My Wife’s Suicide on Lexapro

“She was the most gentle, kind and compassionate woman I have ever met.”

My wife, Bonnie, to whom I was married for 32 loving years, completed suicide on Monday, January 26, 2004. She was severely depressed, on Thursday, January 22, she could not go to work. I stayed home with her and immediately took her to her physician. Her physician placed her on medical leave for a month, and referred her to a psychiatrist who saw her that afternoon. He did a lethality assessment and concluded that Bonnie was not a suicide risk, but was in fact severely depressed. Bonnie was already on Lexapro from her own physician. He elevated her dosage that day, and added Wellbutrin, both of which are on the FDA warning list. He told me what he did, but gave me no warnings of risk of suicide, and in fact told me that the drugs would help her feel better in time.

She began to experience greater anxiety and agitation over the weekend. She began making statements that simply were not rational, such as she was failing all her colleagues, and the children and families she worked with because she was going on medical leave for a month. She was a school social worker who worked with disabled children and their families, and she was quite good at what she did. When I told her that people became ill all the time, and schools and other organizations had the capability of filling in behind an employee that became sick, and it was her job to get well, she would not hear it. I tried to tell her over the weekend she was failing no one, but she just did not seem to comprehend or accept what I was saying.

The psychiatrist told me I could go back to work on Monday. I planned to take her back to see him on Tuesday morning, when she had the follow-up visit scheduled, and she knew I was going to. On Monday, I asked her if she wanted me to stay home with her, and I could go back to work on Wednesday, but she told me she would be all right. We talked on the phone about 10:00 and she said she was fine. I decided to go home at lunch time to check on her and have lunch with her. I arrived at 12:30. Some time between 10:00 and 12:30, she cut herself so violently and viciously that she lost every drop of blood in her body. This was the most gentle, kind and compassionate woman I have ever met. She never spanked our children; she just did not believe in violence. The other FDA symptom besides anxiety and agitation that I have read about is hostility. The violence on herself was incredibly hostile. It is my understanding that most female suicides are by overdose. She had plenty of pills including sleeping pills that she could have overdosed on, but she chose to attack herself. That was so wildly out of character, that I cannot understand it.

She was clearly depressed, and their is a family history of emotional disorder. However, the FDA warnings on antidepressants were an exact description of what happened to Bonnie. I can’t prove and I am not necessarily claiming cause and effect. However, I am posting this with you because I am really beginning to believe that the radical change in antidepressants affected her biochemistry, and contributed to her suicide.

If their is any way, Bonnie’s story can save even one life then I want to help do that.

Thank you for letting me share.

Fred Meservey (Bonnie’s devoted and loving husband)

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