a happy man, and it turns out he had his own
battle with depression.”

The suicide or attempted suicide of a loved one
touches the lives of thousands of Americans each year, AFSC Executive Director
Bob Gebbia said. More than 33,000 people in the United States commit suicide a
year and close to a million attempt suicide, he said.

“If you take the
suicides and the attempted suicides and put them together, you can see that this
is a serious problem,” Mr. Gebbia said.

The Old Westbury Gardens walk is
expected to raise $125,000 for the AFSP to help fund education and research
grants for suicide prevention, Mr. Gebbia said. The money goes toward research
grants for institutions such as Columbia University, and will help fund
investigations into brain chemistry, psychosocial behavior and other symptoms
that can lead to suicide.

The walk in Old Westbury Gardens is one of 190
walks that will occur throughout the country this fall to raise awareness about

suicide prevention. Mr. Gebbia said more than 50,000 people are expected to
participate overall.

One of the foundation’s goals is to break the social
stigma that keeps people from discussing suicide and mental illness with
others.

Suicide is something that is not talked about, it is kept in the
shadows,” said Mr. Gebbia, noting that symptoms relating to suicide can be
treated with medication and therapy. “Suicide is the result of illness, not the
result of character flaws or a personal weakness.”

In Ms. Schortemeyer’s
experience, her father attempted suicide without giving any clear forewarning to
his family and friends. Neither Ms. Schortemeyer or her sister, Sharon, 23, of
Lindenhurst saw any warning signs leading up to the tragedy, Ms. Schortemeyer
said. But in retrospect, Ms. Schortemeyer said, there were “1,000 warning signs”
that her father was battling depression, yet “me and my sister didn’t even
notice it. It just seemed like a funny phase.”

According to Ms.
Schortemeyer, her father, a former Manorville volunteer firefighter and classic
car aficionado, was good humored and a hard worker. He loved his children, and
would bring his two daughters boxes with gifts from home on monthly visits when
they were in college, Ms. Schortemeyer said.

However, Mr. Schortemeyer
suffered from loneliness and was on medication for depression, Ms. Schortemeyer
said.

His second marriage­he married about two weeks before he
attempted suicide­was tumultuous, by Ms. Schortemeyer’s account. “He married
a woman he didn’t know too well,” Ms. Schortemeyer said.

In
conversations, Mr. Schortemeyer often complained of money problems and of his
daughters being so far away from home. In 2007, Sharon was attending college in
Florida and Ann Marie was working as an administrative assistant for a
construction company in Wisconsin.

“He just seemed to be complaining a
lot about credit card bills and the cost of maintaining a home,” Ms.
Schortemeyer said. “I thought it wasn’t anything that big.”

The night
before Mr. Schortemeyer hung himself, he called Ms. Schortemeyer in Wisconsin
and left a voice message to thank her for a Father’s Day card. “He said he
misses me and to please call him soon,” said Ms. Schortemeyer, who reached the
message the following day.

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UPDATE: ANTIDEPRESSANT: GA House Speaker Resigns After Suicide Attempt, Affair

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

Yet another government official is destroyed by the use of an
antidepressant. All the signs and symptoms of Antidepressant-Induced Bipolar
Disorder are clear – the infidelity, the lying, the divorce, the suicidal
tendencies, etc.
What a shame that no one involved seems to even have a clue what has
happened to cause this! One man’s use of an antidepressant and look how many
lives have been negatively affected! Another family and another leader
destroyed by the negative effects of these drugs.
Why does no one see these drugs are destroying our country, our
society, our families, our lives? Is profit really worth it? Does that make it
okay to destroy so many just for money and power? I will never understand that
mentality!
_________________________________________
“It has been a dizzying fall for one of Georgia’s most powerful political
figures. Sheriff’s deputies found him Nov. 8, slumped semiconscious on the edge
of the bathtub at his west Georgia home after he called his mother to say he had
swallowed pills. A suicide note and a silver .357 Magnum were on the counter
next to him. The contents of the note have not been released.
“Richardson has also been dogged by messy personal and ethical problems,
including a 2007 ethics complaint by House Democrats over the same alleged

affair ex-wife Susan Richardson accused him of on TV this week. In an interview
Monday with Fox 5 Atlanta, Susan Richardson said she had e-mails between her
ex-husband and the lobbyist for Atlanta Gas Light that prove the affair. The
couple divorced in February 2008.”


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/03/glenn-richardson-george-h_n_379093.html

Glenn
Richardson RESIGNS: Georgia House Speaker Out After Attempted Suicide, Alleged
Affair

Glenn Richardson


ATLANTA — Georgia’s powerful House speaker resigned
Thursday after a suiciide attempt and allegations by his ex-wife of an affair
with a lobbyist.

