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Comments & Reviews
This beautifully structured, profoundly moving film should be required viewing not only for the international psychiatric community, but for us all. The story unfolds from the viewpoints of the parents of a group of troubled youngsters, twelve through seventeen, from different social and economic backgrounds. These brave parents document their errors in having allowed psychiatric “experts” to prescribe antidepressants for their children whose subsequent mood swings resulted in their suicides. For the youngsters it is too late. What remains is the possibility of growth for their families, and not incidentally for us. A testament to the courage of honest people everywhere, “Prescription: Suicide?” raises the question in my mind: Instead of mental hospitals, why don’t we have nationwide, medication-free facilities to serve as havens for the release of intolerable and so-called “inappropriate feelings” for adolescents of all ages?
Carol Hebald (www.CarolHebald.com) is the author of the memoir “The Heart Too Long Suppressed: A Chronicle of Mental Illness” (Northeastern University Press).
Familiarity with the book Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher and the film Prescription: Suicide? are a must for chiropractic practitioners. These stories really open your eyes to the destruction caused by Big Pharma and their misinformation campaigns. Children are literally being destroyed and families torn apart as a result of antidepressant drug use. I encourage anyone and everyone to read, watch and hear the truth about these drugs!
Dr. David Armstrong
Cedar Park, Texas
The film was really really well done. We were completely emotional. All I could think was how all of us trusted in the system and were blind sided by something that someone (drug co and FDA) were aware of. It was hard to watch but very powerful and effective.
Kim Witczak and Eric Swan, Minneapolis
Thank you for bringing to light the pain and tragedy from the use of these drugs. The web site www.psychsearch.net/teenscreen documents the background of why this is happening in America.
I finally had a chance to watch the film tonight. I appreciate the work that has been put into this creation, for hopefully it will slam some people, physicians included, into the wall of reality about these medications. The denial must stop. It is heartbreaking and maddening that children and their families have to go through these horrors and losses.
Thank you to everyone involved in the making of this film. I consider myself so lucky that *I* was the one who had to go through AD hell instead of my child, as they were trying to convince me to do. I cannot imagine the pain these parents have suffered watching their children go through these scenarios.
Your efforts will certainly save more than a few lives, and for that we all thank you.
Heartbreaking, sad, a film filled with raw emotion, yet tender and gentle: these are just a few words that describe my impression of the documentary Prescription: Suicide? Director Rob Manciero has taken a volatile subject and with sensitivity and insight has brought to life the tragedy of the deadly effects that antidepressant medication can have on children and adolescents.
Mr. Manciero and the crew of Full Vision Productions immersed themselves into overwhelming grief as they interviewed, lived with, and at times became one with the families whose children were so tragically affected by these medications. Listening to parents, siblings and often the victims themselves describe overnight change in behavior – raging, self-mutilation, attempted suicide – pushed their understanding to gut wrenching depths. The strength of the parents and siblings of children who committed suicide shines through the darkest moments of the film, and the viewer can’t help but feel admiration mixed with incredible sympathy for the families as they discuss with unbelievable clarity the loss of their loved ones.
The producers Rob Manciero and Rich Samuels effectively delved into each child’s individual antidepressant nightmare. Jace Vek’s original score, arranged by Kingfish Worldwide, provides a dramatic yet soothing background. Home video clips interspersed throughout the film showing each child at different times of his or her life – Christmas, team sports, vacations – intensifies the raw emotion underlying the film. Through tears and smiles I was reminded of my own children as I watched the subjects on the screen celebrate Christmas with their family, participate in team sports, vacation at the beach. The children in the video were every parent’s child, niece or nephew, grandson or granddaughter, brother or sister.
Caroline Downing, older sister of Candace Downing who at twelve years of age committed suicide, does an emotional, sensitive job of narrating the film. Through her frequently broken and pain-filled voice Caroline speaks directly to each viewer’s heart. Her bravery and courage is an underlying current that runs like electricity throughout the entire film.
At the end of the film I felt drained, my emotions were raw, and I was thankful the film had ended. However, a part of me wanted to see more of the children, their faces alive with laughter, precociousness, and uncomplicated innocence before the darkness descended upon them.
