ANTIDEPRESSANT, COCAINE, DEPAKOTE: Man Kills Mother, 2 Small Children, & Dog

On the morning of May 12, 2008,
Covington was admitted to University Community Hospital for a drug overdose. Tests showed he
had taken cocaine, acetaminophen and salicylate, another anti-inflammatory drug
used for mild to moderate pain, the defense filing states. Doctors also found
tricyclics, which is an antidepressant, and valproic acid, a drug used for
seizures and migraines.

The defense says a psychiatrist who
examined Covington for the case will testify that Covington’s bipolar disorder,
combined with the drugs in his system, rendered him mentally incapable of
forming the intent to commit first-degree murder.

Mental health defense pursued

By ELAINE
SILVESTRINI

esilvestrini@tampatrib.com

Published: February 2, 2010

TAMPA – A man charged with killing
and mutilating his girlfriend and her two children should not face the death
penalty because he was mentally incapable of intending to commit first-degree
murder, his attorneys say.

Lisa Freiberg and her children,
Heather Savannah, 2, and Zachary, 7, were found slain inside their Lutz mobile
home in 2008. The
family dog was also killed.

The deaths were so grisly that
investigators could not identify the bodies by looking at them.

Authorities say Edward Covington was
found huddled in a closet in the mobile home with blood on his hands, feet and
back.

The killings took place between 6
and 11 a.m. May 11, 2008, and it appeared Covington had stayed in the home
overnight, investigators say. He told detectives he killed Freiberg and her
children, according to court records.

Covington’s public
defenders
are asking a judge to allow them to
present evidence at trial about his mental condition at the time of the killings
and his mental health history, which they say dates to when he was
15.

A defense court filing says
Covington, 37, does not intend to use an insanity defense, which would be aimed
at seeking a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. Rather, the defense
hopes to persuade jurors to convict Covington of the lesser offense of
second-degree murder, making him ineligible for the death penalty.

Covington, his attorneys say, has
been diagnosed with bipolar disorder; a therapist who examined Covington in
2005, when he was working as a state corrections officer, described “classic
symptoms of rage and anger, and episodes of severe depression.”

On the morning of May 12, 2008,
Covington was admitted to
University Community Hospital for a drug overdose. Tests showed he
had taken cocaine, acetaminophen and salicylate, another anti-inflammatory drug
used for mild to moderate pain, the defense filing states. Doctors also found
tricyclics, which is an antidepressant, and valproic acid, a drug used for
seizures and migraines.

The defense says a psychiatrist who
examined Covington for the case will testify that Covington’s bipolar disorder,
combined with the drugs in his system, rendered him mentally incapable of
forming the intent to commit first-degree murder.

The charges against Covington
include three counts of first-degree murder, three counts of abuse of a dead
human body and one count of felony animal cruelty. Prosecutors are seeking the
death penalty.

Covington is being held without
bail.

According to the defense filing,
Covington tried to shoot himself in the head and was hospitalized under the
state’s Baker Act when he was 16. The next year, he overdosed on
drugs

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Losing it on Prozac

“My brief exposure to Prozac left me thinking I was truly insane.”

Thank you very very much for providing this website and the services you have there.

It’s taken over 10 years for me to write this story. For years I was too ashamed to admit I suffered from depression & anxiety, so I told no one. And my brief exposure to Prozac left me thinking I was truly insane. My last experience of medicated depression left me completely ashamed regarding what happened to me. I thought I had truly gone crazy but instead I found out later, it was only my reaction to the new so-called wonder drug of the day: Prozac. Many people take this drug without experiencing what I did; however, there are enough of us so that I want to share my story so that anyone suffering the same way I did can recognize what the problem is (the drug) and find a way to get healthier with out it.

My first depression occurred when I was 17, the fall of 1977. I was prescribed an anti-depressant, most likely one of the tricyclics and recovered 6 months later. The next bout of clinical depression occurred when I was 26, again on a trycyclic for about 6 months. Then I succumbed again in 1990. I was given Prozac. My depression symptoms consisted of crying excessively and inappropriately, inability to find joy in anything, inability to get out of bed/off the sofa, my body preferred remaining motionless, I ached physically and hoped the earth would swallow me whole or that I wished I’d fall asleep and not wake up. I never truly contemplated suicide until the last 2 years, but that’s another story. Back in 1990, my psychiatrist had me on Prozac. The first week I noticed that my muscles became twitchy, I became short with people, my head ached, my depression remained the same. By the second week, my anger was boiling, I snapped at people, I made scenes in public, I yelled, screamed, threw things, pushed people in retail store lines, movie lines, post office line. Can you imagine standing in line with a customer yelling, screaming and pounding their fist on the counter? By the time the Post Office incident occurred, I had extreme violent thoughts against OTHER people. The lady behind that counter was lucky that the counter was so tall because it was all I could do to keep myself from jumping over it to strangle her. Her offence? She didn’t accept my return of my postage stamps. Somehow I found the strength to get out and sat in my car sobbing and sobbing – I couldn’t stop. This was so much worse than my original depression. On my drive home, I was pulled over my highway patrol for speeding. I still could not stop sobbing. A second patrol car pulled up. My sobbing became harder. I held onto my steering wheel for my life as there was a huge pull on me to jump out of the car in front of any oncoming vehicle so I could die. I then thought, maybe if I rushed the officers, they’d pull their guns and kill me. What little sanity I had left convinced myself that I did not want to burden either the car driver or officers with my death. I drove off, half expecting the officers to pursue, but the let me go. I figured they didn’t want to deal with a crying woman. I was scared they were going to haul me off and commit me.

