24 Sep (TORONTO) – On July 31 2004, Eleven-year-old Ian Carmichael was found dead in a London, Ontario hotel room. At the time, it was believed that he was asphyxiated or strangled. The boy travelled from his home in Toronto to the western Ontario city with his father, David Carmichael. The elder Carmichael was charged with first degree murder and was held at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre. Fourteen months later, he was found not guilty of murder.
David Carmichael describes what happened:
In July 2003, at the age of 45, I experienced my first major depression. I started taking 40mg. of the antidepressant Paxil a day. By September, I was feeling mentally healthy again. After forgetting to take Paxil for a few days in February 2004, I weaned myself off the drug. I started to feel depressed again in July. My symptoms included insomnia, increased anxiety, rapid weight loss, low concentration and a lack of energy. I put myself back on 40mg. of Paxil a day.
A few days after I started taking Paxil again, I was having suicidal thoughts. I thought I could get rid of the thoughts and recover more quickly if I increased my dosage. On July 17, I started taking 60mg. of Paxil a day. Three days later, I planned my suicide. I went from planning my suicide to planning a murder-suicide to planning a murder. On July 31, 2004, I killed my 11-year-old son Ian. I was charged with first-degree murder.
In November 2004, I was diagnosed by one of the leading forensic psychiatrists in the world as being in a “major depression” with “psychotic episodes” when I killed Ian. In May 2005, his assessment was supported by another leading forensic psychiatrist, who was hired by the crown attorney. On September 30, 2005, I was judged to be “not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder” for murdering Ian. I received an absolute discharge from the Ontario Review Board on December 4, 2009.
While hundreds of stories of SSRI-related suicide and murder are in the media, few contain the chilling words of a man whose decisions and medications led to the murder of his son. Today, the former fitness guru operates David Carmichael.com, where he describes his experience and how psychotropic drugs affected him and his loved ones.
Says Carmichael, “I hope some of the information posted on this website can help prevent suicidal and homicidal tragedies.”