Mr. Manciero is to be commended for the delicate yet dramatic way in which he developed the film. Prescription: Suicide? is a must-see documentary for everyone. The negative and sometimes deadly effects of these medications on children and adolescents, so boldly presented, can no longer be generally ignored. As Caroline Downing so simply and clearly states in the beginning of the film, “The story must be told.” Bravo to you, Mr. Manciero, for having the courage to do so.
Joy Hancock, author of Prescription for Madness
Prescription: Suicide? is an important film that provides an up-close and personal view of the devastating consequences of antidepressant-induced teen suicides and suicide attempts. The film brings home how unacceptable it is that antidepressant manufacturers have, for years, refused to warn about this risk, despite mounting evidence of its existence. While the black box warnings that now exist on all antidepressant labels came too late for the families highlighted in this film, hopefully their stories will help prevent similar tragedies. I applaud these families for their bravery in coming forward to share their stories and I congratulate the film-makers for doing an excellent job of capturing the essence of these families’ stories.
Karen Barth Menzies, partner of the Los Angeles based law firm of Baum Hedlund and heads the firm’s Pharmaceutical Antidepressant Litigation Department.
We have appreciated being included in this historic piece so much, but our level of understanding and connecting goes so much deeper. Bob and Rich just “happened” to come the week of Caroline’s memorial dance to her sister and were not only here to view it, but to tape it for us. There could not have been a more perfect time for them to be here. It was supposed to have rained the entire week they were here. Instead, it was unseasonably warm with brilliant sunshine. It rained the day they left. They planned to return in June, coincidentally on Candace’s birthday, but it was just too much for me to handle, as it was also Candace’s graduation, which we attended. She was still considered a graduate, the girls all carried a pink rose in her honor, and two out of three speeches were about her. Candace even received a diploma. The next “coincidence” was learning that the film would premier in Ft. Lauderdale, the place Candace loved best on earth. She always had big plans, and one of those plans was to attend college in that area, with an aunt and uncle close by. There was nothing she loved better than being out on the ocean in her uncle’s boat. While there this past week, we even stopped by a few of her favorite spots and could feel her with us, soaking up those rays of sunshine. She really was my beach baby! Perhaps one of the most profound “coincidences” was the music for the documentary. Bob had repeatedly told me about the wonderful musician who was composing an original score for the film. Bob had actually even talked to him on one of his trips east. I was excited to finally meet him at the premier. Imagine my surprise at realizing that I knew him, as did both of my girls! For years our family has vacationed at a beautiful resort called Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. While there, the girls and I would dress up and enjoy a lovely High Tea in the sunroom off the Grand Parlor. Part of the reason that we enjoyed it so much was that the most talented pianist would play classical melodies on the grand piano while we were partaking of our tea and light English fare. Caroline, after several such outings, even got up her nerve to request specific pieces from favorite Broadway musicals. I have pictures of myself with my girls enjoying the afternoon respite. How very appropriate that the gifted musician that my girls adored would be the composer of this documentary! Jace told me that the girls had looked familiar, but that he assumed that it was just from viewing the documentary over and over again.
Too many things have happened for me not to assume that my precious angel is looking down with a huge smile on her face. There was never a second in Ft. Lauderdale when I did not feel her presence close to me. There has been a heightened sense of peace in knowing that this is the right thing to do and that with your help, the word will get out. Thanks, again, for allowing us to be part of this very, very special family. God Bless You all. We love you.
Mathy, Caroline, and Andy Downing
I just returned from Florida where I attended the premiere of the new documentary “Prescription: Suicide?” Also attending the premiere was our DC area director, Mathy Downing and her daughter Caroline, who did an absolutely wonderful job of narrating the film which covers the suicidal thoughts and actions of six young people including Mathy’s daughter and Caroline’s sister, Candace, 12. This is a movie you will NOT dare to miss!! It will help to get the message of the dangers of antidepressants out there as no other media to date has been able to do!
Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director, International Coalition For Drug Awareness, author of “Prozac: Panacea or Pandora?”
