Left Hanging: Suicide in Bridgend

The Figures

In the England and Wales there are roughly 5000 suicides in roughly 60 million people per year. This would until recently have led to around 2000 hangings per year, 34 hangings per million people per year, 3.5 per 100,000 people per year.

Bridgend in South Wales has a population of 40,000. The greater Bridgend area has a population of 130,000. There should be 18 hangings per 100,000 people over a 5 year period, 24 per 130,000 per year.

In recent years however in both the US and UK there has been a rise in the number of hangings so that this mode of death now accounts for 50% of cases. If this applies in the Bridgend area, we might expect 28 hangings per 130,000 over a 5 year period, roughly 6 per year.

There were in fact 79 hangings in Bridgend between January 2007 and February 2012. The hangings continue unabated, so the true figure may be in the 90s. This means there have been 16 per year – an excess of 10 or more hangings per year.

Vanishing Suicides

There have likely been a lot more self-destructions than this in Bridgend. Coroners have considerable discretion and recently a great deal of encouragement to use narrative, open or death by misadventure verdicts rather than to record a verdict of suicide. To record a suicide verdict they should be satisfied that the person intended to kill themselves. One of the primary indicators of intent is a suicide note. In the Bridgend cases, there have been few suicide notes. This has made it easy for coroners to manage perceptions of what might be going on.

Having a narrative or open verdict can be extremely important for families. I have written reports in over 20 inquests arguing that it would be appropriate to return a narrative rather than a suicide verdict, in the case of people whose suicide has been triggered by an antidepressant.

But this use of narrative verdicts has produced a situation where suicide figures are close to worthless. The British suicide rate is comprised of cases recorded as suicides along with a proportion of narrative, open or other verdicts, with the proportion chosen down to bureaucratic whim. We do not have a self-destruction rate and absolutely no idea as to how many verdicts, either suicide or narrative, are linked to antidepressant or other drug intake.

A website antidepaware was recently set up to track deaths by suicide or misadventure or related that are related to antidepressants. It has logged over 1600 UK suicides involving antidepressants of which 43% were recorded as suicides by the coroner, 26% as narrative verdicts, 19% as open verdicts, 5% as death by misadventure and 7% as accidental.

Hanging & Kneeling

While the suicide rate has become ambiguous, it is not possible to conceal the number of hangings.

Bridgend has had an unusual number of hangings. An apparently odd feature is that these hangings have involved a lot of kneeling. The fact that many victims have been found hanging but with their feet on the ground or close to kneeling has given rise to speculation about internet or other cults, and about serial killing rather than self-destruction.

I had been exposed to relatively few SSRI suicide cases when Linda Hurcombe came to me telling me of her daughter Caitlin, who after 6 weeks on Prozac hung herself using her horses’ lanyard (see Let Them Eat Prozac).

Soon after that with colleagues I ran a healthy volunteer study designed to test how antidepressants work. In this study, two completely normal women while taking the SSRI sertraline (Zoloft) became suicidal. One of these two had vivid imagery of hanging herself.

Around this time too I got involved in the Miller case. Matt Miller was a 13 year old boy who had just changed schools and was feeling nervous. His parents prompted by the teacher brought him to a doctor who put him on Zoloft. Seven days later he hung himself in the bathroom between his parent’s bedroom and his bedroom.

Pfizer, the makers of Zoloft argued that this was not suicide but auto-erotic asphyxiation gone wrong. As evidence, they pointed to the fact he was not suspended several feet above the floor but had his feet on the ground, almost kneeling. They went so far as to scour the carpet in the bathroom to collect potential evidence for seminal stains.

It was Yvonne Woodley’s case in 2010 that explained the hanging issue to me – something that anyone with an interest in the area could in fact have found from Wikipedia.

Yvonne Woodley was a 42 year old woman who was having marital difficulties. She presented to her doctor with sleep problems. The doctor viewed her as being under stress, and as posing absolutely no suicide risk. She gave Yvonne citalopram. A week later the doctor noted that Yvonne was more agitated and there were fleeting thoughts of suicide – so she doubled the dose of citalopram. After a suicide attempt, she doubled it further and a short while afterwards Yvonne hung herself.

She hung herself in the attic of her house. Given the kind of person she was, the rest of her family found it unbelievable that she would have hung herself in the house with her two daughters downstairs but a common feature of SSRI suicides is the apparent lack of concern for the effect on others.

The fact that Yvonne was close to kneeling enabled the coroner to return a narrative rather than a suicide verdict. The pathologist explained that when people are weighing up the possibility of hanging themselves, wondering about it, they might put a rope in place and test themselves against it. If they do this, it is in fact very easy by putting pressure on the carotid sinuses that are in the side of the neck to slip out of consciousness and falling forward to end up asphyxiated. If you have begun with your feet on the ground you can end up kneeling or close to kneeling.

The First Cases in Bridgend

Dale Crole, 18 Found hanged, 5 January 2007 David Dilling, 19 Found hanged in his home, February 2007 Thomas Davies, 20 Found hanged from a tree, 25 February 2007 Allyn Price, 21 Found hanged in his bedroom, April 2007 James Knight, 26 Found hanged at his home, 17 May 2007 Leigh Jenkins, 22 Found hanged, June 2007 Zachery Barnes, 17 Found hanged from a washing line, August 2007 Jason Williams, 21 Found hanged at home, 23 August 2007 Andrew O’Neill, 19 Found hanged at home, September 2007 Luke Goodridge, 20 Found hanged, November 2007 Liam Clarke, 20 Found hanged, 27 December 2007 Gareth Morgan, 27 Found hanged, 5 January Natasha Randall, 17 Found hanged, 17 January Angie Fuller, 18 Found hanged, 4 February Kelly Stephenson, 20 Found hanged on 14 February while on holiday Nathaniel Pritchard, 15 Kelly’s cousin, found hanged, died 15 February

 Reports in the Media

Jenna Parry was the next person to die. She was found hanging, almost kneeling. Her death triggered the list above and this account in the Independent in February 2008:

“Bridgend was yesterday mourning yet another addition to the alarming number of suicides in the area, after a 16-year-old girl was found hanged in a wood five miles from the town.

