It has been more than four years since Brittany left her mother, but one question still haunts Susan. Who takes responsibility when a young person dies? Who should Susan hold accountable for her darling daughter’s death?

The Beginning

While growing up, bullying from the teachers and students riddled Susan with anxiety. She was too attuned to other people’s emotions from an early age. Chris, Brittany’s father, had a family history of anxiety and depression. His adoptive father had mistreated him for years, and he had led a traumatic childhood because of that. His brother, Brittany’s favorite uncle, had schizophrenia and wasn’t on any medication. Later, he set his mother’s house on fire and shot himself in the head.

Brittany’s Struggle with Mental Health

Brittany was a well-loved and well-mannered woman. So, Susan immediately noticed when she suddenly started showing withdrawal symptoms and preferred to keep silent rather than discuss her issues with her mother. Brittany was enrolled in talk therapy, which continued through high school. When it seemed like there wasn’t any progress with that, Susan explored other options and brought Brittany to a psychiatrist who prescribed her medications. And from there, everything went downhill.

The Unhelpful Mental Health Provider

Brittany was just a teenager who needed her psychiatrist to understand her troubles and help her deal with depressive thoughts. He, on the other hand, just took her as a patient who was filling a slot. His response to her struggles was always more medicines and suggestions to put her in the psychiatric ward.

Susan kept struggling but there just wasn’t any way around it. She knew that Brittany needed help, but she could not arrange any other psychiatrist for her. Susan even went out of her way and talked to him about Brittany’s deteriorating condition, but he took it personally and perceived it as poor feedback. Which it was.

Brittany’s Friends

It was an ode to Brittany’s popularity that their house was always filled with teenagers. She had loads of friends, and they were all good kids. All except one; that girl was into drugs, and even though Susan disapproved of her, Brittany, like any other teenager, continued to hang out with her on and off.

The Troubled Teens

In her late teens, Brittany’s paranoia and anxiety became more evident. Things took a sharp turn when her favorite uncle killed himself. Brittany felt cheated out of love and affection because he had loved her as his daughter. And with Chris’s minimal involvement, she looked up to him as a father figure. After his death, Brittany was a changed person. She was sullen and always buried deep into her books. At the same time, her psychiatrist kept acting indifferent to her worsening state.

Who’s Responsible for Brittany’s Death?

According to the coroner’s report, the cause of Brittany’s death is a Methadone overdose. But that’s not true, is it? What led her to take that drug from her heroin addict friend? What led her to seek the help of someone other than her psychiatrist? What made the pain so unbearable for her that she had to depend on another means to end her suffering? Why did her friend give her the bottle of methadone and text her to ask if she drank it all?

Brittany was but a young woman. Who’s going to take responsibility when a young person dies?

Read more about Susan, Brittany, and their unique life story in the book “The Scent Of Roses” by Susan Young Oskey.