Remembering an Angel:
by Kevin Caruso
Vivian Crane was a beautiful, intelligent, caring, hard-working, outgoing and popular girl who attended Roseville Ladies College in New South Wales, Australia.
But Vivian's bright personality drastically changed in June 1998 after she began taking Accutane (also known as Roaccutane or Isotretinoin). Vivian was 12 at the time and was prescribed the drug for a serious case of acne.
Vivian's parents immediately noticed the change in Vivian and were very concerned, but when Vivian stopped taking the drug after her six-month treatment ended, she soon returned to her normal, cheerful self. And her skin had cleared up and looked great.
Things were going quite well for Vivian until the acne began to appear again. And in September 1999 the acne got so bad that Vivian was prescribed Accutane for a second time.
Soon after taking the drug, Vivian became extremely moody and irritable. She erupted in untypical bouts of rage and withdrew from family and friends. She also began to make disturbing statements to her parents that she had never made before.
"She told us she had lost the ability to love any of us; she just became a totally different person," said Susan Crane, Vivian's mother.
"She was a bubbly, full of life, full of fun girl who then became a shut-down hollowed-out shell of a person
with no personality."
Vivian fell into a deep depression.
Vivian's parents, deeply concerned for Vivian, informed her doctor about the depression in February 2000. As a result, Vivian was taken off of Accutane, began seeing a psychiatrist, and was prescribed Zoloft, an antidepressant.
Vivian continued to struggle with depression for the next few months, and in June 2000 she emailed six of her friends and told them that she was going to kill herself. Vivian's friends contacted her parents and Vivian was taken to a hospital. Unbelievably, in spite of the fact that Vivian was telling people that she was going to kill herself, she was assessed as "not an acute suicide risk."
So her parents took her home and closely supervised her; but on June 8, 2000, her psychiatrist said that she no longer needed to be supervised.
A few days later, Vivian sent e-mails to several friends saying that she still felt depressed but had stopped taking her antidepressants.
A few hours after she sent her last e-mail, Vivian hanged herself.
She was 14.
She is now an angel.
We miss you Vivian.
Vivian kept a diary in which she expressed the hell that she was enduring.
Below are some of the entries from her diary:
May 5, 2000
[Aboout one month before Vivian died by suicide]
"[I am] confused, lost, scared. Seeing the shrink today to talk about suicide and medication. Fucking fun. I hope she ends this 24/7 [supervision] thing or hospitalises me. It's so cold. Or maybe I'm shaking, not shivering."
"I'm trying, I am. But it's too hard. I do my best and I know my best is shitty. Pathetic. My best isn't good enough. But it has to be. I have to not give up ever or I lose the world.
I'm so tired, I can barely lift my head. How in the hell am I supposed to be able to keep going. But ... I can't stop trying. Can't waste my final chance. Can't give up. Just can't. I might have to. Is there really any other choice?"
May 23, 2000
[About 2 weeks before Vivian died by suicide]
"Mum has finally gone to bed. Dad has been following me around like a puppy dog for nearly half an hour. It's driving me insane. I think I am about to cry.
"It's another of those times where I am afraid of the dark, afraid to sleep.
"Last night I had nightmares. In one I looked in the mirror and my whole face dripped with blood. In another I was on trial for murder and lying under oath ... They scared the shit out of me. I'm scared again now."
For more information on Accutane (Roaccutane / Isotretinoin) and suicide please click below:
Acne Medication Accutane (Roaccutane / Isotretinoin) and Suicide