Police insisted there was no link between the 17 deaths in the past 13 months and no evidence of a suicide pact or an internet cult.

Jenna’s death came just days after two cousins died after apparent suicide attempts. Kelly Stephenson, 20, was found dead in a bathroom during a family holiday. Hours earlier she had learnt that her 15-year-old cousin, Nathaniel Pritchard, had hanged himself. The two lived a few doors away from each other in Bridgend…….

Following the deaths, a suicide prevention strategy has been announced for Wales. The Welsh Assembly has said it wants a 10 per cent reduction in suicides by 2012.  [As of 2012, the rate has in fact gone up despite the many abilities of coroners and bureaucrats to lower it].…

However, despite the spate of suicides around Bridgend – a county with a population of 130,000 people – police have said there is nothing to link the deaths….

[The coroner] Mr Morris criticized the media’s reporting of the deaths. “The media reporting is influencing young people in the Bridgend area.

“I have noticed an increase in sensationalist reporting, and the fact that Bridgend is becoming stigmatised. The link between the deaths isn’t the internet – it is the way the media is reporting the news.”

Death by Coroner?

Fourteen deaths in Bridgend are logged on antidepaware. There are nine hanging verdicts in which antidepressants are mentioned. There are no hanging verdicts where antidepressants or other prescription medications are ruled out.

What’s happening? One contributory factor to these deaths is coroners. I have been writing to UK coroners for 15 years making the case that they should note where people have been on antidepressant or other drugs at the time of death. The list of drugs now linked to suicide and homicide up to and including school shootings includes anticonvulsants, weight loss pills, some asthma medications, some analgesics, some contraceptives, some medication for acne, a number of antibiotics, medications for malaria, in addition to antipsychotics and antidepressants. See below.

But coroners often do not record drug intake, unless the person has actually died from a drug overdose. In the case of Liam Clarke above he had had some cannabis, and alcohol and was on antidepressants.  The coroner decided that the alcohol he had had affected his judgement. Coroners are under no obligation to explain their thinking on a matter like this and are rarely if ever challenged. There is little doubt that antidepressants can lead to a craving for and increased consumption of alcohol – did this happen in Liam Clarke’s case?

Many of the cases listed above were on antidepressants but we only know this because the police or families mentioned it at the inquest and reporters from the media then reported it. Unless the antidepressant or other pill was the cause of death by poisoning coroners typically don’t mention medication.

In Bridgend, the coroner seemed to play down the role of antidepressants. In one of the inquests involving antidepressants, he refers to “lack of anything in the system that would have altered his judgement”. In others he makes similar comments.

Gary Speed the former manager of the Welsh soccer team is Wales’s most famous recent suicide. A common feature in the extensive reporting of his death was that family and friends found it baffling. The coroner opted not to reveal if there were prescription drugs in his system. Why?

The Role of the Media

The idea that the media reporting of suicides might cause copycat suicides in Britain stems in part from the work of Keith Hawton in Oxford. As a result students in Cardiff University, which is near to Bridgend, are steered to regard the report in the Independent above as sensationalist. Other countries have more striking suicide cohorts – Japan being the most famous – and in the case of copycat suicides by pairs of lovers jumping into Mount Fuji there is a good case for thinking the media might fuel events.

But equally decent and proper media reporting may do just the opposite and bring to light what is going on. There is probably more chance that a good journalist, or someone who has lost a family member or a friend to suicide, is going to solve this rather than bureaucrats or experts brought in to work out what is going on. In this case neither the experts nor bureaucrats linked to this case seem interested to respond to emails from me.

Having coroners refuse to keep a public record of drug intake and browbeat the media into keeping silent seems like the worst of all possible worlds.

What’s Happening?

We have an excess of 60 hangings to explain in Bridgend. The number is growing by the month. If some have happened by accident as outlined above, it needs a public education campaign through the media to alert people to the risks.

Some of these suicides may be copycat. In the same way school shootings may have a copycat component to them. But a copycat needs an original or several original examples to get them going. The distress that leads to school shootings or clusters of hangings needs an original exemplar to shape it into more shootings and hangings – an original event to open this door to others.

There are obvious factors to explain some clusters like a pair of well-known Japanese loves committing suicide together by jumping into Mount Fuji. In the Bridgend case, if we are going to invoke a chemical – a medicine – the scale of the problem almost suggests that some factory in the Bridgend area must be pumping out some chemical that is having the same kind of effect as drugs like Cymbalta or Pristiq. This might seem improbable. But looking at the list of drugs that cause suicide and homicide, below, the improbable begins to look possible. It almost looks probable that this array of drugs will give rise to a cluster like this somewhere if not in Bridgend.

What to Do Next?

The problem of drug induced suicide and homicide is not vast like climate change or famine in Africa. You can make a difference. As things stand your Human Rights are being infringed.  The supposed rights of some unspecified group of people to use (doctors) or take (patients) without having to be deterred by warnings that these drugs can cause suicide or homicide are being used to justify the deaths of people that you know that could be avoided with proper warnings.  This is a breach of the Human Rights Act.

The drugs listed below are not listed as a matter of personal judgement. They are either drugs that companies are obliged to state can cause suicide or for which there is convincing evidence that they have in fact caused suicide. There are likely many more drugs that some government officials and company personnel know cause suicide but about which they keep quite.