For anyone who’s ever loved someone on anti-depressants, this film tells your story. It captures the pain – and the devotion – of families devastated by SSRI medications. This film dispenses justice in a way the pharmaceutical companies never have. As co-counsel in the first successful courtroom battle against Big Pharma in an anti-depressant death trial, I affirm there is power and knowledge in this historic film.
Jim Fitzgerald – www.fitzgeraldlaw.com
I was privileged to be at the Ft. Lauderdale premiere of a groundbreaking film – Prescription:suicide. I have been aware for a long time of the situation in this country regarding the over prescription of dangerous psychotropic medication for our children. We are putting 3 year olds on medications that are of the same category as cocaine. It is criminal. It is condoned in our schools. Our parents are being duped into thinking that these drugs will help. As Prescription:suicide shows, the FDA has only recently issued a black box warning for these drugs pointing out that they cause suicidal tendencies. This was AFTER Candace Downing, Ray Burk and who knows how many others took their own lives while on these dangerous drugs. The parents were not told of the dangers of these drugs – most parents are not.
The world needs to see this film. Other countries have already issued bans on these drugs. The US is the largest consumer of these drugs. Every parent in the US needs to see Prescription:suicide and if they have allowed their child to be put on these drugs, they need to contact Anne Tracy in the film and begin to get their child off the drugs. If they haven’t allowed their child to be put on these drugs, I congratulate them and ask that they call their legislator and ask for stringent laws about FULL informed consent prior to anyone being put on these drugs. If you were asked to sign a consent form that said that the drugs could cause suicidal tendencies in your child – would you sign?????
Joanie Sigal – Florida Citizens for Social Reform
2 thumbs up. It was non-technical, low key, but got a powerful message across. Kids don’t need prescription drugs to combat life’s normal issues. A.E.B.
2 thumbs up. You cannot do enough to protect your children. There is no magical pill for anything.
As an attorney handling many cases involving children who have been harmed by SSRIs, I am extremely grateful to the families and film makers who took part in the making of Prescription Suicide. It is extremely important piece of filmmaking. It is imperative that the word get out to all those parents who are thinking of placing their children on one of these drugs as well as those parents who have already done so. The movie is an extremely well done portrait of the stories we hear on a daily basis. My hat goes off to everyone involved in the production. They have done a tremendous service to the thousands upon thousands of children and their families who may be spared the agony of dealing with suicide and attempted suicide as a result of taking these drugs.
Harris L. Pogust, Esq. of Cuneo, Pogust & Mason, LLP in Conshohocken, PA.
I definitely would recommend this film.
What impacted me most was the age of the kids and the fact that doctors don’t think twice about prescribing these drugs.
2 thumbs up.
Doctors experiment with their patients – there are no scientific tests. The drugs that are being prescribed actually CAUSE psychosis. The children were normal before the drugs. It is imperative that the public be informed about the dangers of psychiatric drugs. C.M.
The shame of how children and teens were prescribed dangerous drugs without remorse.
Definitely a recommendable film.
2 thumbs up. Very informative. Would surely think twice before taking any meds at this point. Fabulous, sensitive, informative, well done! I felt everything these kids felt when I was growing up. C.B.
Fantastic! Needs to be seen. S.H.
I am thrilled that you have made this film. It is a HUGE step forward in bringing awareness on how these medications ruin children’s lives. My daughter’s experience was horrendous to say the least, I published a book on my daughter’s story to help bring awareness. This film is one huge step forward, I thank all that are involved in bringing out the truth. R.D.
Thank you for making this important film. I am from Israel and my son was given SSRI drugs for anxiety attacks. The drugs made him psychotic and suicidal for over a year. Luckily we had the good sense to listen to our then sixteen year old son and we took him off the drugs as he insisted that it was the drugs that was causing the problem. Reading the personal stories of those interviewed in the movie reminds me of how close we came to losing our son. If there is anything I can do to help spread the word in Israel I would like to know. L.H. (Israel)
Thank you SO VERY MUCH for making me aware of this. I’ll spread the word. Will there be a DVD copy made available after a while? I live in Iowa and won’t be able to attend the premiere, but I’d love to review it and promote it, and direct people to where they can buy themselves a copy. In the meantime, I look forward to mentioning it to paxilprogress visitors. warm wishes, D.B.
