Antidepressant may have contributed to teen’s suicide -

Antidepressant may have contributed to teen’s suicide

Sara Carlin’s parents blame drug Paxil for her death


The lawyers for parents of an Oakville, Ont. teen who hanged herself when she was 18 years old told a coroner’s inquest yesterday that they blame antidepressants. Health Canada first issued warnings about the increased risk of suicide in teenagers who take the drugs in 2003. Carlin had been prescribed the drug Paxil for depression and anxiety 14 months before her death.


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Antidepressant may have contributed to teen’s suicide

  1. A teenager taking anti-depressants? Parenting fail, not pharma fail. Children should not need anti-depressants. Her parents should have stepped up and taken their responsibility seriously.

    Poor dear.

    • You obiously do not understand depression or its cause…Parents are not to blame for a chemical disorder anymore than they are to blame for diabetes or low thyroid…both chemical problems. At least her parents were loving enough to get her help when she needed it!!! Hard work and ignorance to cause do not "cure" a problem…I hate drugs but sometimes they are a godsend.

      • I agree that on occasion drugs can be a godsend… but it is possible though that the anti-depressants may have made her suicidal. It is a common side effect of the drugs. However, if that was the case, the doctor should have informed the family of the risks involved in taking such drugs at a young age and he/she did not. Unless she was an extrodinary actress, her parents should have been able to see that her depression was not getting any better. If that was the case and her parents didn't see what was coming then they can't fully blame the drugs. They have to take some responsibility for not watching her as much as they should have and perhaps look into why the doctor perscribed an anti-depressant that has been proven ineffective in teens and young adults. But of course, it's always easiest to blame the drugs, because they don't have a face. And you don't take your child to them whenever your child is sick…

    • How can you make such a foolish generalization that no children require anti-depressants. Children suffer from almost all illnesses that adults suffer from including things such as arthritis, autoimmune disorders, heart conditons, diabetis and countless others. So if you have a child with a heart condition are you going to refuse medication because well he/she is just a child and should not require heart medications? How stupid would that be. Now I feel terrible for this girls parents they lost a son to overdose and now they have lost their daughter as well. Keep strong my prayers and thoughts are with you.

    • This kind of attitude is so sad. Depression is not being depressed. Depression is a medical condition that needs to be dealt with medically. I am so tired of people not getting it. I cry for this young lady, but I am so glad she had at least some time of relief before the medicine just wasn't enough.

    • I agree that no teenager should be taking Anti-Depressants. These drugs are chemicals which alter one's brain and should not be taken by anybody, especially children! Doctors must learn to get to the root of the problem as opposed to masking it with these 'feel good' chemicals! What's the difference between prescribing Paxil or suggesting they go to the bar to drink their sorrows away…exact same thing except doctors don't get paid on alcohol sales, they get paid by big pharma! There is no such thing as 'chemical imbalance,' it is only a theory and has never been measured or proven so don't listen to this garbage!

      This isn't the first time a teen on anti-depressants has turned to irregular behavior…do you recall the Columbine shooters who were on anti-depressants or maybe T.J. Solomon, a 15-year-old who wounded six at Heritage High School in Conyers, Ga (he was on ritalin) and Kip Kinkel, a 15-year-old who killed four and wounded twenty three at Thurston High School in Springfield, Ore (he was on Prozac)…this is just to name a few! Do your research people and realize that these drugs are mind altering chemicals which should be abolished!

    • What everyone is missing here is that this girl was placed on Paxil for Anxiety. The Anxiety and depression started after she lost a brother on New Years eve in 2000. It appeared she tried to cope with grief short term and had dreams of being a doctor herself. Somehow she got lost in the shuffle.
      Name me one person who is addicted to anything that hasn't some type of trauma… whether small or large.. there is always some type of trauma.
      Doctors can filter us to specialists but typically when someone says they are depressed, can't sleep or suffer anxiety they never link it to our feelings. They are not trained to do this. They are given alternative to cope with the symptoms.. when are we are a society going to stop labelling and start supporting each other. Someone in her life, saw her crying out for help and didn't know what to do. So we go see our doctors??? Mom and Dad, are probably suffering too so to point fingers at them is judging them. How would you react if one of your children died and then another was struggling. Would you have all the answers. I am shocked at the judgment.

      • continued

        We need more resources for the old and young who are victims of their circumstances. Not a bandaid… but support to get them through the rough times.
        I question the ethics of the pharmaceuticals…. as they do not get rich if we are healthy. They only get richer if there are side effects. Name me one drug without a side effect that does not eventually lead to another drug. Anti-depressants don't fix anything long term. The body eventually becomes intolerant to the dosage and low and behold they have to up it. Then they have to guesstimate a new drug that will replace the old one when it stops doing the job. This is the reality of prescription drugs. It is also a reality that many people on them don't stay grounded for long and will need to change the medication or self medicate with other substances. There are people every single day being prescibed meds that are using other substances… but when was abstinence a prerequisite to getting a prescription.

        • last comment

          People need to start questioning their doctors and why they are using certain drugs. Use the Internet.. and search the blogs and find out about other peoples experiences before you trust one person who may have taken 1-2 hours about mental illness or addiction in their entire medical schooling. If you have a friend or family membering suffering from anxiety or depression support them to find some kind of counselling or avenue to get to the root of the problem… Behind depression is sadness, behind anxiety is fear and behind anger is hurt… we all didn't live in glass houses and we all know that stuff happens in our life time that taints us.

          She was once a young happy girl… what happened to change that……..

