Musician Feared Antidepressant Was ‘Poisoning’ Him, Inquest Told


From Belfast Telegraph: “An expert witness has told the second day of the inquest into the death of Coalisland musician Stephen O’Neill (48) that an antidepressant drug triggered the events that led to his passing.

Professor David Healy of Bangor University was giving evidence on behalf of the O’Neill family.

‘I’m pinpointing sertraline as the drug that produced the catastrophic reaction,’ Professor Healy said. ‘When Mr O’Neill gets sertraline he shifts states quantitatively.’

His death in July 2016 followed a prescription for sertraline.

Prof Healy paraphrased Mr O’Neill’s attitude in the weeks leading up to his death: ‘He said: “This drug is poisoning me. It’s giving me problems I never had before.”‘

‘He’s handing them the diagnosis on a plate, and the system is not listening.’

Prof Healy queried the safety of sertraline, the first-choice antidepressant in the UK for adults.

‘The evidence in SSRIs (the category of drugs to which sertraline belongs) is that they cause more suicides than they prevent,’ he said.

In support, he quoted the US Food and Drug Administration, which found more deaths among patients on SSRIs than among those on placebos.”

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  1. I still find it stunning that the psychiatric profession maintains the farce that SSRI-induced hypo/mania is a feature of emerging bipolar best treated with the addition of “mood stabilizing” drugs rather than an iatrogenic harm reaction best treated by removing the offending drug that is, indeed, poisoning the patient. Extreme depression is nowhere near as dangerous a mental state as drug-induced disconnection from reality and impulse control.

  2. Professor Sir William Osler.

    Early 20th Century Physician, and Respected Medical Teacher:

    “Listen to Your Patient, he is telling you the diagnosis”.

    Some 100 years later, why do we still not listen?

    Why is AKATHISIA still not discussed before SSRIs are prescribed?

    Where is informed consent?