Please let me know how I can help promote this for you. We work with many of the high profile child cases that involve SSRI’s and children. Those ending in murder, or suicide or both. I am very excited to see your production. Many families need this information! D.M.
I just heard about “Prescription:Suicide?”. Holy Smokes! I have got to see this movie. How can I get you to screen it in Tampa, Florida? I’m not in the movie theatre business but I would do my best to put you in touch with the right people and get lots of people to see it. Best regards, D.M.
Congratulation to you all. I am looking forward to seeing your film. I was on a cocktail of prescription drugs, for over 20 yrs, so you can imagine what kind of a life I endured. Well done. Thanks for you big part, in providing more awareness, of this terrible problem. Yours in spirit, M.M. (Ireland)
Just found out about your documentary “prescription suicide” being presented at the Fort Lauderdale film festival next month. I am interested in knowing if your film will be brought to Toronto Canada anytime in the near future? Is this film available by purchase? Its not possible for me to drive to Fort Lauderdale for this festival but I am very interested in seeing it. Sincerely G.D.
I write to thank you for making the film “Prescription: Suicide”. I hope it will do well. My son, Nick is a survivor. He was placed on Prozac after 5 years of being bullied at school. I look forward to your film coming to Maryland; we would love to see it. Thank you again for the support this film will give, and having the courage to make it. M.K.
Date: Sun, Oct 16, 2005
From: m k
I write to thank you for making the film “Prescription: Suicide?”. I hope it will do well. Flying in the face of drug companies is a brave thing to do. […] I look forward to your film coming to Maryland; we would love to see it.
Thank you again for the support this film will give, and having the courage to make it.
Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2005
It was only a matter of time before a documentry like this came out, and I hope it does well and get’s picked up by a larger studio. Anyone near where it is being played? I think we should e-mail David Garland, the co-producer, and tell him we’re so happy he made the film –
Date: Sat, Oct 15, 2005
Today is the first anniversary of the FDA’s “Black Box” warning placed on all antidepressants for children/adolescents. Here is a film discussing this very issue. Six families who had antidepressants prescribed to their children describe their feelings and reactions. The World Premier of “Prescription:Suicide?” will be November 10th at the Fort Lauderdale InternationalFilm Festival. We are grateful to producers and directors who have enough insight to recognize the seriousness of this issue.
Date: Sun, Oct 16, 2005
I met Mrs. Downing at a protest held in front of the White House in August. All of us had had a family member killed by a prescription drug. All of us were kept in the dark about the possibility of death. Since I live near Washington, I would be interested in talking with her about testifying, etc. I’ve signed up and hope to get a spot on three upcoming FDA hearings, and have spoken with my Senator’s staff
Date: Sun, Oct 16, 2005 From: M.W.
Dear Mr. Garland
I received a report from AHRP advising us on the email list of this film. I am very interested in it but I live in Canada. Is it possible to purchase a copy so I can show it here? Most likely it would be shown at a local art gallery or a citizens co-operative organization as they have movie screenings once a week.
Please contact me, my home phone # is (xxx) xxx-xxxx, as I would love to show this movie in this City because it’s one of the largest centres in Ontario that handles mental health and has the second highest suicide rate in the Province.
Date: Sun, Oct 16, 2005
How would it be possible to view the film you have made about the adverse effects often so terribly tragic of the SSRI’s? We have had a dreadful experience too with our son who had Seroxat and was very, very adversely affected, but thank the Lord, alive! THis is another story.
We live in Israel. Do we wait for the film to be released here? Will it be terribly expensive to buy a copy? Who are the distributors? Have you written anything on this? Done, want to do more interviews?
All the best for your worthy effort, regards, J.H.
Date: Sat, Oct 15, 2005
I heard about your documentary Prescription: Suicide this afternoon and I wanted to thank you for bringing to light such an important, and fairly ignored, issue. On June 11, 2004 our 15 year son, B., committed suicide. He had been diagnosed with Social Anxiety and his doctor prescribed Zoloft. When I questioned her about the safety of this drug, she told me not to worry about it – “the media has a tendency to sensationalize these issues.” I hope that your film will increase awareness for how the pharmiceutical industry, as well as the FDA, are only watching out for their own welfare, not the American public. I have written countless letters and e-mails to a wide variety of people regarding teen suicide and antidepressants, and have received very little response, if any at all. Thank you for standing up for all those children who no longer have a voice.
