The Excruciating Journey From Depression To Paxil-Induced Homicide And Back To Good Health

By David Carmichael

I killed my 11-year-son Ian on July 31, 2004 in London, Canada while I was severely psychotic. I miss Ian very much.

Recovering from this family tragedy has been excruciating. My wife, 20-year-old daughter and I have reconciled and are now trying to rebuild our lives. I hope by sharing my story, other people can avoid learning about the lethal side effects of Paxil and other antidepressants in such a painful way.

Looking back, my first major depression in 2003 was triggered by financial pressures and 2 major contract-related setbacks. I was treated with the antidepressant Paxil (40mg a day). It made me manic. I juggled more contracts and made more money as a consultant in the fiscal year that I was on Paxil than ever before.  I weaned myself off the drug because of a couple disturbing side effects.

My major depression relapse in July 2004 was triggered by sleep deprivation caused primarily by juggling too many contracts. There were no financial pressures or major work setbacks at the time. I put myself back on Paxil and then increased my dosage a week later after I started having suicidal thoughts. I thought that an increase in dosage from 40mg to 60mg would get rid of my suicidal thoughts. Our family tragedy was 2 weeks later. Based on DNA test results and other medical evidence that was collected right after our family tragedy, my acute psychotic episode was Paxil-induced.  It wasn’t triggered by my major depression. Even if I have another relapse, which I certainly hope to prevent, I would be highly unlikely to have another psychotic episode unless I was treated inappropriately with antidepressants.

There is no need for anyone to fear that I’m going to have another violent psychotic episode since evidence indicates that it was Paxil-induced. My acute psychotic episode in July 2004, which would have been difficult for anyone to recognize because of my calm and organized demeanor, is my only history of psychosis. There is no family history of acute psychosis or chronic psychosis (e.g., bipolar disorder, schizophrenia) and I have no history of violence other than on July 31, 2004.

My major depression is in full remission. I’m no longer on an antidepressant.  I weaned myself off Effexor over several months in consultation with a forensic scientist/psychiatrist from Australia who discovered, through DNA testing, that I have problems metabolizing these types of antidepressants. Effexor might also have been damaging my heart.  It’s cardiotoxic. My resting heart rate for the 4 years that I was on Effexor was around 120bpm. It’s now 75bpm.


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