At my next psych appt, the next day, I demanded to get off these crazy making pills, that I was better off them than on them. This doctor explained that it was better I was finally getting my anger out. I jumped up, slammed both hands on his desk, put my face as close to his as I could and screamed – YOU BETTER GET ME OFF THESE BEFORE I KILL SOMEONE. He relented. I was switched and weaned and I will never go back. From 1st pill to last pill took about 2 weeks. I thank God every time I remember these things that I didn’t kill anyone. You will never know how close I was to completely loosing it. It was as if part of me was watching myself do these behaviors and have thread-bare control over my actions. I remember feelings as if I were coming Unglued. That I was somehow disintegrating, being pulled about cell by cell.

A few years later, I signed up at a diet place to loose some weight. I explicitly asked if the Fen-Phen products were anything like Prozac and the doctor assured me that they were not. He was wrong. Again, by the end of the first week, I was crying uncontrollably, tears pouring down my face – this time it was more odd as I had no feelings to go along with the tears. I went in to explain, they wanted to resist refunding my money, but all they had to do was look at my face.

I went along just fine, until I had to deal with infertility. This has been the most heartbreaking, gut-wrenching life trauma I’ve ever gone through. If there was something safe and effective, I’d be on it. There is not enough money on the planet for me to ever go back to anti-depressants. So I white-knuckle it. I use natural products, essential oils, meditation tapes and I let myself cry. Honestly, the essential oils I use have been a lifesaver, same as described in the website I list below. I’ve come to grips that no matter how much I truly want to die, that dying is not the answer and suicide is a decision where I could never change my mind. I thank God that I’ve never had another homicidal thought ever since quitting the drugs. I do however have left over tremors that are probably going to be with me for the rest of my life.

If I had heard my story from a book or website or third hand, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. It seems surreal that a simple little pill that’s suppose to help could turn a quiet, shy, woman into a shrieking homicidal threat in 14 days but that’s what I lived. I’m glad it’s getting more out in the open. I’m still incredibly ashamed but now, not at my depression, but rather at my behavior I exhibited to completely innocent bystanders who happened to be in the wrong place when I walked by.

 

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1/11/2001 – More Self Harm Seen with SSRI Therapy Than With Tricyclics

Now, a report out of the UK debunks a popular marketing
strategem of SSRI manufacturers–that SSRI’s are inherently
safer because they are less toxic in overdose. This study
recently published in the British Journal of Psychiatry clearly
points to a great risk of self-harm with drugs like Prozac, Zoloft
and Paxil over the older tricyclic antidepressants. Mark
———

More Self Harm Seen with SSRI Therapy Than With Tricyclics

http://psychiatry.medscape.com/reuters/prof/2000/12/12.29/20001228clin013.html

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Dec 28 – Significantly more
instances of deliberate self-harm occur in patients prescribed a
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) than in those
prescribed a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). In their report in the
December issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, UK
investigators caution that the choice of antidepressant for
patients at risk should not be based solely on overdose toxicity.

In this prospective study, 2776 deliberate self-harm events
occurred in 1954 individuals attending the Derbyshire Royal
Infirmary in 1995 and 1996. Dr. Stuart Donovan, of University
Hospital, in Nottingham, and associates observed that the most
frequent method of self-harm was medication overdose, and
paracetamol (acetaminophen) was the medication most
frequently involved

In the cases of antidepressant overdoses, SSRIs were used
more often than TCAs, in 16.0 and 11.8 cases per 10,000
prescriptions, respectively. The relative incidence of self-harm
events was significantly higher in those prescribed SSRIs than
in those prescribed TCAs. Exposure times were similar for the
two types of drugs.

Dr. Donovan’s group adds that SSRIs may have been prescribed
more often following unsuccessful use of a TCA, making it
possible that “a greater proportion of more ‘difficult to treat’
patients may have been prescribed SSRIs and this may
manifest as a greater risk of deliberate self-harm.” However, they
emphasize that the reduced overdose toxicity of SSRIs
compared with TCAs “does not extrapolate to a reduced risk of
deliberate self-harm.”

In fact, the reduced risk of morbidity following overdose is offset
by the higher risk of self-harm by other methods in patients
taking SSRIs.

Br J Psychiatry 2000;177:551-556.
Copyright © 2000 Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved.

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