Glenn Richardson, the state’s first GOP speaker since
Reconstruction, had won sympathy from even his political enemies when he
revealed last month that he attempted suicide by swallowing sleeping pills.
But then his ex-wife went on TV and accused him of having “a full-out affair
with a lobbyist while they were still married.

Richardson did not
address that allegation in a brief statement issued through the House
communications office in which he said he will leave both his position as
speaker and his House seat on Jan. 1. He did mention his recent admission,
made in the wake of his suicide attempt, that he has grappled with
depression.

“I fear that the media attention of this week has deflected
this message and done harm to many people who suffer from this condition,” he
said in the statement.

House Republican lawmakers received the news
from an emotional Richardson during a conference call just before the
statement was released.

“It was very painful for those of us on the
listening end,” state Rep. David Ralston said.

The 49-year-old
Richardson, once thought to be a serious contender for governor, had gone
right back to shaking hands at chicken-and-grits fundraisers after trying to
kill himself. But he had been silent since his ex-wife claimed this week that
he slept with a lobbyist pushing a $300 million pipeline bill he was
co-sponsoring.

It has been a dizzying fall for one of Georgia’s most
powerful political figures. Sheriff’s deputies found him Nov. 8, slumped
semiconscious on the edge of the bathtub at his west Georgia home after he
called his mother to say he had swallowed pills. A suicide note and a silver
.357 Magnum were on the counter next to him. The contents of the note have not
been released.

Secretary of State Karen Handel, a leading GOP candidate
for governor in 2010, called Richardson’s personal turmoil “heartbreaking” but
said meetings at the state Capitol were grinding to a halt because he was
missing in action amid the worst state budget crunch in the state
history.

She and the Georgia Christian Coalition were among those who
had called Thursday for Richardson to resign.

Once Richardson steps
down, House Speaker Pro Tem Mark Burkhalter will become interim speaker, and
the Republican caucus will have 120 days to elect a permanent
replacement.

University of Georgia political science professor Charles
Bullock said Richardson is known for comebacks, but the latest round of news
may have finally damaged him beyond repair.

“Heading into an election
year, I think Republicans would rather not still be talking about the life and
loves of Glenn Richardson,” Bullock said.

Richardson was revered among
some conservatives for helping engineer a GOP takeover of the Georgia House in
2004 after decades of Democratic control. But his short temper has often left
him feuding with the state’s other leading Republicans. In 2007, a red-faced
Richardson accused Gov. Sonny Perdue of showing his “backside” after the two
feuded over tax cuts.

On Thursday, Perdue issued a statement saying
Richardson made the right decision, which should give him privacy that will
“enable him to recover fully and completely.”

Richardson has also been
dogged by messy personal and ethical problems, including a 2007 ethics
complaint by House Democrats over the same alleged affair ex-wife Susan
Richardson accused him of on TV this week. In an interview Monday with Fox 5
Atlanta, Susan Richardson said she had e-mails between her ex-husband and the
lobbyist for Atlanta Gas Light that prove the affair. The couple divorced in
February 2008.

In one e-mail, according to Fox 5, the lobbyist worried
that she would be fired if the affair became public. Glenn Richardson
responded by saying he would “bring all hell down” on Atlanta Gas Light if
that happened.

The 2007 Democratic complaint was dismissed by a
legislative ethics panel for lack of evidence, and a defiant Richardson used a
breakfast speech before a room full of Georgia business leaders to threaten
retaliation against those he said he said were trying bring him down with
“poison.”

The bad news, according to Richardson, “is that I survived.”
And, he continued, “I’m looking for those that manufactured that
poison.”

But Susan Richardson’s allegations have spawned a new ethics
complaint by a government watchdog this week, and Georgia Attorney General
Thurbert Baker’s office said Thursday it had begun looking into the
complaint

Glenn Richardson has not responded to the affair allegations
and a spokesman did not return a phone call on Thursday seeking additional
comment.

___

Associated Press Writer Greg Bluestein contributed
to this report.

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Medications for Depression & OCD: Thanksgiving-Man Shoots & Kill 4 Relatives: FL

Paragraph six reads:  “Merhige’s troubled mental history
­ which included severe depression and
obsessive-compulsive disorder ­ dated back to a nervous breakdown
while he was an honors student at the University of Miami, said his mother,
Carole Merhige.”

Paragraph 15 reads:  “He
was supposed to be on medication when Thursday’s shooting happened, but
she said he had been self-medicating. She did not know whether he was doing so
correctly.”