Date: Sat, Oct 15, 2005
Hiya. I’m interested in your doc. I’m in Toronto. Do you have a website about it? How much does it cost? Is there somewhere in toronto where I could view it?
I’m an activist, critic of antidep. drugs. My partner suicided after 5 weeks on remeron.
I’m regularly doing presentations and have a huge email list. I’d be interested in reviewing your vid with a view to presenting it publicly. Perhaps you would send me a copy for me to review, and if I love it and chose to buy it, then I would send you the $$, but if I don’t love it, could I send it back?
With respect, and thanks for doing the good work!
Date: Sat, Oct 15, 2005
Thank God for you and thank you for making this film. I cry as I write this…and I pray for everyone affected by these drugs, that God will bless you and put his hand on those responsible. Thank you again,
Date: Sat, Oct 15, 2005
I am eager to view this film. Where will it be shown in California. Or how may I get a venue here? I will recommend this to Crest Theater, Sacramento. Please advise.
I am a heath advocate in Sacramento, CA., and educate my patients and community about the dangers of anti-depressants. I spend my work days as a Registered Dental Hygienist screening medical histories and addressing patients, children and adults, who are taking these horrid drugs and offering them holistic alternatives to their health issues.
I suggest patients ask their doctors to name two or three studies they read which supported their decision that the drug they prescribed would be “safe and effective.”
And, I suggest they ask what blood or medical test did they perform which confirmed their diagnosis that they had a chemical imbalance and did not produce sufficient serotonin. Of course, no studies can be cited and there is no medical test to confirm their diagnosis. […]
I am so happy to know what you have accomplished. Thank you very much! Sincerely,
Date: Sat, Oct 15, 2005
I just received an email from Dr. Anne Blake Tracy about your film. I run a support group for people coming off of tranquilizers and would like to know if you will be showing this film in the Boston, MA area at all.
Thank you, G.B.
Date: Sat, Oct 15, 2005
I just read about your documentary regarding the Downing family tragedy. Thank you for your interest in, and attention to, this terrible event and the problems that are behind it.
Date: Fri, October 15, 2005
I just found out about your documentary, Prescription:Suicide. Before I say anything else, let me say thank you for doing this documentary.
Is there anything I can do to help you promote this film? I am not looking to promote my organization through your film, but I would be more than happy to help you promote it in any way possible.
I have worked with members of Congress for years on this issue, as well as the national media. So if I can be of any assistance, please let me know. I would love to see the film as I know several of the families being featured. Our organization was the first to expose the suicide and violence inducing effects of antidepressants in 1989, and testified before the 1991 FDA hearings. So as I said, if I can offer any assistance, please let me know. I am based in Los Angeles.
Best of luck to you, and hope to hear back
Date: Sat, October 15, 2005
Dear David, First of all, while I haven’t seen Prescription:suicide?, I want to thank you for making it. If by watching the film even one teen or child is NOT put on these dangerous drugs, you will have made a difference.
Date: Oct 15, 2005
From: r. f.
I would like to get a copy or two of your film. My 15 year old daughter hung herself while taking Zoloft almost two years ago. Shortly after she died we found that there was a controversy about the safety of these drugs. We were so stupid, we didn’t even know that the drug wasn’t approved for children and thus was prescribed off label. She didn’t have major depression, she was sad, but was a fully functioning kid that was involved in three youth groups, sang, and was on the tennis and swimming teams at school.
I have spoken in front of the FDA twice and have been active in suicide prevention in New Jersey for the last 18 months. I would love to see the film, and to show it to others.
Let me know what the process is. The sooner the better, as I am going to be addressing a hospital group in a month.
Date: Sat, Oct 15, 2005
From: J and J C.
Thank you for making this important documentary. How can I see it? Will it be available for sale? What do I need to do to have one of our local tv channels broadcast it? Does it need to be on educational TV? If I have satellite TV, can I receive it?