"We were told that antidepressants like Paxil and Zoloft were wonder drugs, that they were safe and effective for children. We were lied to," Caitlin's father said.
According to Glenn, his daughter was a straight "A" student, an artist, and a talented musician who loved animals and wanted to be a veterinarian.
With the onset of puberty, Caitlin seemed to be having trouble coping, and was also having sleeping problems due to a mild seizure disorder.
"We wanted to help, of course," her father explains, "so we took her to our family physician, who prescribed her Paxil."
Right off the bat, Caitlin did not do well on Paxil, so the doctor took her off the drug. About a week later the family went to see a psychiatrist and Caitlin was put on Zoloft.
According to Glenn, "She then started having strong suicidal ideations, along with severe agitation known as akathisia and hallucinations, and she was put in the adolescent ward of a mental hospital to balance her meds."
Once she entered the hospital, the situation got worse as Caitlin was put on more and more psychiatric drugs to treat symptoms and behaviors that Glenn says he now realizes were caused by the SSRIs to begin with.
When she was released from the hospital, the downward spiral continued until the day that Caitlin used her shoe laces to hang herself in a bathroom at school.
"Let me be very clear about something," Glenn said, "the dramatic and severe symptoms that led to my daughter's suicide manifested only after she started taking antidepressant drugs."
"The pharmaceutical companies have known for years that these drugs could cause suicide in some patients," Glenn said. "Why didn't we?"
Grieving the loss of their 14-year-old daughter Dominique, Lorraine and Robert Slater also make the point that, "informed parental consent is only possible as long as full disclosure is made by the pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, and the medical community."
"How can teenagers be allowed to be given antidepressants that were never approved for
adolescent consumption, only for adults?" Lorraine wants to know. "How come the medical profession doesn't fully disclose the possible harmful and fatal effects of medication as well as watch carefully for diverse effects on its adolescent population?"
Shortly after she was prescribed Celexa, Dominique attempted suicide. She was treated by several mental health professionals after her initial adverse reaction to the first SSRI.
And, each time they met with professionals, her parents explained that the drugs seemed to maker Dominique's condition worse rather than better. Unfortunately, as so often happens, the adverse reactions and behaviors caused by the SSRIs, were treated as a worsening of an underlying condition and Dominique was prescribed other drugs from the same class.
"Dominique's mind and behavior were slowly being altered to the point that she became very agitated, irrational, ultimately suicidal," her mother recounts, "because none of the so-called medical professionals acknowledged the drug's role in her irrational and suicidal behavior or properly withdrew her from their suicidal effects."