A week before he took his life, Antony Schofield e-mailed me:

Antony Schofield <>
Sun, Aug 25, 11:05 AM

Dear Dr Gordon,
I have been suffering from extremely severe withdrawal symptoms from the anti-depressant drug paroxetine for over six months now. These symptoms include but are not limited to: body and head jerking, severe agitation, hyperventilation to the point of passing out, and waves of “toxic depression”.

I admitted myself to hospital after a failed attempt to take my own life. They discharged me after 10 days as there was nothing they could do for/with me and I was becoming a burden on the nurses and the other patients.

Every second of my waking existence is horrific. I have repeatedly expressed my wish to die with dignity as I am now unable to maintain even the most basic standards of personal hygiene. I have socially isolated to the extreme as my condition makes associating with people impossible.

In my desperate state I have contacted the British group “My Death My Decision” as well as the group “Exit International” so they will have a record of my experience even though there is nothing they can do to help me.

You have my permission to share my correspondence with anyone you deem to be appropriate.

Yours sincerely,
Antony Schofield

From: Peter Gordon <>
Sun, Aug 25, 6:23 PM

Dear Antony,
Please just call me Peter. I am here for you. I know the HELL that you are going through and that there is almost no medical understanding of this.

I am here. Do keep in touch as best you can.


Bridge of Allan,


4 Replies to “Antony”

  1. Peter,

    So sorry to hear that Antony died.

    Incredible how lucid Anthony was all considered and devastating that Antony felt that he was a burden on nurses, or the very system rather, that he had trusted and which had reduced him to that state and without proper recognition and support.

    From own experience, just writing to Rxisk when rendered into that drug induced, drug wrecked, state again ten years later (also prescribed Seroxat & with no previous history of Clinical Depression except as a consequence of Seroxat) please know that it will undoubtedly have meant something to him that there was a doctor that he felt he could write to. And it will undoubtedly have meant even more that he was more than believed.

    But then also to get why Antony ended his pain.

    I hear and fear that many will be reaching out, ironically, for assisted death with little assistance post the damage in healing and staying alive.

    Hoping you find the strength to keep up the good fight,


    1. Thank you Deirdre,
      You are kind and most thoughtful.

      Antony died with the thought that I was the only doctor to believe that his withdrawal hell was the result of a prescribed antidepressant.

      aye Peter

  2. This is such sad and tragic news. My sincere sympathy goes to Antony’s mother.

    How can the RCPsych not respond? Does it feel nothing?

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