12-year old’s suicide while on antidepressant highlights alarming rise in psychiatric drugging of military kids
Before his father deployed to Iraq, Daniel Radenz was a well-adjusted fifth-grader earning straight A’s and B’s in school near Fort Hood, Texas.
But shortly after Army Lt. Col. Blaine Radenz left home in June 2008, his 11-year-old son became withdrawn and anxious. His grades at school slipped and his mother noticed mood swings. The child’s longtime pediatrician referred him for counseling.
A psychiatrist at Fort Hood’s Darnall Army Medical Center prescribed the antidepressant Celexa. Daniel also saw a psychologist there. Doctors added to and changed Daniel’s drug regimen, but his problems grew worse, said his mother, Tricia Radenz. Daniel started cutting himself and once used his own blood to write “the end” on a bathroom wall at school. One day in band class, he began hallucinating and ran into the hall, where teachers found him crouched and hitting and scratching his face.
On June 9, 2009, Daniel hanged himself from a bunk bed in his home.