Please Stop Drugging My Child
by Anna Hardina , 2003.11.30
In all the times I have spoken with Dr. Marjorie Carsen and with all the drugs she has put my son Jacob on, she has never once told me of any of the many, nasty effects of the drugs.
My name is Anna . I live in Rutland, Vermont The following is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge.
I have two children, a fourteen-year-old and an eleven-year-old. My eleven-year-old son, Jacob , was born June 23, 1992 and recently just turned eleven years of age. As a youngster he attended public schools in Rutland, Vermont. He seemed to do well at the first school he attended, the Rutland Intermediate School. He was a smart child and an avid reader, even when in first grade. In the summer of 2000, when he was 7 years old, the Educational Coordinators of the Intermediate School and the Success School in Rutland both told me I should take my son to see a psychiatrist named Dr. Marjorie Carsen.
Both had been pressuring me to get my son drugged with Ritalin. So, I took my son Jacob to see Dr. Carsen at Rutland Mental Health. She saw him for about 15 minutes, diagnosed him as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and prescribed Ritalin for him. In arriving at her diagnosis there were no medical tests performed of any kind, such as blood testing, brain scans, etc.
As an observation, I have since encountered many parents whose children have been drugged by Dr. Marjorie Carsen and I believe she is responsible for the vast majority of the psychiatric drugging of the children in the Rutland schools. I recently called Rutland Mental Health and they said she is the only one in the area that prescribes psychiatric medications for young children.
After our first visit with Dr. Carsen, my son Jacob was on Ritalin for about the next 8 months. He had very bad effects from taking this drug and it caused him to act unlike his natural self. At times he would be violent on the drug and he even started gouging holes in the walls of his room. There were other times when he would sit in a chair for literally hours, sometimes 3-4 hours, and do nothing except stare and drool. He also lost his appetite and stopped eating or drinking as much as he used to. I was very worried about how little he would drink. He began to lose weight.
Ritalin also produces frequent withdrawals, about every four hours, and the drug has to be given several times a day to take the child off the withdrawals. During the week my son would be drugged with Ritalin by me in the morning and then the school would give him a second dose around lunchtime. These were the only two doses prescribed each day. Sometimes, by the end of the afternoon, he would be acting kind of crazy and out of character, as he would be going through withdrawals late in the day. This made both our lives difficult on a daily basis. (By this statement I am not recommending drugging children one or two more times per day. On the contrary, I feel they should not be given such drugs at all.) Another effect of Ritalin is to cause insomnia. (Weight loss, loss of appetite, insomnia, stunted body growth, stomach pains, headaches and nervousness are all common effects of this drug.) Jacob also had a lot of trouble sleeping while on Ritalin.
In all the times I have spoken with Dr. Marjorie Carsen and with all the drugs she has put my son Jacob on, she has never once told me of any of the many, nasty effects of the drugs. The same Educational Coordinators told me I had to enter my son into a psychiatric hospital called the Brattleboro Retreat. They told me that if I didn’t do it they would force the action on me. When he was still 7 years old, in the summer of 2000, he went to this “hospital.” There, they labeled my son not only with ADHD, but also Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) and as being borderline Bipolar. This surprised me as he was then on Ritalin and acting out of character and having numerous effects from the drug, such as nervousness at times and just sitting and drooling at other times, as well as loss of appetite for food and liquids, and insomnia. Many parents know that a child can be cranky and difficult when they are short on food and sleep and the Ritalin was causing my son to have these very characteristics day after day. In the fall of the year 2000 Jacob began attending a school known as the Success School in Rutland. People at the school felt that Jacob was still not paying enough attention or following the requests of his teacher adequately.
Dr. Carsen decided to try out different drugs on Jacob. After he was on the Ritalin for about 8 months she stopped that and tried other psychiatric drugs on him, such as Klonopin and Zyprexa. These did not suit him well either. When he was about eight and a half years old, Dr. Carsen put him on a mixture of Concerta (which consists of the same chemical as Ritalin, but is longer lasting). She also put him on an antipsychotic medication called Risperdal which was supposedly to keep him calm in the morning and to help him sleep at night, as he was having trouble sleeping from the first drug.
