He finally succeeded leaving the psychiatric unit – In memory of Chris Blagbrough

Christopher Blagbrough, 27 July 1979 – 19 October 2001

ChrisBlagroughChristopher Blagbrough was the only child of loving parents Peter and Jeanette. He grew up in a happy family environment; he was a sensitive and caring young man who got on well with most people and had a good circle of friends.  He became a school prefect and was reported to be mature, responsible and hardworking.

The day after leaving school he began work at one of the area’s most prestigious engineering firms, and began an engineering course at the Technical College.  A responsible and hardworking person, he would often work 50-60 hours a week to help the firm fulfill their contracts.

When his father suffered a near fatal brain hemorrhage that left him disabled and partially sighted, Chris willingly took on the additional responsibility of sorting out and winding up his father’s garage business.  Little wonder he began to suffer from stress, and at 18 years-old, this was the beginning of a decline for Chris, as he was prescribed the antidepressant drug called Prozac.

Known for its effects that include violence, aggression, suicidal thoughts and suicidal behaviour, Chris had only just started taking the drug when he attacked his father with a knife, causing two cuts to his shoulder, that required stitches.

Following this incident and despite his parents objections, Chris became entangled in a mental health system that saw him moved from one unit to another, where he was prescribed nerve-seizing drugs that caused paralysis, that made him wheelchair bound, where he was bullied, belittled, threatened and intimidated. Chris finally ended up in the Castle Hill Secure Unit in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

Rather than accepting subjective psychiatric opinions, Chris’ parents took it upon themselves to find out about physical conditions manfesting as so-called mental illness. An automatic vitamin B12 deficiency test that was carried out, identified a profound deficiency. It led Peter and Jeanette to Professor Hutto, of the University of North Carolina, who had researched B12 deficiency related psychosis. He stated he had never known a B12 level as low as Christopher’s and in his opinion it could well have caused the incident with his father. This information however fell on deaf ears.

Various complaints were made regarding the circumstances that led to Chris being detained, as well as complaints about the way he was being treated. Complaints were made to the Trust, to the Ombudsman, to the then Mental Health Act Commission and even to the General Medical Council about the consultant psychiatrist supposedly treating Chris. According to Peter and Jeanette, the consultant Dr Shaun Bhattacherjee said, “Complain as much as you like, we will only send you round in vicious circles and you’ll never get anywhere.”

Chris wanted to put things right. It’s what any responsible and hardworking young man would want to do. But he was denied that opportunity, to the point that all he wanted to do was leave the Castle Hill Unit. On 19th October 2001, Chris finally succeded in leaving the unit – he was only 22 years-old when he committed suicide by hanging.

Since that time, Peter and Jeanette have highlighted their case through the local media, appearing in the documentary Generation RX, the aim of which is to provide citizens everywhere with the information they need to make informed choices, as well as appearing on the BBC Politics Show to highlight the dangers associated with antidepressants.

CCHR UK wants to thank Peter and Jeanette for allowing us to share their story and the photograph of their son. In the same way that other parents have found the strength to speak out, we salute you for your courage and determination to bring about a change that will help others to make an informed decision for themselves or their children, and to ultimately prevent unnecessary, premature deaths.

For the full story, click on the link and vist the dedicated page that tells Chris’ story: http://chrisblagbrough.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/index_files/Page483.htm

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One Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing the story of what happened to chris. It has re-inforced for me that everything I experienced in the mental health system 23 years ago over a 7 year period, was not a product of my imagination, but real and just a horrific as I had believed it to be a the time, but could not allow myself to acknowledge as it would have been unbearable. I did a runner from the system, and 18 years later I am alive to tell my tale and am only now just starting to come to terms with the reality of what happened. Maybe I can work for changes in the way people are treated, and the banning of alot of the drugs routinely used which I have personal experience of being extremely damaging.

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