  1. Some coroners are wonderful. Others are misguided. You do not want to assume your coroner knows what they are doing. You need to establish if they are bringing biases to bear on the issue. You have a right to interview them before an inquest.
  2. Drug regulators deal in the wording of advertisements. Public health is not their brief. If you are waiting for a regulator or a drug company to suggest a drug may have contributed to a death, you will be waiting for ever.
  3. These problems are rarely solved by outside experts. Communities need to take the issues into their own hands and to this end the media are their allies not the enemy.
  4. Contribute details of any deaths by someone’s own hand, accidental or on purpose, to Antidepaware. Contact brian@antidepaware.co.uk
  5. Be aware that the following drugs and likely many others can all cause suicide and in many cases homicide. The statement cause here is based on compelling challenge-dechallenge-rechallenge cases – see Doxycycline causes suicide - or clinical trial data or legal requirements for companies to agree their drug can cause suicide for instance

Drugs that can Trigger & Cause Suicide or Homicide




Mefloquine Lariam
Doxycyline Doryx
D-cycloserine Seromycin
Fluoroquinolones Levaquin, Cipro
Oseltamivir Tamiflu



Drospirenone Yasmin
Drospirenone Yaz
Cyproterone   and ethinyl estradiol Dianette



Varenicline Chantix
Buproprion Zyban



Montelukast Singulair
Roflumilast Daxas
Zafirlukast Accolate


Anti – Acne

Isotretinoin Roaccutane
Doxycycline Doryx



Diphenhydramine Benadryl,   Sominex
Chlorphenamine Chlortimeton
Cyproheptadine Periactin


Urinary Drugs

Duloxetine Yentreve
Tamsulosin Flomax
Finasteride Propecia
Dutasteride Avodart



Prochlorperazine Stemetil,   Compro
Metoclopramide Maxolon,   Reglan



Clonidine Catapres
Doxazosin Cardura
Guanabenz Wytensin
Guanfacine Tenex
Hydralazine Apresoline
Methyldopa Aldomet,   Aldoril, Dopamet
Prazosin Minipress



Atorvastatin Lipitor
Fluvastatin Lescol
Lovastatin Mevacor
Mevastatin Compactin
Pravastatin Pravachol
Rosuvastatin Crestor
Simvastatin Zocor



Methylphenidate Ritalin
Amphetamine Dexedrine



Lorazepam Ativan
Diazepam Valium
Alprazolam Xanax
Chlordiazepoxide Librium
Bromazepam Lexotan
Oxazepam Serenid,   Serax
Cloabazam Frisium
Medazepam Nobrium
Clorazepate Tranxene
Clonazepam Klonopin



Citalopram Cipramil,   Celexa
Escitalopram Cipralex,   Lexapro
Duloxetine Cymbalta
Fluvoxamine Luvox,  Faverin
Fluoxetine Prozac
Paroxetine Paxil,   Seroxat, Deroxat, Aropax
Sertraline Zoloft
Venlafaxine Effexor
Desvenlafaxine Pristiq
Mirtazapine Remeron
Trazodone Desyrel
Buproprion Wellbutrin,   Zyban
Amitriptyline Tryptizol,   Elavil
Imipramine Tofranil
Nortriptyline Allegron,   Aventyl
Desipramine Pertrofran,   Norpramin
Clomipramine Anafranil
Dosulepin Prothiaden
Lofepramine Gamanil
Doxepin Sinequan
Trimipramine Surmontil



Phenytoin Epanutin
Sodium   Valproate Epilim,   Depakene
Divalproex Depakote
Carbamazepine Tegretol
Oxcarbazapine Trileptal
Lamotrigine Lamictal
Gabapenin Neurontin
Pregabalin Lyrica
Leviracetam Keppra
Topiramate Topamax
Tiagabine Gabitril
Felbamate Felbatol



Chlorpromazine Thorazine,   Largactil
Perphenazine Fentazine
Trifluoperazine Stelazine
Haloperidol Haldol
Flupenthixol Fluanxol
Pericyazine Neulactil
Sulpiride Sulpitil
Molindone Moban
Aripiprazole Abilify
Olanzapine Zyprexa
Risperidone Riserpdal
Ziprasidone Geodon
Quetiapine Seroquel
Paliperidone Invega
Zotepine Zoleptil
Iloperidone Fanapt
Amisulpiride Solian
Tetrabenazine Xenazine

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  1. Irene Campbell-Taylor says:

    I have two comments. On kneeling/hanging, the experience of prison guards is that this is a common form of suicide. The prisoner will often tear strips of clothing to make a rope and, purely because there is no way in a prison cell for this to be attached to the ceiling, the rope is tied around the neck then around the bars so that asphyxia occurs when the prisoner leans forward in a kneeling position. In the cases cited here, did anyone investigate whether or not it was possible for the person to attach the ligature to the ceiling?
    The second is autopsy findings. An important study is post-mortem vitreous chemical analysis. Unfortunately, after death, the blood is a poor choice for analysis due to the rapid breakdown of cell membranes. Time of death is estimated by potassium levels in the vitreous fluid of the eye. Chemistry abnormalities that were present in patients before death are often more accurately reflected after death in vitreous fluid instead of blood. This increased accuracy makes vitreous fluid the specimen of choice for many chemical analyses after death. Drugs, such as cocaine, morphine, heroin, and tricyclic antidepressants can be detected in the vitreous. Vitreous humor provides one of the best samples for postmortem chemical analysis because it comes from a closed space and postmortem values often approximate the antemortem levels. Let us suppose that we were to require/encourage medical examiners to test vitreous fluid for antidepressants or their metabolites and report these as a required aspect of the post mortem findings? As far back as 1989, it was possible to identify amitriptyline, doxepin, and imipramine and their desmethylated metabolites from vitreous fluid. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2558256
    All of the following have been identified in vitreous fluid which remains stable even after storage, unlike blood: Acetaminophen Alimemazine Desmethylalimemazine Amphetamine Amitriptyline Nortriptyline Carbamazepine Citalopram Desmethylcitalopram Clomipramine Desmethylclomipramine Clozapine Codeine Dextropropoxyphene Diazepam Desmethyldiazepam Diltiazem Ethanol Flunitrazepam 7-amino-flunitrazepam Fluoxetine Ketamine Ketobemidone Lidocaine Methotrimeprazine Desmethylmethotrimeprazine Mianserin Desmethylmianserin Mirtazapine Morphine 7-amino-nitrazepam Orphenadrine Phenytoin Propiomazine Dihydropropiomazine Sertraline Desmethylsertraline Theophylline THC Thioridazine Tramadol Venlafaxine O-desmethylvenlafaxine Verapamil Zolpidem Zopiclone
    Should we not then, be requiring investigation into the identification of all antidepressants and other prescription drugs at autopsy?

