Town Square

Post a New Topic

PayPal exec battled mental illness, family said

Original post made on Mar 13, 2012

A losing battle against mental illness led a man to his death, according to a statement released by his family on Monday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 8:15 AM

Comments (8)

Posted by Rick Schwartz, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm

To the family, you have my deepest sympathy for this tragedy. And you have the gratitude of our community, for coming forward with information in such an open and honest way. If there is any good that can come of this, it is to contribute support and understanding of those who battle depression. I believe that through your courage, you have helped others who struggle with depression to successfully treat and overcome this disease.


Posted by Survivor, a resident of another community
on Mar 13, 2012 at 8:58 pm

I am indeed sorry for Eric and his family. What I am particularly sorry about is that Eric fell into the hands of mental health professionals who chose to diagnose him with a so-called "brain disorder" for which there is no known biological test and proceeded to medicate him with what was undoubtedly a cocktail made up from tranquilizers, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers, all of which are disabling and crippling in their effects. Did anyone really try to listen and find out what circumstances led to his troubled state in the first place? Bipolar disorder has become a catch all for all sorts of emotional and psychosocial ills. We are in an epidemic of "bipolar disorder" and if anyone cares to look they can see quickly that it's being created in large part by side effects from psychiatric drugs prescribed for "depression" or "insomnia." Being labeled "bipolar" does nothing to remedy whatever led Eric to fall into his troubled state. With what supposedly benign medication did his decline commence? Was he put on a prescription sleep "aid" initially? How many people know that these "aids" create dependency within two weeks and that mini withdrawals between doses result in impulsive and angry behavior that could easily be mistaken for mania? Then come the antidepressants that trigger further mania, the mood stabilizers and when they don't work, the antipsychotics. How many people truly understand that these meds worsen outcomes over the long term if people even live that long because they greatly increase the risk of suicide too? I would place bets that it was treatment that killed Eric, not a "disease." Please don't get sucked into some trite interpretation of what's going on here and stop the murder and mayhem that is being perpetrated by big pharma and psychiatry with their misguided and flawed paradigms. Read Robert Whitaker and David Healy and start to save lives.


Posted by With respect, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Sending deepest condolences to your family. Sadly we have experienced two suicides in the past 1/12 yrs within our greater MP community. Your courage to discuss depression issues openly will surely help those suffering and their families to talk more freely, and find the support they need. Your openness at this incredibly difficult time is a gift to us all. Depression can no longer be a secret we all conspire to keep. There is too much at stake.


Posted by no tomorrow, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 14, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Depression still carries a huge stigma, and all the sanctimonious comments on these boards don't change a thing. Posters can express sympathy toward this particular suicide because he "wasn't like most of them." Young, attractive, with a family, impressive track record, enviable career. But many of us with depression are unable to finish school, acquire friends, much less a spouse and kids, or keep a job. We're not very appealing people, are we?

The upside, from your perspective, is that we are not going to cause distress to thousands of people and permanent trauma to many by throwing ourselves in front of a commuter train. We tend to go quietly, overdosing on prescription drugs or drinking ourselves to death. You simply don't hear about us, which is a good thing, because it would be much harder for you to pretend to care.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Mar 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm

No Tomorrow - we don't hear about you because there are laws that now prevent public reporting of most suicides.

Are you getting help?

BTW, in addition to Eric, I've known others who either attempted suicide or succeeded who were traditionally attractive & successful. That doesn't mean they didn't experience hell on earth w/what they were going through. Don't blame them for their gifts, just as we're told not to blame them for their illness. Don't blame us for not being aware of the "other" group to which you refer. You have NO idea who we live around, work around, or what we know/don't know about the ones who don't garner as much attention.

Are you actually envious of the suicides who seem to have had it all???? If so, get help immediately.


Posted by cristeen, a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm

I have to agree with the commentator that suggested sadly that perhaps his seeking mental health assistance led to his suicidal behavior. To hear that the family is receiving assistance from NAMI, which is a group funded by big PHARMA, which treats people almost exclusively with medications that we are coming to learn exacerbate the symotoms of mental illness rather than treatments such as psychotherapy and social support, which have better outcomes in real clinical trials. The risk of suicide when taking many of the drugs groups like NAMI support actually increase suicidal ideation, and causes any number of "side effects" which become intolerable. The claims of the drug companies that this is all caused by the underlying illness is spurious and has been proven so by many researchers. And yes, bipolar disorder II is diagnosed so willy nilly and generally refers to someone with depression who at times is able to function well. You can't be both depressed and bipolar as bipolar includes the depressive disorder in the bipolar, so his diagnosis makes little sense.


Posted by Sympathy, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 14, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Thank you to the family for taking a step toward eliminating the stigma surrounding mental illness. My thoughts, prayers and sympathies are with you. I am so sorry for your loss. It must be heartbreaking.


Posted by Michelle, a resident of another community
on Mar 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm

My deepest condolences to the Salvaterria and Ackery families. My heart breaks for you and my prayers are with you and those beautiful little daughters.
To all of you posters who are going on and on about mental health providers and how Eric was steered wrong by them. Who do you think you are throwing in your insensitive thoughts on the subject at such a devastating time? Seriously, what good comes from your senseless blabber? This man is gone, he is never coming back and his wife and three precious daughters are left without their husband and daddy. Nobody needs to know what a genius you are. Especially when it benefits nobody but yourself.How about a little compassion and support?
God bless Meredith,Lia, Eva and Elena.You will all see him again one day.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

On Tour at Selective Schools: Chapman, La Verne, Redlands, Whittier
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,827 views

The dress code
By Jessica T | 16 comments | 1,681 views

. . . People will never forget how you made them feel.
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,069 views

Anglo Menlo Park
By Paul Bendix | 0 comments | 611 views

Council election, and then some.
By Stuart Soffer | 3 comments | 410 views