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Families Against Zoloft
In December of 2004, we rescued my 16 year old son from a home for runaways after his mother and her family abandoned him. This was one of the happiest days in my life…to finally have a chance to be a father to my son and to have my family be complete. Little did I know then, that this would be my ONLY Christmas with my son.
After joining our family, my son made great strides in many areas including becoming more mature, Honor Roll student (he had not been on Honor Roll since 5th grade), setting short and long term goals, working towards getting his drivers license, expressing himself, being a part of a loving, open, honest family unit. Basically, growing into a respectable young man. Not every day was a good day, but we rallied around him and praised the good and assisted him through the bad ones. The bad days were extremely bad. He had issues with
women and people in authority. Then on July 3, 2005 he finally confessed that he was trying to stop, he wanted and needed professional help so he could straighten out his mind mentally and pursue his goals.
After consulting our family doctor we took him to a Psychologist for 3 visits. After having a family session, we all agreed his issues could best be handled by a Child Psychiatrist. Our first visit, on 7/21/05 with the Child Psychiatrist resulted in a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Bi polar, Conduct Disorder (CD). After about a 25 minute discussion amongst the psychiatrist, Anthony and myself, he was immediately put on Zoloft (25 mg for 7 days then 50 mg thereafter) and Depakote (750 mg). Anthony was given the 21 day sample pack of Zoloft and a prescription for the Depakote.
Never during the conversation did the psychiatrist tell us about the dangers of this drug, nor did any of the information inside the sample have the BLACK BOX warning on it. At this point we did not know the drug carried a BLACK BOX warning, we discovered this after his death during our research.
The Child Psychiatrist also ordered individual and family counseling. On August 3rd, we (my wife and I) met privately with the Counselor before my son did. My wife was in tears begging and pleading for help for my son, because he was worse while on the Zoloft and Depakote. My son admitted he wanted to be locked up so someone “could be in his mind 24/7” to help straighten it out. The Counselor looked us in the eyes and told us “We can do nothing (lock him up) until he hurts himself, or someone else or commits a criminal act”. The Counselor then met privately with my son.
Then on the evening of August 11, 2005, the first day of his Junior year in high school, 20 days shy of his 17th birthday, we found him hanging in his closet.
No parent should have to ever cut their hanging child down and perform CPR on them (for over 15 minutes) while waiting for help. We had no warning signs he was suicidal, it was actually one of his best days. He brought everything home from school we needed to sign and approve. He ate dinner and did his normal routine without any problems. He always told us in the past he did not have the nerve to hurt himself or kill himself, but Zoloft physically changed his mind… And for the worse.
We were able to donate tissue, bone, ligaments, cartilage, heart valves, blood vessels, skin and his eyes through DCI Donor Services of Tennessee so others will have an opportunity at a healthy life. He firmly believed in organ donation and this was the last wish we will ever be able to honor thanks to Pfizer and their #1 killer, #3 money maker, Zoloft.