On Wednesday the 8th of February, 2017, a 17 year old boy, Gavin Lutz, ended his life by running in to oncoming traffic. His mother tried her best to subdue him, but failed. His death has left a void in the hearts of many; family, friends, and even a community of creators who respected him.
His name was Gavin Lutz. He was incredibly intelligent a He was also extremely creative, he wrote music and designed worlds in Minecraft. He was also one of the most kind and caring individuals. It’s hard to find people as selfless as Gavin. You see, Gavin had a lot to deal with. The things he experienced and the things he suffered through, despite all that he spent majority of his time reaching out to people who were suffering from depression.
But what a lot of people don’t know, is this all could have been avoided. It was a series of bad decisions made by doctors and lawyers that ultimately lead Gavin down a dark path that made him lose control of his emotions and handle on life.
Gavin was an outgoing and outspoken individual up until he joined the 8th grade. This is when his dad began to notice a bizarre change in both is personality and confidence. There was no warning signs up until this point, and his father could not tell me what may have caused it; we speculated it might have been a combination of puberty and bullying. There is no evidence that actually supports that he was bullied; he wasn’t very vocal about his school life — but his mother was convinced that the sudden change in personality was because of mild anxiety. She had him diagnosed, and then treated. From anxiety into severe depression. Gavin found the anxiety was getting better but the ultimate trade-off was his mental health hand will to live.
I used to be just like you four years ago, and then I just let go somehow. I used to be very outgoing and had tons of friends, pretty much able to be described just like you. However, I had underlying social anxiety and that came out somehow, so I shut myself off.
It’s different being the person that went from being outgoing to being the person who appears to not have a care in the world. People always asked me, “why don’t you talk anymore?”. I just said that I don’t know. Now I do know and I’m a bit better at handling social situations than when my social anxiety first started, I try to be the person that is more insensitive in public in order to make other people feel more comfortable I guess.
It really is weird knowing the contrast between the two spectrums of socially outgoing and socially failing. I don’t consider myself the weird kid in the corner really. Though I do isolate myself, it is only because I have no aspiration to get in with the crowd.
“When he was younger we went walking in the park and Gavin accidentally stood in dog poo. He was visibly upset, so I took his shoes off and carried him by piggy-back. He sobbed a bit and then said, I’m sorry. He’s sorry? That poo was in your way, you didn’t get in the poos way, son. Don’t be sorry.”
Gavin’s father described him as one of the most selfless beings he ever met and cherished every moment he got to spend with his son. Unfortunately, he did not get to see his son a lot from the age of 4 after he divorced Gavin’s mother. Greg, Gavin’s father, was a huge part of his life until the divorce, after that the mother got custody and Greg only got to see his children 4 days of the month.
Jenna, Gavin’s sister, said that both of them really looked up to their father, and that they enjoyed every moment they spent together. Jenna was very close to her brother. They would goof around and geek-out together every opportunity they got. She recalls some of the best moments with him staying up all night and playing Battlefront 2 on the PlayStation 2. They were so close that they would often get mistaken for twins, even though Jenna was 4 years older.
“A lot of people thought we were twins or could definitely tell we were siblings. We both look a lot like our dad.”
Gavin was incredibly intelligent for his age, and had accomplished a lot before he died. He developed web-games, created Minecraft maps, and even coded administrative tools for other Minecraft creators. He worked tirelessly on helping other people in the Minecraft community and never asked to be credited. This earned him a lot of respect.
Like his father, Gavin was also creative. He would write and compose his own music and drew inspiration from some of his favourite bands Nirvana, Cage the Elephant, Modest Mouse, Rammstein, and System of a Down — and the quality of his writing would speak volumes of just how incredibly gifted he was. He was self-taught. Self taught musician. Self taught designer. Self-taught code.
Coding came so natural to him because of his love for all things logical. He loved to solve Rubik’s cubes and would often solve even the most complex patterns.