    • Barbara Roberts says:

      Hello – I Just saw this post. I saw a documentary about Bridgend last night. It seems as if all of the victims has access to be able to hang themselves in the traditional manner, but chose to hang themselves while kneeling. Very strange and sad cases.

      • Irene Campbell-Taylor says:

        If a significant number of suicides were accomplished by hanging when kneeling, this may indicate a collective decision for the following reasons. When kneeling, it takes very little pressure by the ligature to cause loss of consciousness, the weight of the head being the main force followed by the weight of the body. At this point, the person can do nothing to help themselves even if they wanted to. There soon develops coma and this method of hanging is regarded as painless and somehow more acceptable than typical hanging because death is caused by interrupted blood flow not asphyxia by compression of the airway. There is actually a website (or probably more than one) describing what happens and how to do it ). One may infer an exchange of information about this method among the young people of Bridgend but the reasons for suicide remain a mystery.

        • Robin Williams was found nearly seated on the ground after he hanged himself from over the door in his home. How strange. You’d think the survival instinct would kick in and make you stand and/or fight the impulse to just stay put.

          • Derek Gough says:

            Why is everyone afraid to tell the exact number of suicides of young people in the Bridgend area in 2014 because its very important that the exact figure is told, I ask many health care officials and police officers about the numbers of young people who have suciided in 2014 because something must be done about these sad things going on. If something far worse is going on in that area then it needs to be sorted sooner or later .

          • Irene Campbell-Taylor says:

            The rapid loss of blood flow to the brain makes it unlikely that the individual can change his/her mind even if they want to.

  2. Great post. Top marks to Brian too for his research.

  3. In my experience with severe Paxil withdrawal, the symptoms were so obviously in my head that I developed an antipathy to it. As I live in the US, this evolved into fantasies where I destroyed my head with a gun. (I had never had such thoughts before.)

    In places where guns are not available, I might guess other head-injuring fantasies, such as hanging, might be more prominent.

    Eventually, such ideation went away, as other withdrawal symptoms abated.

  4. I have a question.
    I know that abrupt withdrawal from Seroxat led me to ‘almost’ hang myself after six weeks of the most agonising, most horrific, most terrible place that I could ever go.
    But, why hanging.
    And why, me, totally sane one minute, but after six weeks off Seroxat so horrendously slayed by a drug, did I choose hanging.
    Hanging is terrible, no-one wants to hang themselves.
    I did not want to hang myself, I would never hang myself……
    A drug induced me to almost ‘hang’ myself.
    If I ever wanted to end my life, which I didn’t, I wouldn’t ‘hang’ myself’.
    I was forced into a corner by a gp who hadn’t met me before. She took me off Seroxat, I was screaming at her to send me to a hospital, she sent me to a mental hospital and when I came out, none the wiser, I almost hanged myself.
    Why ‘hanging’?
    Why does deranged, psychotic and manic from withdrawal from a prescription drug always lead to ‘hanging’.
    What is it, in these drugs, to choose ‘hanging’ as the demented choice to end ones life.
    I wanted to be alive, I have always wanted to be alive, but suffocating idiocy and complacency and incompetence led to ‘hanging’.
    This is the stuff of nightmares…it is hallucinating, sleep walking, waking up to ‘hanging’.
    It is something I will never get out of my mind…..ever……
    and despite the pure horror of the six week withdrawal and pure horror of an hour of manic suicidality and pure horror of people talking to me as if I didn’t really exist……I am still here…..yup…..I am still here……..
    But, why, why, do these ‘drugs’ lead to a ‘hanging’ scenario….
    I am not sure I will ever get an answer to this question…..

    • Annie – my good wishes to you for surviving and you will keep on surviving…so many haven’t….so many never “woke up” to the “assaults” on their bodies/minds by “trusted” medicines…so many lives gone…the stories continue year after year, the repeats, the headlines where many of us don’t even bother to read anymore because we know the tragedy within…and governments continue to shake hands on deals/lives of the innocent…whilst those manufacturers of poison shake hands on promises of jobs…economical murder that is never investigated because corporate murder is protected by the State, Police and Army…the abduction of lives continue…many of us have literally being force fed medications that will torment our bodies and minds forever…how they do their best to “force suicide” when many of us refuse to succumb to it through the evil side effects of poisonous medication…Vindication in Forgiveness, Reconciliation in Safety, Freedom in Truth – is all many of us ask…Teri

  5. Irene Campbell-Taylor says:

    For some years, it has struck me as beyond coincidence that, as shown in the current post, suicides on antidepressants particularly the SSRIs occur, as the black box warning indicates, at the stage in life in which the endogenous “atypical” melancholias first appear. The same applies to schizophrenia. Is it possible that the wrong medication is exacerbating a condition that is also not being adequately recognized?

  6. Yes, Irene, it is called worry.
    I was worried, I was anxious. I was in a relatively serious situational crisis.
    If ‘worry’ is not adequately recognized, then, yes, medication will make the situation worse, much, much, much worse.