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/crime/man-accused-of-killing-four-relatives-in-jupiter-91027.html

Man accused of killing four relatives in Jupiter had long history of
mental illness, threats against

By Andrew
Marra
and John
Lantigua

Palm Beach Post Staff WriterPalm Beach Post Staff
Writer
Updated: 4:55 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, 2009

MIAMI ­ Paul
Michael Merhige, accused of killing four relatives at a Thanksgiving dinner in
Jupiter, had threatened to kill family members before and often refused to take
medication prescribed to treat his longtime mental illness, according to court
records and Merhige’s mother.

In April 2006, during a fight with his
sister at their parents’ house outside Miami, Merhige told the sister “I’m going
to slit your throat,” according to a domestic violence complaint filed by the
sister, Carla Merhige.

He added that “this time I’m not going to go by
myself,” referring to an earlier suicide attempt he had made, according to his
sister’s complaint.

Seeking a restraining order, Carla Merhige wrote that
her brother’s threat to slit her throat was just the latest of many that “occur
on a regular basis since (Merhige) suffers from mental illness but refuses to
take his medication.”

Carla was among the four people killed Thursday in
what police say was a murderous rampage by her 35-year-old brother at their
cousin’s Jupiter home. He is still on the loose and being hunted by law
enforcement officials.

Merhige’s troubled mental history ­ which
included severe depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder ­ dated back to
a nervous breakdown while he was an honors student at the University of Miami,
said his mother, Carole Merhige.

“Everything was perfect until he was
19,” she said in an interview today.

But since graduating, his mental
illness had barred him from holding down a job, and he had an often-violent
relationship with his family, one that his mother characterized as “16 years of
problems.”

Merhige appeared to have made preparations before Thursday’s
massacre, during which a witness recalled him saying: “I’ve been waiting 20
years to do this.”

Last month, Merhige bought at least two firearms, his
mother said, and last week he asked his parents for his passport, which they had
kept at their home in the Miami area.

Unable to hold down a job, he had
been financially supported by his parents since his mental troubles
began.

Those troubles culminated when gunshots flashed Thursday night at
his cousin’s home on Via Veracruz in Jupiter. Police say Merhige killed Carla
and her twin sister, Lisa Knight, both 33; his aunt, Raymonde Joseph, 76; and
his cousin’s 6-year-old daughter, Makayla Sitton.

A candlelight vigil is
planned for the twin sisters, Carla and Lisa, tonight in Miami.

In recent
years Paul Merhige had become more independent and was living by himself in an
apartment in the Coral Gables area, his mother said.

He was supposed to
be on medication when Thursday’s shooting happened, but she said he had been
self-medicating. She did not know whether he was doing so correctly.

She
said she hopes her son is captured soon, adding that she has no idea where he
is. When Paul Merhige asked his parents for his passport, she said, he didn’t
mention travel plans.

Most upsetting to her, Carole Merhige said, was the
ease with which he was able to purchase handguns.

“A person with a
history of mental problems should not be able to get a gun,” she said. “This is
such a big country. Why isn’t there a database of mentally ill
people?”

She and her husband, who lost two daughters to their troubled
son, do not plan to attend tonight’s vigil.

“We’re devastated,” she said.
“We’re just taking it day by day.”

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ANTIDEPRESSANT: Overdose ruled as cause of Reading High student’s death

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy:

This case reminds me of a neighbor boy who attempted suicide after taking
Zoloft for about a month that he had gotten from his cousin without his parents
having any idea of what he was doing. When he ran out of the drug and found
himself in cold turkey withdrawal he made a suicide attempt. Because of his
suicide attempt they started him on Paxil with no idea how large a part
antidepressants had played in his suicide attempt. Of course with Paxil added to
the mix the reactions only began to worsen.
Anyway I mention his case to let you know that these drugs are so
widespread in use now that this young woman could have gotten these lethal drugs
anywhere and who knows how long she had been taking them?!
____________________________________________
Noelle-Cian Rodriguez, a senior, took a lethal dose of an antidepressant
medication and the death was ruled a suicide, Deputy Coroner Jonn M. Hollenbach
said.
Hollenbach ruled after receiving the final autopsy report Friday. He said
officials do not know how Rodriguez got the antidepressant pills.
Originally Published:
11/28/2009

Area digest: Overdose ruled
as cause of Reading High student’s death


Reading Eagle

An overdose of a
prescription drug caused the death last month of a 17-year-old Reading
High School student, the Berks County coroner’s office said
Friday.

Noelle-Cian Rodriguez, a senior, took a lethal dose of an
antidepressant medication and the death was ruled a suicide, Deputy
Coroner Jonn M. Hollenbach said.

Rodriguez was pronounced
dead Oct. 8 in Reading Hospital after she experienced seizurelike symptoms
in her home.

Hollenbach ruled after receiving the final autopsy
report Friday. He said officials do not know how Rodriguez got the
antidepressant
pills.

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