Things seemed quite normal from the outside, but after looking into his home life, it was clear that things weren’t as they seemed.
After the divorce the mother got custody of the kids. But according to my sources, she has had a long-list of mental disorders which she developed later, including depression and anxiety and the relationship she had with Gavin wasn’t healthy. Although I am certain there was no lack of love in the relationship, his mother would have episodes which would cause emotional distress from her children. His mother also suffered from extreme social anxiety which means she wouldn’t barely communicate with anyone, and was too focused on her own disorders and often forget to think about Gavin. Gavin’s father told me that he felt that his mother hid him from the world and would never share any of his accomplishments with friends or even family members, Glen included.
That’s not to say his mother didn’t care and didn’t try to help when she noticed that Gavin was suffering — but it is difficult for someone who is suffering from depression and anxiety who can barely help herself, help someone else. When she first noticed Gavin’s strange behaviour change she had him diagnosed with mild anxiety. He underwent a DNA test and was then put on antidepressants.
As I mentioned earlier, the drugs did improve his anxiety but it triggered severe depression which would transgress into a tragic end of a beautiful life.
It’s not fun. What’s worse is that I find it hard to get back into doing the thing that numbed me for a bit, just because of the depression that hits me like a train. It’s kind of like realizing that you have to breathe and not being able to go back to automatic breathing because you’re focusing on not breathing manually.
Sorry if I made you think about your breathing, hopefully you don’t have to manually breathe as long as I did while I was writing this
Depression hit him hard. 7 suicide attempts two of which landed him in hospital fighting for his life.
I see depressed people that say they hate themselves and think that they are just absolutely worthless quite a bit. To be quite frank, I really don’t hate myself, I don’t hate anybody. At this point, I don’t even have the capacity to hate. Sure, I get angry at people for getting in my way but that’s only for a split second. My problem is apathy, apathy so strong that I let myself go numb for hours at a time in a feeble attempt to ignore the misery for a bit.
It never lasts, as soon as I finish doing something I go straight back to the hole. I play piano for an hour or so, my hands start hurting from doing some stretches so I take a break and BAM it’s all back again. Why did I even play piano? Hell, you know that you’re not going to play piano next week. You’re just going to forget that entire piece you learned. Even if you did learn it, your hand coordination isn’t high enough to even play it through fast.
Why haven’t I done it yet? It’s only a matter of time, right? I really don’t see a point in living. Like I said, it’s not out of hate or plain melancholy, it’s misery from apathy. I don’t see an afterlife, I just hope that once I die it is the same as before I was born; absolute nothingness. That’s what I want, and that’s what I get from sleep.
“I tried killing myself by cutting my radial artery and woke up in my bed, mom panicking. long story short, I was in a psych ward for a bit (exhibit a for not killing yourself: it can fail and you end up in a shitty mental institution).”
“I went through something similar after waking up from an overdose-induced coma. I didn’t even know how to walk or to count and I had terrible amnesia.”
It was clear, Gavin needed someone, not drugs. He needed affection, acceptance, and support and even through his suffering he made sure that he was their for people who spoke out about their depression online. He would help whoever he could, whenever he good, and spent almost two years discussing depression with other people who suffered. Again, even in his darkest hours he was there for others. His selflessness never failed to impress people.
But things didn’t have to end the way did. This could have been prevented. Gavin, like many others, was a victim. A victim of a broken medical system. A system that creates drug addicts out of suffering kids. A system that diagnosis, drugs, and destroys little kids.
Drugs don’t belong in child psychology and if used should only be as a last resort. If drugs like caffeine and alcohol can create chemical imbalances in the minds of a child, then why are we giving them stronger drugs that can destroy their minds. Doctor’s are trying to fix what they consider broken brains by prescribing random drugs and hoping that it works. And although these drugs may numb the pain and suppress negative thoughts, it does not deal with the issues of what is causing the depression.
