A man determined to have been mentally ill who was subsequently found not guilty of murdering his son is running as an independent candidate in Huntsville, Ont. David Carmichael, 52, says he knows he probably he won’t win against Conservative incumbent and Industry Minister Tony Clement, but he hopes elected MPs and voters will listen to his campaign message, which highlights the potential dangers of anti-depressants and other medications.
On his website David Carmichael states that his hope is that some of the information posted may help prevent suicidal and homicidal tragedies.
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.
David’s message is a stark reminder of the complexities surrounding mental illness…. and one of the reasons why we need a discussion!