  2. Patatata- When the doctors are busy explaining to the parents, "It's a chemical thing, these pills will solve it" ??

    Come on. People are expected to take their doctors seriously. And how can you possibly make that call based on this article. What a nasty thing to post

    • I agree that it is easy for Patatata to say what he did. How do you know children should not need anti depressants? Are you a doctor? Is that to say that only adults can have a mental problem? And yes it appears her parents did take their responsibility seriously as they sought the help of a licensed doctor, unlike you Patatata. Give your head a shake and think before you post!!!

  3. Parenting fail? You have no idea of what the situation was. Big newsflash for you-there are some situations were children do need anti-depressant medciation. A hug and a long talk can't cure a chemical imbalance in a child's brain. I'm sure the parents didn't throw her a bottle and yell at her to let them know when she felt better.

  4. The day the people understand antidepressants causes suicides the numbers will incresase simple by believe in and the numbers are ommited actually by law.

  5. The same antidepressant Sara Carlin's parents blame for her death saved my life. Years ago I was depressed and suicidal. I started taking Paxil and my life has improved more than I can express. I'm no longer depressed or suicidal and I give all the credit to Paxil. It really did save my life.

    • That's good. But it sounds like you had entered a period of depression for which the drugs helped. This girl may have been suffering differently. The reason I say that is because you say you are "no longer depressed" after taking Paxil. People suffering from clinical depression are told there is no "cure" and the symptoms can only be controlled by taking the drugs for life.
      Some people just go through a period, some are plagued for life and anti-depression drugs don't work for them. It's great if a medication works for you but not everyone will benefit. We have to face the facts that doctors don't want to – that medical science knows very, very little about how the brain works and these chemicals they pump us with are merely stabs in the dark. Because a number of people "improve", whatever that may mean, they make the connection that the drugs are working.
      The reality is that these drugs cause powerful effects in the brain and do often cause people to become worse off while using them.

  6. Millions of people have been helped enormously by anti-depressants for a chemical imbalance, myself included. I, and many many others, would highly recommend not suffering needlessly because of a fear of them. It is just possible this young lady wasn't on a strong enough dose, and I can't help feeling that if she had confided in her GP about the lack of improvement, things may just have turned out differently.

    Margaret R.

  7. A sad story, without an answer. Anti-depressants of ALL kinds have been known to cause suicidal tendencies in some people. They've also been known to be incredibly helpful and effective. My doctor explained to me that if a person taking anti-depressants experiences suicidal tendancies, it's probably because they are bipolar and have been misdiagnosed. The trick is proper diagnosis, and being open and honest about your reaction(s) to whatever medication you're on. That's hard, I know – it's hard for me – but it's imperative.

  8. Anti Depressants have other uses as well… Migraine treatment, insomnia patients take them also

  9. She had good run people. It's not about how long you live but the quality of life. Way to go kid!!!!!!!

  10. My wife takes Paxil and has for the last 8 years. Its basically ruined our marriage, as its made her gain about 80 pounds and (thank god) lose all interest in any kind of matrimonial sharing. Way to go to our idiot doctor who i begged to take her off it, but now that shes on it, cant stop taking.


      Maybe this site/book can help you get started with some ideas for alternatives to SSRI's. I understand your situation somewhat as my sister was caught in a similar scanario. She eventually got off the Paxil but not before struggling through horrible withdrawal symptoms. She now has a neuro nutrient plan and is happy and balanced. No problems at all.

    • You would make me suicidal.

  11. GP's should be ashamed of their lack of focus on safer and natural anti-depressants such as 5-HTP. 5-HTP has been clinically proven to be faster and more effective than SSRI's (Paxil, etc.) with much lower side effects. As well, 5-HTP actually addresses the problem in most cases of depression, which is low serotonin. SSRI's do not increase serotonin they simply hold it in a particular spot of the brain chemical process longer. This in turn causes problems in other areas of the process such as melatonin production.

    Because 5-HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid (the pre-cursor to Serotonin production) the drug companies cannot patent it and sell it as a drug. There is no monetary incentive for doctors to utilize 5-HTP so they don't. It's pathetic.

    This girl was failed by her doctor and an arrogant health care system that is skewed daily by big pharma.

    • 5-HTP is not superior to ADs, and in fact it is quite likely useless. Besides, "natural" does not necessarily mean safer. While pharmaceuticals have little incentive to market 5-HTP, the supplement companies have plenty of financial incentive, which is why they are so successful at filling your head with nonsense.

      • The only non-sense is the crap that these pharma companies put in your head! Natural medicine has been around for thousands of years unlike these alternative chemical cocktails!

  12. "Parenting failure." What an idiotic thing to say.

  13. She was not a child people, she was an adult and needed help. No matter if it's not her own fault, it's certainly not her parents

  14. Drugs are no good at all, especially for children who have depression.  These children need understanding from people, not a prescription.  That is what the world is coming to now though.  People are too busy to care enough to help.  I was bullied as a kid in the 70’s but was very lucky to have a father who cared and made me the strong person I am decades later.  One school official told him to give me drugs and he told them off.  I am thankful he did that as I am still alive today!!

  15. Drugs are no good at all, especially for children who have depression.  These children need understanding from people, not a prescription.  That is what the world is coming to now though.  People are too busy to care enough to help.  I was bullied as a kid in the 70’s but was very lucky to have a father who cared and made me the strong person I am decades later.  One school official told him to give me drugs and he told them off.  I am thankful he did that as I am still alive today!!