Body of Missing Man Found;
Paxil Withdrawal Blamed


The body of 78 year-old Bob Farthing, who had been missing since Wednesday, was found in the back seat of his car Friday evening.  “He would never, ever have disappeared, he would have never taken off and left my mother like this,” Farthing’s daughter had said during the search. “He is struggling with the withdrawal from the drug Paxil.”

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. This story is interesting (and tragic) for several reasons. First is that while the reporters steered away from any possible criticism of the drugs, they allowed the family members to speak out to others about not letting their family members get trapped with this.

    The comments were very interesting too. Aside from condolences to the family, about half were anti-drug, and the others defended the drugs, sounding rather like religious fanatics in the process. As a lawyer, I found the comment almost amusing that questioned how legitimate it would be to sue over a drug taken voluntarily. This of course would mean the end of malpractice cases. And if the drug had been forced on the person, what do you think the commenter would have said then? This passive acceptance of psychiatric drugs is really frightening to me, as people like this sound like religious fanatics, and they are.

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  2. Ted, I totally agree with your take on the comments. And yes, the passive acceptance of meds is quite frightening.

    Then again, I used to be one of those folks before I saw the light. And even when I suspected one of the meds I was on had caused a hearing loss, I still didn’t do anything about it until a year later when I resigned from a high pressured job I was in. That is how spellbound I was.

    Regarding being able to sue over taking Paxil, I understand that the only cases that lawyers will take is if the person who tragically died is under 24? since the FDA black box warnings state that the drug shouldn’t be given to this age group. It is safe for anyone over 24 which of course is a bunch of BS. Anyway, my point is if the family wanted to sue, they would have about as much chance of winning their case as my becoming a millionaire.

    My condolences to the family. I can’t imagine the h-ll they are experiencing.

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