Beth Winter was born December 29th, 1980 and died on October 7th 2003 at 23 years old, after seven days on Paxil for which was prescribed for for mild anxiety and acute insomnia related to her first set of upcoming job interviews after graduating with honors from the University of Rhode Island and studying aboard at Oxford Brooks.
Beth was a very kind, caring person. She visited the elderly, cared young children and loved animals. She was loved by many friends and family. Beth was known for her sense of compassion and friendliness. Beth's gentle and sweet personality was a true gift to all of us.
Beth has no history of depression and was not experiencing depression at the time of her death, but rather a side effect called akathisia brought on by the drug Paxil, which causes acute psychosis.
One week prior to being prescribed Paxil, as Beth was preparing for her first set of job interviews after completing her degree. She began to experience mild anxiety which became worse when she had situational insomnia. That same week, Beth began caring for a baby bird that she found on main street in our village. She took the baby bird to the animal hospital and they told her she would have to feed milk it every two hours with a dropper to keep it alive. Being the compassionate person she was, she did this, which caused of her insomnia and contributed to anxiety.
Beth was not mentally ill, she had no history of depression and was perfectly happy prior to this time. When she went to the doctor for a physical due to her mild and acute insomnia, he prescribed her Paxil and told her it would help her sleep. Eight days later, she ended her life in a drug-induced suicide by hanging caused by Paxil. This was a violent way to die, one in which Beth would never choose, especially in the home of her parents house. We knew within one day, after doing research and speaking with family members that Paxil was the cause of her death and that we must do something to save other innocent people from this drug.
We eventually spoke at an FDA hearing which initiated the issuing of Black Box Warning Labels on all SSRI's. Glaxo Smith Kline was investigated along with the FDA and they knew about the dangers of suicide during their clinical trial where a girl hung herself in the lab. You can find more information about this on our site.
We hope that other children and adults learn more on our site about the dangers of these drugs, so that we may save the lives of others.
May Beth's beautiful spirit rest in peace and may she guide us on this journey to bring education, truth and healing to our world.
Beth in 2002
Beth in 2002
Blowing Bubbles at her friend's farm.
Graduation from University of Rhode Island.
Out with friends at college.