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PINE: The next speaker is Charles Carpenter.

CARPENTER: Thank you for allowing me this opportunity. In the spring of 2002, my wife started seeing a psychologist because she would sometimes jump when she was riding in a car, not all the time just once in a while.

In the fall of 2002, the psychologist recommended Paxil. Since she couldn’t write the prescription, a general practitioner in the clinic wrote it for her. She was assured that Paxil was safe but was told she could experience dry mouth, nausea, and drowsiness.

By the end of May 2003, she was a completely different person. Her likes, dislikes, and interests had all changed. Gaping holes had been eroded into the boundaries she had established for the way she lived her life.

A person whose goal it had been for us to work together in our photography studio, who looked forward to the time, extra time, we could spend together on vacation and the person that told my mom when she was dying not to worry that she would always be there to take care of me, just walked away — not just from me but from everything and everyone that had been important in her life.

(Crying) I knew something was wrong other than the obvious, but at the time I had no idea it was the Paxil. I frantically searched for answers, but answers were scarce.

The person who had always been so close for so long suddenly saw me as the source of everything that had ever happened bad in her life.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am not being critical of my wife. She had no idea when she took that first pill what lay in store for her because she wasn’t adequately warned. We didn’t know.

A few weeks later, I went to the doctor and he prescribed Zoloft®. I took the sample pack, and I got the prescription filled twice. Most of the second prescription I still have. The reason for that is because I became suicidal.

I wrote and I changed the lyrics to songs to reflect what I wanted to do. Then, one day the police showed up at work to check on me. I convinced them I was fine and went back to work.  I knew then that I couldn’t be alone for extended periods of time, so I stayed with family members. I continued to do research. I found on the Internet mentions of SSRIs and suicide. I decided to get off the Zoloft.

7 DR. PINE: Thank you.