I’ve come across some new information since I made my last video. Gavin was sent to the Pavilion Behavioural Health System in Champaign, this where he was diagnosed for anxiety, and this is where he got his first drug prescriptions. According to his posts, he was put on some strong meds for mild anxiety. His psychiatrist at the time was an intern, it was her first year at the clinic. She would continue to diagnose and prescribe him meds, up until January 2017. Where she refused to see Gavin. The clinic refused to treat him any more, and instead referred him to The Centralia Community Resource Center; a clinic for alcoholics and junkies.
After digging a little deeper and investigating The Pavilion I noticed two very interesting thing: first being a part of the Joint Commission and second for receiving a Top Performer award from the Joint Commission in 2013, the same year Gavin was diagnosed.
The Joint Commission is an alleged non-profit tax exempt organization that accredits clinics and hospitals upon surveys and inspection. They are supposed to make sure that the clinic meets the standards for healthcare in the United States. However, they have been criticised for alerting hospitals priot to inspection and overlooking major problems; 99% of all inspected clinics and hospitals are credited.
So you have an organization that is supposed to regulate the standards for healthcare, but doesn’t really care if the conditions are up to scratch–what is the point?
A simple google search would confirm that the condition of this clinic is deteriorating, and the mental health of its patients was getting worse.
One of the strictest requirements of accreditation is that the establishment must only use “evidence-based medicines” practices.
Evidence-based medicine means that doctors treat patients by trial and error, and it relies heavily on the honesty of both patient and doctor.
But snake oil is real, and snake oil salesman have savvily co-opted EBM just by claiming that the evidence does support them, and/or that “more study” is needed. They can actually seem more EBM-ish by rejecting any consideration other than their (distorted) evidence. This has been called “pseudo-evidence based medicine” — quackery that strives to create the appearance of being evidence-based, “the practice of medicine based on falsehoods that are disseminated as truth.
Big pharmaceutical companies are in favour of this method and offer practices a reimbursement, there has been a growing tide of voices claiming EBM is not what it seems, that given the multi-billions of dollars involved, the medical science system has been distorted. The big pharmaceutical companies spend around 11% to 15% on research and development, but they spend around 36% of their budgets on marketing. This influence means much of what passes as EBM, may in fact be “MBM” – “Marketing-based Medicine”.
The fact that clinics and hospitals are forced to use EBM as apposed to the much safer SBM (Science-based medicine) practice speaks volumes of how corrupt the health organizations are. Science-based medicine involves expansive testing and diagnoses are drawn by well researched data. To compare, to get a proper diagnoses using SBM could take from 6 months up to a year or two, whereas EBM maybe a week or even less.
Essentially EBM encourages the usage of drugs which means that the pharmaceutical companies benefit, while SBM is a safer, slower, and more accuruate practice.
The other big red flag on the website is that award they got for “Top Performer Key Quality Measures”.
The Joint Commission is awarding clinics and hospitals for excelling in designated key quality measures, in this case, because The Pavilion is a Behavioral Health Facility, it is evidence-based processes and treatment, in other words for prescribing medications for a diagnosis which is purely subjective because the diagnosis is purely based on the opinion of both the patient and the doctor, a patient will always be subjective when discussing their symptoms to a doctor, whereas the doctor may also be influenced by ego or financial gain, it is definitely worth pointing out that . Evidence-based medicine is also rewarded by the U.S. government and clinics and physicians are given financial incentive to prescribe drugs to patients, this is called Pay-For-Performance or P4P.
In the healthcare industry, pay for performance (P4P), also known as “value-based purchasing“, is a payment model that offers financial incentives to physicians, hospitals, medical groups, and other healthcare providers for meeting certain performance measures. Clinical outcomes, such as longer survival, are difficult to measure, so pay for performance systems usually evaluate process quality and efficiency, such as measuring blood pressure, lowering blood pressure, or counseling patients to stop smoking. This model also penalizes health care providers for poor outcomes, medical errors, or increased costs.
