Depressed mother ‘hanged herself’ — (BBC News)

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BBC News

Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK 

A 45-year-old teaching assistant hanged herself after taking prescribed anti-depressants, an inquest was told.

Sandra Mackie was found by her husband, Norman, hanging from a tree in the back garden of their home in Parkstone, Poole, Dorset, on 13 September.

She had initially refused to take the tablets because she feared the side effects, “one of which was suicide or thoughts of suicide”, said Mr Mackie.

Coroner Sheriff Payne recorded a verdict of suicide.

‘Fairly safe antidepressant’

The mother-of-three had suffered a dislocated hip and was bed bound for about six weeks.

Her husband, a taxi driver, said she found that “frustrating because she was quite an active person”.

Dr John Lovejoy prescribed her with the antidepressant Citalopram and saw her on a weekly basis during August, this year.

Mr Mackie said he himself had “practically bullied her to take the tablets”, she began to take them and said she had not experienced any thoughts of suicide.

Condition ‘greatly improved’

Dr Lovejoy said Mrs Mackie began to take the tablets because he had told her that he would have to involve psychiatric services if she continued to refuse the medication.

Coroner Sheriff Payne said Citalopram was a “fairly standard, fairly safe antidepressant” and that she appeared to have “greatly improved” after taking the tablets.

But when Mr Mackie returned from his early morning shift driving his taxi, he discovered his wife hanging from the tree in their garden.

The cause of death was given as hanging with depression as the other significant condition.