    To give a normal brain some kind of shot of adrenalin, which occurs when sudden violence takes place after a few days on one of these drugs, usually, or, when the problems start on cessation or restarting after cessation, then obviously the ingredients in the capsule are interfering with normal emotional functions.

    It is not rocket science.
    GSK thought they could jump on the Prozac bandwagon with a slightly different recipe from Prozac.
    How many times has Sir Andrew Witty denied murder.
    How many fines has Sir Andrew Witty paid out, in the United States of America.
    How many thousands of people are having to ‘reconstruct their lives’ after suffering putrid withdrawal and monumental abuse from GSK’s denials of ‘the wrong ingredients’ in the bake-off.

    Tarting up a cake into a gateau takes a great degree of skill and this time, it went so badly wrong, for GSK, it ended up as a ‘rock’ cake.
    Getting into the head of Sir Andrew Witty is an interesting exercise.
    Is he brain-washed by his own company or is he a criminal??
    Will he fall into this like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory or will he come out brand new…….
    Food for thought…

  7. Why hanging? I would think the common thread in possibly-drug-induced suicides would be impulsive action. Hanging is an understandable “choice” because what do you need? Just a rope, a sheet, a belt … things that are at hand almost anywhere. Here in the States many people have easy enough access to firearms that impulsive shootings are more common. Guns are still the number one means of suicide, at least for adults. Yet hanging is on the rise as a method here as well … and the fastest growing group of victims is not teenagers but women aged 50-54. Their overall suicide rate is up 39% (9.41 per 100,000) but hanging rates are up 138% (1.57 per 100,000).

    An article from Australia looks possibly relevant to the tragedy in Bridgend. It finds that the decline in suicide rates there is entirely due to the lowered “success rate” of suicide attempts — especially hangings, which have increased over fourfold:


    The authors feel this must reflect many more impulsive actions, and perhaps less “determination to die” among the victims. They raise the possiblity of an outbreak of “choking games” among teenagers, but could not test this theory because the hospitals which provided their data would not give age rates.

    It might explain some hanging attempts, but by no means all. And I think it an unlikely cause of the hanging rates in Bridgend for two reasons. One, this sort of dangerous fad usually involves younger kids, 15 and under, much like the fads for sniffing glue and household solvents. And it does not usually fly under the radar. A couple of years ago in Chicago, a public outcry and huge educational campaign in the media was launched after just two deaths. If this fad were taking hold in Bridgend it would have come out long ago, I think.

  8. Irene Campbell-Taylor says:

    Were the “healthy” in the clinical trials really healthy? I remain deeply concerned by the rate of missed diagnoses.

    • David_Healy says:

      Irene – if we’re talking about the healthy in the healthy volunteer study I ran then yes they were perfectly healthy. The drugs can cause suicide in perfectly normal people – this is the message I take from the doxycycline post on Rxisk stories

  9. Taking this a step further.
    When I was in a city hospital following on from an attempt at ‘hanging’, then lacerations and then an overdose from abrupt Seroxat withdrawal four days after leaving a mental hospital when nobody bothered to check on my medication..
    The short, sharp response from the city hospital said I had had an ‘impulse’
    There was no investigation as to why I had had an ‘impulse’.
    Nobody, again, checked on my medication.
    I was educated to not make statements unless they are substantiated.
    She had an ‘impulse’ because…………………………………..
    There was no ‘because’.
    The gp, the psychiatrist, the city hospital, the mhra, the government have all let me down. But where did it start….with idealogical drugs and a mantra of drugs will do no harm….
    We have the fight of our lives to get through the endless list of ‘persons’ masquerading as ‘knowing what is best’ and not knowing anything at all……..
    Would that just one of them would have stuck up for me.
    It was a Fait accompli, a done deal, another case of an ‘accident’ with no ‘one’ accountable……how many ‘ones’ were accountable and were accessories in the biggest fraud case in the history of the UK..by GSK.

  10. Changing the subject slightly…….
    Let’s talk about UK regulators.
    NICE National Institute of Clinical Excellence
    Recommend changing from Paroxetine to Fluoxetine due to it’s longer half-life.
    Recommend a four week taper, at least.
    MHRA Medical Health Regulatory Agency
    Issued SSRI Learning Module: Introduction to SSRIs in 2011 to prescribers
    It contains 18 pages.
    The opening para says:

    ‘The learning module is derived largely from summaries of product characteristics(which, in turn, are based on rigorous evaluation of submitted evidence.
    Supplementary sources such as guidelines from NICE are used to expand on advice or managing specific risks of ssris; however, general advice on the management of depression and other disorders is not covered.
    While the module introduces important general points to promote the safe use of ssris, all clinical decisions should be made on the basis of up to date therapeutic guidance and other authoritative sources of evaluated evidence.’
    This can be downloaded from the MHRA website.
    MHRA suggest:
    “for severe and distressing symptoms, use of a benzodiazepine early in the treatment may be considered, not exceeding two weeks.
    Serotonin syndrome is often overlooked or misdiagnosed and specialist advice is recommended.’

    And the specialist advice is what exactly…..and where exactly does it come from…

    Back to NICE…is it…
    Passing the buck is a great way to run a Medical Health Regulatory Agency….

    GSK have not talked about switching to drugs with a longer half life.
    GSK have not talked about taking a benzodiazepine.

    So, the system is wreaking in confusion from the top.
    Will any of them get their story right…. and explain it to Joe Bloggs.

    Secret advice to prescribers from NICE and the MHRA which doesn’t get a look in to poor old Joe Bloggs.

    Shouldn’t the NICE and MHRA leaflets be put in the small packet along with the GSK leaflet.

