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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Lisa Van Syckel behind exploitation of Zoloft's Christopher Pittman - result jailed 30 years

extract from - CHILDREN TAKING ANTIDEPRESSANTS: What are the risks?

15-year-old boy's murder trial adds fuel to debate over use of 'Zoloft defense.'

original source -

now located at -

RARITAN TWP. -- On Mother's Day, it was Lisa Van Syckel who Christopher Pittman called. When he went to court, it was Lisa Van Syckel who bought him an oxford-cloth shirt and khakis to wear. And when he was convicted of murdering his grandparents, it was Lisa Van Syckel who cried like the mother he never had.

An activist who has fought the overprescribing of antidepressants to children, Van Syckel, of Raritan Township, has served as a surrogate mother to 15-year-old Pittman for 18 months, talking with him at least once a day. She maintains it wasn't Pittman who killed his grandparents -- it was Zoloft, the antidepressant he had been prescribed.

"I just can't believe it," she said tearfully after his conviction Tuesday. "It's a very sad story. A child was convicted when it is the pharmaceutical company that should have been convicted."

The Charleston, S.C., trial of Pittman, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison, is the first case involving a youngster who said an antidepressant caused him to kill -- the so-called Zoloft defense. Pittman was charged as an adult for shooting his grandfather in the mouth and his grandmother in the head as they lay sleeping.

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