David Carmichael made headlines when he was charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 11-year-old son, Ian.
On July 31, 2004, in a London, Canada hotel room, David crushed up sleeping pills, sedated his son, and strangled him. At the time of the murder, David was experiencing an adverse reaction to the prescription Paxil, which he had begun taking three weeks prior.
While others believed David was “getting better,” he was actually descending into a private chemically-induced hell of delusion. In his state of psychosis, David believed, that his healthy son, who had a mild form of epilepsy, was brain-damaged, dangerous, and needed to die. Out of love for his family, David believed it would be best for him to take Ian’s life and to sacrifice his own life by spending the next 25 years in prison.
Today David shares his story with us as a warning to know your drugs.
WE CHAT ABOUT…
- The delusions that led to his son's death
- What went through David's mind as he watched tv following the murder
- Why David accessed psychiatric medications
- The side effects David was experiencing while on Paxil
- Whether he was ever informed of possible side effects
- Why he initially stopped taking Paxil
- What the trial process looked like
- Why it's important to not blindly trust doctors
- What David's mental health treatment looks like now
- When the psychosis lifted and he realized what he had done
MORE FROM DAVID CARMICHAEL
My intention with this episode is not to shame you for accessing psychiatric medications or scare you from accessing meds. My intention is to create a conversation around the possibility of adverse reactions that can happen from taking psychiatric medications. Sadly, adverse reactions are grossly underreported and I want to help you know the signs if you, or someone you know, appears to be struggling with a reaction. I also need you to know, that it’s crucial that you never cold turkey a psych med and that if you ever choose to stop your medications that you taper off safely with a trained professional.