    Shouldn’t it……three leaflets and let the patient decide…..
    Or, will he then go off the whole idea because he is now confused and overwhelmed…and get a life without medication which seems to be confusing, even to those who are trying to undo the calamitous nature of manufacturer’s withdrawal propoganda in their own leaflet which basically says ‘my drugs might cause distressing withdrawal and maybe even suicide.’…………
    Wished I’d seen the *three* leaflets ten years ago…….
    Although, saying that, you would need a box the size of a coffin to put in all the paper that has been produced regarding a drug with as much controversy as Seroxat…..

  11. I have experienced suicidal ideation from Seroxat first hand- as have many others unfortunate enough to have been prescribed SSRI’s. Why can’t we see the ‘healthy volunteer’ studies? Can they be accessed or requested under this new ‘transparency’ agenda? Or is this just another smoke and mirrors tactic on the part of GSK- with no substance to it whatsoever?

  12. What I have tried to get across, so far, is not just that Seroxat, obviously causes suicide, in a few, but that the chain of abuse caused by Seroxat, get’s so long.
    From the first instance of my distressing withdrawal, I was abused so badly, by so many, that I was reduced to not only having all the symptoms in the leaflet, but actually it was the ‘reaction’ by people, I trusted, that actually reduced me to ‘nothing’.
    I was fine, I was great.
    It was the sheer abuse from my gp, by the psychiatrist. who put me on it, that actually turned my head into being a substandard human being.
    It has stuck because it went on for so long.
    I was passed around like a sack of potatoes for two years by people who knew nothing about anti-depressant withdrawal and didn’t want to know….
    It stuck. I had never been on the receiving end of abuse like this in my life and this is what GSK have done. This is worse than the drug.
    It is being punished ‘because of the drug.’
    This is the worst part of all this.
    To go through the worst trauma in the history of drug abuse and then be abused by those who gave it to you is like being shot through.
    And then, for your regulators. to start coming out with alternative treatments which is not available…….
    Come on…..
    How many have abused me so far…..the list is endless….
    This is the real crime.
    It is not so much the drug.
    It is GSK allowing the patient to go through a chain of abuse which is so long, that you wonder how you ever came out the other end….
    This is the problem, that GSK caused us….to be so abused by so many….
    It is a truly terrifying scenario…..I was so abused by so many that I just almost lost the plot entirely….
    I know better now……but abuse lingers long after the abusers have departed.
    I shake and I quake every day. Nobody has ever talked to me, like those ‘persons’ did and it stuck…..
    Time for a change of direction. This surely cannot go on like this…..

  13. My daughter who has been on 14 of these mind altering drugs is currently sectioned and has been sent miles away from home and family to Wales. However I have seen a mixture of emotions in my daughter. There is no doubt that the drugs have made her worse and being in hospital leaves someone to become more and more dependant on the team. I feel the drugs are terrible – the way she was treated at the Maudsley was appalling and Professor Murray distanced himself – he promised a drug free period. They put her on Clozapine and Metformine – supposedly off label for weight loss. None of the drugs have worked. The most serious reactions have been on Cipralix and Seroquel but I happen to know that the Clozapine to begin with caused my daughter severe illness – palpitations and dizziness. She still suffers dizziness. The Seroquel led to adverse behaviour and Akathisia. I just wish there was somewhere where she could safely come off these drugs as they are not working in my opinion and neither is the care but the drugs have made her unstable to the point she could not live at home. If only something was done – no one seems to know in the UK or cares to know how to safely take someone off the drugs and Dr Ann Blake Tracy has given full instructions. I passed these on to the Bethlem and they just ignored the proper way to do this and took her off 150mg of Seroquel, mixed it with Olanzapine and then she did not even know they had put her on Clozapine and Metformine – against her wishes. Now I am demanding a proper assessment by Dr William Walsh and at long last this has been agreed. I am also demanding the Tribunal as it is disgusting that my daughter has been put on a section. Then I wish to get her out of that private sector hospital and hope to provide the accommodation, live in care and orthomolecular treatment myself.

    Not one of these drugs have worked and I am having this assessment done according to Dr Walsh’s research in his book Nutrient Power – it is no wonder my daughter is diagnosed with Chronic Treatment Resistant. This is ridiculous – this is because the drugs do not work and yes they cause either severe aggression or suicide – this is 100% true.

  14. L Newton says:

    You missed a chap called Anthony Martin who hung himself on April 26th in 2007, in Bridgend. He had been depressed and receiving treatment from his GP for depression. For some reason, he is often ommited from the list of people who commited suicide in Bridgend, but sufficient information on the circumstances of his death is out there.

  15. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01rfr0r/The_One_Show_18_03_2013/?t=1m42s

    Not often GSK is implicated in fraud, on a family show on the British Beeb.
    It didn’t quite spoil ‘normal doctoring’ on Jura, which followed afterwards……….which is my ‘neck’ of the woods….

  16. Derek Gough says:

    The trouble with the Bridgend suicide is there is a media blackout on this subject and during my research to date October 29 2013 there are 128 young people in the Bridgend area that have committed suicide and continues to the above date . There it seems to bea media blackout on these tragic deaths so that there will be no one asking questions.

  17. Derek Gough says:

    I have never read so much propaganda in all my life as I did read this article . And by the way there is no drug making facility in Bridgend because if there was everybody would be included in the death list of all ages and not just under 30 so perhaps you should look at the TETRA system belonging to the police communication system then you may well be on the right road.

  18. John R Jones says:

    With all the child abuse cases from celebrities like Rolf Harris, Jimmy Savile, Cyril Smith and Stuart Hall, how do we know whether or not some of these suicides were triggered by some form of child abuse.

    Could there be some paedophile operating within society and be connected to people in positions of authority who have control of the lives of the vulnerable such as care workers or Social Services?