So, this program also penalizes you for medical errors and expenses. This means doctors feel pressure to rush diagnosis and not admit to their own errors, and abandon patients to avert crisis — as they did with Gavin, and have done with many others.
The Joint Commission have also been accused by many for being at least partly responsible for the opioid crisis that took the lives of hundred of thousands teenagers, and it was because of their continued efforts to really push p4p on evidence-based medicine which meant that employees of any clinic accredited by The Joint Commission had incentive to sell it.
Gavin’s physician was very productive at Evidence-based medicine. Gavin’s prescription changed on a regular basis while she subjectively tried to figure out what was causing Gavin’s anxiety and depression. At one point he was on alprazolam, clonazepam, Xanax, venlafaxine, mirtazapine, lurasidone, levetiracetam, benzodiazepines, DXM, codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, tramadol at the same time.
She even prescribed him high doses of amitriptyline for his insomnia he got from his over-dose suicide attempt. One of the most common side effects of this drug is increased risk of suicide especially for people under the age of 25, and severe depression and anxiety. The things he was diagnosed and treated for initially.
He became addicted, got withdrawals, more suicidal, and even felt as if he was a different person. His logical thinking skills were fading, his passion for doing things he loved was dimming.
I sleep as long as I possibly can, twelve hours or more usually. It’s hard to go to sleep, but once I do I really sleep hard. I have a drug problem, I love taking anything that just fucks me up, so I take trip-worthy amounts of diphenhydramine to get so tired that I could sleep for a full day.
Doesn’t matter anyways, I’ll wake up eventually. So I think every other dozen minutes, “why haven’t I done it yet?”. I’m smart my family says, high weighted GPA of 4.4, scaled to about a 4.0. Pretty nice, huh. I must have an easy way to get myself a full ride to whatever school I want and then I’ll be great. I want to be a computer scientist, should be pretty easy according to my family and friends. My dad says, “you could do anything you want, Gavin, you have the capacity to”. Sure I probably do, but none of that matters when you hate your life.
I do ask myself, once more, why haven’t I done it yet? Everything seems peachy when I think of the big S word, the word that all of the sensitive people will prevent you from doing. I guess the only answer why is how I feel about my loved ones, who I don’t have the capacity to even love. My mother cried when she found out about my drug use, so I imagine how she’d feel finding me dying from the same thing. I guess I’ll push through another year.
How can we fix something we don’t even understand? If we don’t understand how can we call it broken? There is no set formula to remedy depression. The only way to really move through it is to fight it yourself. To built your confidence and self-esteem, keep active and remain positive. That is the arsenal it takes, and I know it is not as easy as it sounds.
The creators of Rick and Morty are too familiar with depression and even tackled this issue in their episode, Rick Potion #9. In this episode Rick explains that love is a chemical imbalance experienced by the brain, and Morty asks rick to make a “potion” that would make Jessica’s brain love him. Rick gives his grandson a drug called Oxytocin from a special kind of bull. Oxytocin is a chemical created by the brain to help aid human reproduction and childbirth.
But Rick realises he made a big mistake and admits to it. “Sometimes science is more of an art than science.” He says. He then tries to remedy the screw up by creating a new drug that combines a chemical found in mantises. That goes horribly wrong also, so he tried creating another drug using random ingredients like: koala, rattlesnake, chimpanzee, cactus, shark, golden retriever, and just a smidge of dinosaur. It should add up to “normal humanity” he says. When questioned by Morty about how the hell those random things would fix the problem, Rick replies “You want you to show you my math? I’m sorry. Are you the scientists or the kid that wanted to get laid?”
This drug does actually stop people from loving Morty, but it creates a much bigger one, it turns the entire human race into Cronenbergian monsters, and the damage is irreversible. Here the universe’s smartest scientists. A man who has figured out time and dimensional travel, but still has no understanding of the complicated intricacies of the mind and the human condition.
