Todd Shivak — (FDA Psychopharmacologic Drugs Pediatric Advisory Hearings)

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FDA Psychopharmacologic Drugs Pediatric Advisory Hearings

DR. RUDORFER:  Thank you.    We will move on now to Number 18, please.   Todd Shivak

MR. SHIVAK:  Good morning.  We are Todd and Eileen Shivak.  We do not have any financial relationship to anyone here.   Our story is much like the cases everyone else here today is bringing forward to you.

Our son Michael was 11 when he was prescribed Paxil for what was diagnosed as  depression.  The consequences of this still live with us today.  Thank God he is alive and with us today, but Michael is afraid of his doctors, how  can he trust what they will give him next.

He is afraid of the police.  He has been wrestled down, handcuffed and taken to jail.  The police are supposed to protect us and look what they have done to him.

It is difficult for him to trust his teachers. They still look at Michael as a troublemaker even though he currently is an A/B student with much improving grades.  His peers still think of him as a freak, the kid who tried to slash his wrists while in class.

As parents, our most important job is to protect our kids.  We thought we were doing the right thing.  The doctors convinced us that taking these drugs was the only thing that we could do for Michael.  Now, Michael wonders whether we are going to have him arrested, sentenced, physically restrained and punished again.   If he can’t trust his parents, who can he trust?

Our daughter, Catherine, was 5 years old at the time.  She witnessed firsthand some of the most terrifying sights that I have ever had to deal  with.  Our family is finally getting back to the loving family we once were, but the fear of what    happened still haunts us.

Worse yet, how could all the doctors not recognize what was happening?  Michael saw three different social workers, two different psychiatrists, and went through at least four different emergency room psychological evaluations  in two different hospitals.

We are here to plead that you do something to stop the prescriptions of these drugs, so that no one else has to go what we are all going through.  It is impossible to describe the pain and utter helplessness we all felt watching Michael    suffer, watch him cry, take up weapons against us, and beg us to let him die.  How do you erase the picture of your child trying to run in front of a moving car?

Please save our children from this drug.

DR. RUDORFER:  Thank you.