    Back in the 1970s I nearly took my life due to being emotionally abused by people in authority within the Bridgend area and ended up in Penyfai Adults Psychiatric Hospital for five months at the age of twelve years.

    If people in authority could do that to me in 1973 what are others doing to the vulnerable today?

  19. Derek Gough says:

    Let me firstl state that since 2007 when the alledged hangings began there has been 134 hanging of young people in the Bridgend area but the official figure is 79 stipulated by the welsh assembly. Madeline Moon the MP for Bridgend suggests that these deaths of young people were because of websites and she stated that these evil websites must be closed down to stop people committing sucide and she said that without any evidence that it was indeed website that were the cause of these tragic and sad loss of life. She refuses to talk to anyone asking questions in regard to the mysterious deaths of these young people including . There is something going on to cover this up by the welsh assmbly police and Bridgend corupt council . Can anyone give me any information on how many young people have commited sucide this year 2014 in the Bridgend area . derekgoughg@googlemail.com.

  20. hi-

    my question is; what are the alternatives to those of us suffering from severe depression? i have tried meds, ect, ketamine infusion, lot’s of talk therapy, time,,,

    i have basically been lying in bed for 4 years now. ‘it’ never leaves me. i have days where i am somewhat ok; shower, get out of the house, even socialize. i lost my career of 28 years and many many family, friends, and a desire to live.

    people tell me to exercise, do yoga, get some sun, fight! sigh…

    i am only on a small amount of klonopin now. trying to reduce and get off. then what?

    dr healy; i never would have believed i would end-up like this at 50 years of age. i respect you attack on pharma. but, where are the alternatives that work for those very severely depressed?

  21. Skye Hanson says:

    They do know BioTec is in that town right?
    Bridgend Industrial Estate
    CF31 3RT, UK

  22. Dear Dr. Healy,

    I watched the documentary last night on Bridgend. It struck me that something that might be of assistance, and I am wondering if you’ve thought of it, is to hold a Community Constellation, after Bert Hellinger’s work, Family Constellations. I can imagine, as someone who works with Constellations , that it might be a good fit. Just curious if you’ve have tried this and what were the results.

    I hope this resolves for them sooner rather than later.

    Take good care and if you can let me know.

    Ria Swift

    • Derek Gough says:

      I have been researching the Bridgend suicides since they first started and I have spoken to many people in regard to these sad events some I have spoken to including police officers have called Bridgend THE TOWN WRAPPED IN SECRETS I know myself that the number of suicides is now over 100 and what I would like to know is how many have committed sucide in 2014 . When I have asked police officers how many have committed sucide in 2014 the reply was its more than my jobs worth to tell you the exact number so my question is WHY THE SECRECY by officials to even speak about it and does anyone know the true figures of sucide of people in Bridgend area since 2007 and before any of you reply its over 100

  23. Derek Gough says:

    Documentary are a way of making people believe in the evidence suggested in any documentary because documentarys are a way of brainwashing people into believing the official line. When we talk about Bridgend Sucides then let’s talk about other town in the south wales valleys where young people are commiting sucide like Pontypridd where young people are doing the same as the young people are doing in Bridgend . As far has I’m concerned there is absolutely no evidence that all or any of the Bridgendyoung people were on anti depressants one or 2might have been but not all of the over 100 that have committed suicide since 2007 there are far worse places in the south wales valleys to live other than Bridgend and I mean far far worse places . Yet in these far worse places there are none to my knowledge NOT ONE so it beggars a question why the area of Bridgend ?? And why do police officers refuse to talk to me about what the true figure is of young suicides in Bridgend stating its more than their jobs worth to talk about it so why . I don’t know why TPTB keep stating that its 79 Sucides since 2007 up to 2012 which is total and utter fabrication of figures , so why then cover-up does anyone know ?? . What else is going on in that area of Bridgend county. Answers on a postcard . It makes me sick to my soul that there are some of you keep repeating the same old story of antidepressants being the problem when its not because why the cover-up of official story’s and police officers refused to answer my questions had do other official bodies like Carwen Jones and Madeline Moon .

  24. Derek Gough says:

    Where do you idiots get the idea that those young people in the bridgend area were on antidepressants where there is no evidence that they were or is it that some of you are trying to make others think that’s the reason why these young people killed themselves when in fact its much worse that that on why the killed themselves . I’ll shall ask the question that I have asked many times before without any of you bothering to answer . How many young people in the Bridgend area have killed themselves since 2007 and how many have committed sucide in 2014 ?

  25. I don’t know about Bridgend but sure as hell – psychiatric so-called “treatment” made me suicidal.

  26. Derek Gough says:

    Why are you people who read these post still are afraid to mention the exact figure of young people who have ended their lives from 2007 till 26 December 2014 , what’s wrong with you people what are you afraid of .??????

  27. PK (B.A. Socio-Anthropology) says:

    I am a Socio-Anthropologist from the U.S.. I intend to study this systemic problem that has occurred and keeps occurring in Bridgend, Wales. I intend to confront the Sociological structures while looking for the possible root causes of this tragic series of continual events. I will do my best to look for any and all causes to include the use/misuse of prescription/non-prescription medications; most importantly I will leave behind any biases towards any one particular opinion(s) generated on the internet. I will most likely travel to Wales to investigate in a scientific process that differs from that of a police investigations or public speculation. Using the scientific process instead of a journalistic approach should allow me to avoid engendering the suffering people feelings of “being media blitzed”. I am NOT trying to get “just a story” as a journalist might go about getting. I am trying to find the root cause and to generate a list of solutions that will hope to prevent further suicides.

    • Derek Gough says:

      I have written numerous times on this blog and It’s like talking to myself because theres too many gutless people not willing to give the exact figure of How many young people have committed sucide since 2007 I know the figure and its not the alledged 79 that the corrupt bridgend council kps harping on about . Pk don’t bother coming to wales you will only tell what you have been told to tell us and your not wanted .