This is an accurate analogy of how people are treated for anything professionals consider a “mental health disorder”. They throw a combination of drugs at you and hope something works — but the truth is, they can never be certain. Usually these drugs do more damage than good — and as i said, even though it may temporarily suppress the issue, it doesn’t cure it and it usually creates much bigger problems; depression, addiction and sometimes even death.
At the end of the episode Rick and Morty both die and the song Look on Down from the Bridge by Mazzy Star plays as the show ends.
Everybody seems so far away from me,
Everybody just wants to be free
Look away from the sky,
It’s no different when you are leaving home.
I can’t be the same thing to you now,
I’m just gone, just gone
How could I say goodbye,
How could I say goodbye, goodbye
Maybe I’ll just place my hands over you
And close my eyes my eyes real tight.
It’s a song about how drugs and depression. In pop culture, being under the bridged means to be addicted to a drug. This song takes on the the perspective of those looking who are suffering. Those who take drugs to escape depression — but end up leaving their lives behind.
We forget just how powerful the human mind can be, what it is capable of. It is encoded with our condition, our nature and our will to survive, live and evolve, and it pushes us to our limits in our darkest hours, and most trying moments. We have seen countless success stories of people who suffered from both emotional, and physical setbacks to the point where they seemed they were at rope’s end. We’ve heard the stories of people staring down the barrel of a gun to realise how low you’ve fallen, but it is then when your mind restarts, motivates you and and gives you second wind. When people are looking death in the face they do the unbelievable, because of our natural instincts. Gavin looked death in the eye, but he was too sedated to realise.
Gavin would be alive today if it were not for an unjust legal system that grants custody to a mother by default, regardless of her disorders. Although I do not believe that his mother meant him harm, he would have been better off with his living with his father; regardless of his financial position. We see single unemployed mothers win custody of children, they receive benefits to help care for them. Gavin spoke highly of his father, and it was clear that he gave him the affection that he needed when he could. He wanted custody, but Gavin’s mother would not allow it. Affection, support and kindness is more important to a kid growing up then money. It is not the family’s income that determines a kid’s character, it is how they are raised.
Gavin would be alive today if it wasn’t for a broken medical system and corrupt pharmaceutical companies that profit of the addiction and death of millions of children in America.
Instead of drugging your kids to fix their problems, why don’t we listen to them when they want to express themselves, comforting when they are scared, console them when they are sad, and encourage and support them however we can. I believe the human mind is more powerful than any drug some doctor might give you, why drug and sedate and slowly kill the thing that makes us unique? Why not embrace our emotions and support them instead of oppress them?
Evidence-based Medicine is a fancy word for Subjective diagnosis by a commission driven opinion-based Medicine. There is no evidence other than the opinion of the physician. This system is not in place to ensure the quality of life and health of its patients, but rather the financial benefit the pharmaceutical companies, hospital and doctors who push these drugs.
Evidence-based medicine needs to be replaced by science-based medicines. Physicians need to look at their patients as if they were family. Would you want your kid to be treated by a system that is deliberately trying to turn them into an addict so that they can profits of their suffering? We can stop this by reaching out to our doctors and physicians. Show them the harm they are doing to our kids. And Gavin is a perfect example of this.
He was treated for anxiety, and then the healthcare system chewed him up and spat him u p and left him to die. Placing the blame of his death on his family. The system left many lives in ruin. Gavin’s immediate family. His mother, his father and his older sister, and all his relatives. They refuse to take responsibility, they blame it on his depression and his addictions. The two things that Gavin acquired while in care of this clinic.
After doing my research on Gavin Lutz I am actually saddened that I could not have been a part of his life. He would have been a part of ours if we would have let him. He was one of the kindest and caring individuals that I’ve ever had the honour of getting to know.
Rest In Peace Gavin! You were an amazing friend and a great business partner. I miss you a lot and hope you are doing better and 10x happier where you are now. To the family of Gavin, It was amazing speaking with you and my prayers go out to you. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to meet such an amazing person.