When Kyle was fifteen years old he was in his first year of high school, a star athlete looking forward to all the opportunities life has to offer. On April 24, 2010, Kyle experimented with a drug called K2, and fell victim to the ravages of this new designer street drug, synthetic marijuana. After ingesting this drug, Kyle began to experience psychosis; a combination of suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, and complete feelings of discomfort. Caught in the trenches of mind consuming depression and after effects of the drug, Kyle began to feel suicidal and felt that taking his life would be the only escape from his internal troubles; he felt that his life was not worth living anymore. That day, sitting underneath a tree, he planned to kill himself. Thankfully, in a moment of clarity and complete helplessness, Kyle revealed to his father what he had planned to do. Immediately, we took him to the emergency room where he was placed into an adolescent psychiatric unit. Rather than detoxing Kyle from this drug as I pleaded, the doctors thought it beneficial to place him on four heavy antipsychotic medications. Within a week my son shifted from a functioning human being who was once athletic, handsome, and vibrant, to a shell of a young man void of any happiness.
One, of our five children, Kyle has always been known as our gentle giant. Prior to his involvement with the synthetic marijuana, he was beginning his freshman year of high school; a thriving young athlete, hopeful for scholarships to college and well liked amongst his peers. He was playful and funny and always mixed well in every situation he was in. Kyle is kindhearted and always helped people, whether at home or on the field. There were never any signs of mental illness, ever. He was a normal, functioning teen until that day in April 2010.
We have endured four years of devastation and adversity, and I have watched my son digress further from his normal self. The punishment Kyle has had to face for this mistake has robbed him of his youth; a high price to pay for a young man.
To this date, he has undergone and experienced the following:
He has been hospitalized THIRTY TWO times to acute psychiatric units.
ONE eight month stay at an Adolescent Residential Treatment Facility, where he has been assaulted several times and stayed drugged his entire stay.
Kyle endured head trauma to his left frontal lobe from being locked into a small concrete room where he was allowed to bang his head for five straight days.
He has had over THIRTY antipsychotic and antidepressant medications introduced to his system, HE HAS BEEN TREATMENT RESISTANT TO ALL MEDICATIONS.
He has had delirium from the toxic effects of all the anti-psychotic drugs and had to be four point restrained to a bed for days on end.
He endured TWENTY EIGHT ELECTRICAL SHOCK THERAPY PROCEDURES, which he did not want preformed all due to the toxic effects of the anti-psychotic drugs and to bring him out of the delirium.
He has attempted suicide TEN TIMES, two attempts were almost fatal.
And he lost all of his young teenage years, and all four of his high school years.
It’s a very unfortunate place to be in when there is no prior history of mental illness only horrific symptoms brought on by the unintelligent use of anti-psychotic drugs. He was forced into them and the Electrical Shock Procedures all the while not wanting any of it. Through Kyle’s experience and my own, my hope would be that people would come to know what can happen in the psychiatric world. It is horrible and he has paid a high price for what has happened. We were just told by his doctor that they no longer know how to help him.
I have been diligent in my efforts through these years to research and get the help needed for Kyle, but to no avail. I have fought hard and testified before my State Senators and Federal Senators in DC to ban these legal synthetic drugs. My voice has been heard. I have teamed with the DEA and have had numerous television interviews by local and state news stations on Kyle’s story. My most recent interview was with Drew Griffin from CNN, and our story was featured on Anderson Cooper 360. Forbes magazine and Huffington Post have done articles as well. My hope now is to focus on Kyle and sending him to a specific Residential Treatment Facility that specializes in tapering and detoxing off of psychiatric medications that will eventually kill him if we don’t get him off of them. There, he will have extensive one on one therapy along with cognitive and neurological rehabilitation, a diet plan, and will be worked with extensively to get him through the trauma he has endured. This process is unavailable anywhere within my state. And of course is not covered by insurance.
The most unfortunate thing is that Kyle has lost his reason for living and essentially his life. And amidst his despair he lost all his friends and all his high school years. He never finished his ninth grade year and never had the opportunity to walk across the stage of his high school to graduate. As his mom, I too lost the happiness of seeing my son experience these rights of passage such as graduating, going to prom, or taking senior pictures. That was all taken from him. But I have hope that his life is not in vain, and that he will soon see a renewed hope for himself and our family. That he will forever be reminded of the ones who so graciously supported him in helping to re-start his life.
Thank you so much for your help! You will never understand how grateful we are to you for your donation, prayers, and support. We truly need this at this difficult time.
- Sarah Thompson
- Kimberly Conrad
- Peg Guthridge
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