149. The Death of Ellen Greenberg Part 4

We look into Ellen’s mental state in the days and weeks leading up to her death. Was there anything to indicate she may have been considering suicide?


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4 thoughts on “149. The Death of Ellen Greenberg Part 4

  1. Hi guys!

    Let me start by saying how much I love your podcast!

    As someone who has taken Klonopin in the past, I find it impossible to believe that Ellen committed suicide because of a side effect. My experience has been that it makes you SO calm. It stops your brain from racing out of control. I can’t imagine doing ANYTHING in a fury within the first week or so of taking it. It takes some getting used to for sure. Of course, it depends on the dosage and how often you take it, but I’m doubtful on the theory.

    Thanks so much for keeping me company in the afternoon when I’m working around the house! You’re the best!


  2. Hey guys! As someone who has taken antidepressants (including Zoloft) and had to try a few different ones before I found the right one. I do believe that she could know within a week that Zoloft was not right for her. It’s basically trial and error when you start trying and if the pills are VERY wrong for you then it IS possible that you could know that very quickly.

    Can’t personally comment on the Klonopin specifically but you are generally put on suicide watch when you are starting new anti-depressants. I know I had nurses doing wellness calls for me for the first few weeks when I was starting new medications.

    Thanks for all you do! Congrats on your new job Alice 😊



  3. Hi,
    A few general thoughts based upon clinical and forensic training:
    -Clinicians are not trained to detect lying. The difference between clinical and forensic practice is that malingering is a consideration when evaluating in forensic settings. In clinical practice, subjective data and observations frame decision-making.
    -All data on detection of lying indicates that mental health providers detect lying at a rate less than chance.
    -Zoloft might be discontinued after a few days due to side effects. There is no evidence of efficacy prior to a few weeks of administration. (And there is no such thing as a “chemical imbalance!”)
    -It seems likely that one would be prescribed a benzo after a few days because of a need for a fast-acting medication (it does not take days to “work” as noted in your discussion). It can provide immediate relief.
    -Finally, Ambien has been demonstrated to have similar effects as a benzo and there is substantial data on amnesia-like symptoms when on Ambien. And ALL psych meds have an increased risk of suicide for different reasons.

    Enjoying this discussion.
    Many thanks!


  4. A relative newbie here to the podcast. I must chime in on the Zoloft….doctors usually want you to give anti-depressant/anti-anxiety meds about two months to see if they make a difference. Having said that, some meds will give you such a bad reaction you can know within a few days if that one isn’t for you. The searches she did tell me it’s very possible suicide was prevalent on her mind and a spontaneous suicide did occur. A sudden feeling of hopelessness can take someone from a perfectly normal day and plunge them into “I need to die.” Trust me, I’ve been there and I’ve done it, and if I had actually succeeded, people would have said “no way.”


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