Risperdal has its own numerous effects on a person. For example, it can make them feel very tired, and it is even advised that one wear protective clothing and sun screen with this medication as it makes one’s skin overly sensitive to sunlight. Carsen prescribed the Risperdal for my son to be taken morning, noon and night with a double dosage to be taken at night, all in addition to the Concerta he was being given.
In recent months, when my son Jacob was ten years old, Dr. Carsen decided to add a third drug to the mix, a new drug for ADHD called Strattera. I would say that this drug drove him somewhat psychotic, at least in the chemical cocktail she had devised for him. He was on this combination of three drugs for about three months. I saw my son go really crazy on this drug mix. One time he started throwing chairs about. He was acting out more in school and at home during this period.
After many reports to Dr. Carsen from me about the toxic reactions my son was having to her new drug concoction, she switched my son over to Trileptal, 300 mg. a day, in addition to the Concerta and Risperdal. The Success School is considered a behavior treatment place. It has about 35 children enrolled in it and I believe that every one of them is being drugged similarly to my son. Despite the name of the school, it apparently seldom produces a successful outcome. It is said about the school that once kids are sent there they are destined to spend their lives in a mental institution. I suspect that many of the kids there display numerous negative effects of the drugs they are given and that these are looked upon as symptoms of more mental disorders. As there is no medical or scientific bases for psychiatric “mental disorders,” they can be assigned to children very arbitrarily, leading to further drugging.
As the drugs can cause permanent brain, nerve and glandular damage, very great harm can be done to them with such treatment. Personnel at Success School told me to go to the Social Rehabilitation Services for assistance because my son was leaving the school a lot during school hours. I contacted the Social Rehabilitation Services about 2 months ago to get their help and because the personnel at the school threatened me with having my child taken away if I didn’t contact them myself. When I went to see them I gave them custody of my son with the understanding that he would be allowed to live with me and that I would eventually get full custody returned to me. I was soon betrayed.
About 2 weeks days ago, an 18-year-old kid from a group home called Spectrum, around the corner from our house, run by Social Rehabilitation Services, gave my 10-year-old son a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor. (The drinking age in Vermont is 21.) My son drank it. Apparently, the older boy thought my son was funny and pushed him to drink a second one as, I understand, my son was reluctant. Jacob became very sick from the alcohol, as he was only 10 years old and only weighed about 68 lbs. Additionally, he was already taking 3 strong psychiatric drugs. He threw up and passed out on the ground. I was told about the incident and immediately brought him home. Soon after that a police officer came to the house and took Jacob on behalf of the Social Rehabilitation Services.
Jacob was taken to a juvenile correction facility called Woodside where he was put in with a group of 17- year-olds. About 10 days ago, about 3 days after he was seized, he was brought into court for a hearing. This little fellow (he was kind of small to begin with and I believe his last 3 years on Ritalin and Concerta have stunted his growth even more) was brought into the courtroom in handcuffs and with shackles on his ankles. When I first saw my boy I wanted to hug him, but was forbidden. The hearing was brief. The judge seemed to have zero interest in my point of view or Jacob’s; he seemed predisposed to listen to the lawyer for the Social Rehabilitation Services and in a foregone conclusion ruled to keep my son at Woodside. At the end of the hearing I went up to Jacob without permission and a female guard let me hug my shackled and handcuffed son while 2 older people lifted him under his arms and held him near me. He was crying.
I give the Citizens Commission on Human Rights authority to do as they wish with this affidavit, including, but not limited to, bringing it to the attention of the media, legislators and government officials.
COMMENTS: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 802 773-1674 Anna Hardina p.o.Box 6352 Rutand V.T. 05702