      • PK (B.A. Socio-Anthropology) says:

        It is not a matter of being gutless as you put it. It is a matter of empirical data on which science relies on getting to the entire truth. Raging about it and trying to force your opinion on others is the exact opposite of competent process.

        I can tell you this, there are Empirically 79 dead as a result of suicide by young adults between 2007 and 2012. There are at least 21 more suicides that have been classified as “Narratives” with even more classified as others. We can’t prove the latter with any official documentation, because sometime after 2012 the local government decided to try to prevent media sensationalism by giving related deaths of similar circumstances a generic listing. They do this for a couple of reasons: one reason is to leave the COD (Cause of Death) to remain open for later determination, Two, they list conditional narratives when trying to determine the connection with other possible suicides/homicides. Then the third however unlikely for it to occur is, Criminal Conspiracy involving members of the investigative team which an outside investigation would be required to investigate the investigators. Thereby anything they have investigated.

        • Derek Gough says:

          I live quite near to the area and it seems that the people in the area affected by the suicides sarny speak of these allegded suicides because of ridicule from friends and neighbours to suggest that there’s more to these death than what’s being told , I’ve been in contact with the coroner and police officers in all these area’s and they all come out with the same story and tenough people enough times they will end up believing it .

          • PK (Socio-Anthropology) says:

            I have contacted the police in the Bridgend and the central Coroner’s office Cardiff. I am getting many different stories about the causes and none are to my satisfaction. The major suspicious activity is coming from the Bridgend coroners office because they are the ones using narrative declaration of death instead of suicide even in cases where the person obviously committed suicide.

          • so what is your theory? why are you so interested? being from bridgend myself i dont even know how many suicides there are up to date. i cant see it being a police cover up either. the police probably wont speak to you as some of them may have been affected by the tragedy themselves or maybe they dont like people asking questions as its not made for public information. people commit suicide for so many different reasons. relationship problems, bullying, drug/alcohol abuse, sexuality, health problems etc etc. im 25 years old and i suffer from anxiety and depression but id never commit suicide but yet i totally understand how some of these people might have felt. the NHS for mental health issues is a discrace. i personally know someone who has attempted suicide 97 times and thats no joke. yet not once would the hospital help them because they had alcohol issues ontop of mental health. they would blame the alcohol instead of the mental health problems. they would send her home the very next day without even seeing a phsyciatrist. i begged them to help but the only one person who spoke to me from ward 14 at princess of wales hospital bridgend, was a family liason officer who said take her home she wont do it again. A FAMILY LIASON OFFICER. NOT A PHSYCIATRIST. i could have grabbed her around the throat for her insensitivity. she knew it was a total of 97 suicide attempts yet she didnt care. the fact she said ‘she wont do it again’ made me so angry thinking she dont even know this person like i do. that was over 6 years ago and the only person who helped this woman was herself and of course me. she has now turned her life around thankfully but my point being, nobody cares about anybody anymore. we are all just statistics. mental health may not have been an issue in these peoples lives but i bet even if they asked for the help, they were most likely turned down. now people face bigger issues like these atos medical exams which are done to score points if your disabled etc. them people are a joke. i even secretly recorded my interview with them and when i learned i failed and had the report copy in my hand stating they said i watch eastenders and i do this that the other yet my tape recording i told them complete different. them people are so currupt they make up stuff just so they can get a payrise probably and i know my disabled neighbour failed a medical herself and overdosed over it. she was so scared to appeal and go to court that she felt so low to overdose. she was saved just in time thankfully.

          • PK (Socio-Anthropology) says:

            I am not here to ridicule anybody. My theory is that there has to be some sort of sociological overlap in a variety of different areas that are leading to these suicides and not any one particular thing. One good starting point would be the very thing you stated, “Why don’t these health care providers not care?”. “Why is British Parliament or That of Welsh local government not investigating?”. At some point it will draw attention to the problem from a scientific point of view. Samaritans’.org have compiled some sort of explanation but it is not to my nor to the satisfaction of any of my colleagues. Thank you for contributing I intend to keep up with this investigation Claire. These people should not die in vain.

          • Derek Gough says:

            Here are far worse places to live in South Wales than bridgend and I mean far worse places like Porth, Pontypridd, Aberfan in Merthyr Tydfil, plus Maerdy, Treherbert, Tredegar, Ebbw Vale. Yet there are no suicides in these areas like there are in the bridgend. Why doesn’t the Welsh assembly look into these tragic deaths, what’s puzzling is that nearly all of these tragic death have been mostly hanging by kneeling which is bizarre especially the females.

          • PK (Socio-Anthropology) says:

            You guys are being extremely helpful. I now have a very large area to map. It should give me more stats which to overlay to find a root cause.

  28. By far my most “scary” depressive time is sundown.

    Being in Wales it should be a school requirement that all teens get the light lamps

    because the lack of sun leads to a low vitamin D, then to low testosterone, than to very low DHEA numbers. All three I am near zero in….hmmm maybe not enough sun?
    Finally all those struggling get the latest and the best thyroid testing. Remember the time to really watch someone is if he seems he is coming out of the HOLE, gets exuberant, WHy/ Because he knows that he has the wherewith all to end it, stage it, etc. knows

  29. mark povey says:

    Just a quick question as it may be important as in my experiance ive been treated by bridgend mental health services regarding my state of health and heart problems and my housing conditions which are being ignored by all bridgends services my question is HOW MANY OF THE VICTIMS WERE FROM HOUSING PROVIDED BY VALLEYS TO COAST HOUSING
    The reports ive seen suggest these areas
    Wild mill bryntirion waunscil avenue bettus
    Etc etc
    I find the council and social services gp treatment of my situation barbaric and nothing less than torture


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