"They Would Slam Her to the Floor"
Serrano became so concerned about escalating medication and worsening problems that she gradually weaned Jessica, then nearly 9, off the drugs. Jessica stopped hearing voices. Her behavior improved. She no longer thought about killing herself. "I feel much better," Jessica told Pittel during an office visit. "My head doesn't hurt anymore."
Pittel berated Serrano, however, insisting that Jessica go back on psychiatric drugs. "I'm a doctor and I know what's best," he reportedly said. "You don't have a degree."
When Serrano informed Pittel of the many adverse effects Jessica had suffered on the drugs, the psychiatrist, in Serrano's words, got "beet-red" and "highly upset." "He told me that I had to put her back on them or he would file a 51A* for medical neglect," Serrano said, an action that would bring about loss of her daughter to the CPS system. "So I put her back on."
Not long after the meeting with Pittel, Jessica was abducted anyway — taken directly from school by CPS personnel, who claimed Serrano was unfit to be a mother because she had tested positive for HIV — a test later shown to be false.
Almost unbelievably, with Jessica held in the CPS system at Hillcrest Education Center in Lennox, Massachusetts, psychiatrist Theodore Lindauer recommended still additional drugs, including up to 500 milligrams daily of Thorazine, described by the man who pioneered its use as a "pharmacological substitute for lobotomy." (See "The Littlest Guinea Pigs".)
Separated from her mother for a span of 23 months between the ages of 9 and 11, Jessica ultimately endured six foster homes and a residential care center. At two homes, she allegedly was molested. Powerful, mind-ravaging drugs were injected against her will. According to information presented to Freedom by Serrano, Thorazine was given without court order or parental permission, as required by law.
In Massachusetts, before anyone can be administered a neuroleptic ("nerve-seizing") drug against their will, a hearing to authorize it must be held before a judge. According to Audrey Serrano, and her attorney, Gregory A. Hession, no such hearing took place before the neuroleptic drug Zyprexa was administered to Serrano's daughter, Jessica (inset, at age 6), while in Massachusetts Department of Social Services' custody. Psychiatrist Theodore Lindauer authorized giving Jessica up to 500 milligrams daily of one neuroleptic, Thorazine, and doses of two others as well. In an interview with Freedom, Lindauer described the Thorazine dosage as "ridiculous." After Freedom obtained documentation of Jessica's "treatment plan" in which Lindauer prescribed the life-threatening regimen for the young girl (right), he refused to answer additional questions. As early as age 6, while under "treatment" at the Herbert Lipton Community Mental Health Center in Leominster by psychiatrist Elliott Pittel and others, Jessica was subjected to drugs that, according to recent government warnings, can trigger violent and suicidal behavior, or sudden death.