‘He was the best guy’: Questions, grief and advocacy follow suicide deaths — (The Toronto Star)

SSRI Ed note: "terrific" man quits taking antidepressants that didn't help "cold turkey", falls into a terrible state, dies by suicide a week later.
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The Toronto Star

By Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette

Thu., Oct. 22, 2020

A week before his death, having recently quit taking antidepressants, Braden Titus was “completely and utterly broken” and experiencing a mental health crisis, says his mom Kim.

He was waiting to see a therapist when he took his own life in September 2015.

“He was awesome. He was the best guy,” Kim told Great West Newspapers.

Braden, 31, was a non-judgmental guy who loved to cook and owned his own home renovation business, according to Kim. But being a small business owner was stressful, and he felt like he was falling into a “funk” due to drinking and partying, so eight months before the tragedy, he asked Kim for a recommendation for a family doctor who could get him on antidepressants.

Kim told her son she’d noticed a correlation between him “getting into a funk” and how hard and often he partied – an assessment he agreed with. He said he’d stop drinking and smoking, get on the “straight and narrow” and focus on things he loved like camping, cooking and music.

His mental health began improving after he started taking antidepressants. Kim made him promise to continue making lifestyle changes that supported his mental wellbeing, and he quit smoking and started working out regularly.

Eventually, he felt so well that he decided to quit his antidepressants cold turkey.

Kim, worried, told him it wasn’t safe to quit without a doctor’s input, but he said he didn’t feel any different when he was on them. A week later, he sent her a text saying he was “all messed up”: “Those pills hurt me more than they ever helped me,” he told her.