At various times in David’s adult life, he experienced episodes of anxiety and sleeplessness.  One of his main issues in David’s very successful career was the challenge of getting people in power to understand the risks they were taking and then trying to get those powerful people to act responsibly which created anxiety.  David also had a belief that he required a certain amount of sleep each night and would suffer without it which caused more anxiety and sleeplessness.


We have noted about 6 key anxiety episodes over the course of David’s adult life with the 6th including the tragic day of medication-induced psychosis and the tragic killings of our daughters.  Each episode started with sleeplessness and anxiety and brought us to doctors who suggested treatment with medications as the responsible course of action.  Each time and in each episode, the medications made things much worse and now, with the medications, he would become depressed.  Still, we were not warned of violent side effects or of the potential for psychosis.  There was also no admission that the deepening depression symptoms could be medication induced.


There were 6 original doctor visits each offering medication treatment as the main option for anxiety and sleeplessness.  The 6 episodes varied in duration of 2 months to 15 months each time due to the medication treatment and subsequent withdrawal.  Not once did anyone indicate that the medications could have been the overriding factor of making things worst.  Also, once medication is introduced, it becomes the standard for the next time.  We thought that medication was what David needed to stop the anxiety.  Sadly, it never occurred to us to challenge the doctors more than we already had done.  Our feeling was that they were trying to help us and to stay medicated is a common theme.


We kept trying with the professionals.  David took the recommended medications and went to counseling to work through any cognitive issues. We hoped with each episode that it would never happen again.   David was always better when he could come off the medication and function in a normal way.


The medicine never proved to be the right solution.  We and the doctors misinterpreted the medication side effects for episodes of depression.  David had anxiety and evidence now shows that the depression that he spiraled into was medication induced as each time the depression presented after the medication.  The episodes that started with anxiety blew into full blown medication-induced depression in the first 3-6 weeks of the drugs.  I would call the prescribers and note that now David had become a medicated depressed person in addition to the anxiety and sleeplessness. The recommendation was always to increase the dosage but always, without a better response. But, after 3 – 6 weeks on the medications, he did seem to settle into a pattern of being that appeared to us to be better.  He was different during these medicated months but it was not a change that we understood as bad, it was just different.


A particularly bad episode began in March of 2004 after David was treated for testicular cancer.  The testicular cancer treatment lasted from October of 2003 through that December.  By March of 2004, he began to experience anxiety and sleeplessness.  This was our first episode in Charlotte so we went to work to set up the recommended support system of psychiatrist and therapist working together to integrate the treatment.  This episode was especially difficult and caused David to spend much of the summer of 2004 without good health and highly medicated.   By April of 2005, David had stabilized from the medication-induced depression and was ready to withdraw from Paxil.  His side effects included extraordinary weight gain that was taking its toll on overall health.  He began to withdraw from Paxil in the springtime and we as a family tried to make up for the time felt lost from 2004.


We were not advised of withdrawal symptoms and weathered the effects of withdrawal by tapering the dose a little bit (not enough) but worked with the psychiatrist and therapist through those times.  The holidays of 2005 were strained with stress at the bank.  Several health issues were plaguing David and resulted in a round of antibiotics for an infection and the fear of relapse into anxiety began to trouble him greatly.

Onward to Horror