Pubdate: Thu, 21 Feb 2008
Source: Argus, The (UK)
Copyright: 2008 Newsquest Media Group
Author: Ruth Lumley


A web designer killed himself after being driven mad by

Daniel Rosen hanged himself from a tree after becoming  mentally ill
after years of smoking the Class C drug.

Yesterday the 28-year-old's family said they were  convinced smoking
cannabis from the age of 14 had cost  him his life.

Sue Rosen said the drug had "triggered something which  went wrong in
his mind".

In August The Argus told the story of "Craig", a  teenager who had
become a paranoid recluse on the edge  of madness after years of
smoking cannabis.

The 19-year-old, who quit drugs after treatment at The  Priory Centre
in Hove, became obsessed with using the  drug.

And last night anti-drug campaigners warned the death  of Mr Rosen
showed the dangers of cannabis.

Jane Harris, the head of campaigns at mental health  charity Rethink,
said: "There is a definite link  between smoking cannabis and mental

"If you use cannabis heavily, or if you use it under  while you are
under 18, it can double your chances of  suffering from mental illness.

"We want the Government to put more money into  researching that as
there has been no UK-funded primary  research only a review of others."

An inquest at Brighton yesterday heard how Mr Rosen, of  Blaker
Street, Brighton, was found hanged in a wooded  area of Stanmer Park,
Brighton, on the morning of  December 12 last year by a dog walker.

Beside him was a rucksack containing books on Krishna  and notes he
had made about his thoughts and feelings.

A post mortem examination of his body confirmed he had  died of
asphyxiation due to hanging.

His parents described the self-employed designer as  intelligent,
creative, talented and a gentle young man  who wanted to make people
happy and who loved animals.

But they also said he was a tortured soul and was  suffering from
mental illness.

The inquest was told Mr Rosen was referred to the  mental health
service in April 2004 by his doctor and  was prescribed medication
which he would not always  take.

His psychiatrist, Dr Timothy Sayles, said Mr Rosen was  vulnerable to
psychosis which was exacerbated by stress  but that he was not bipolar
or schizophrenic. He also  said Mr Rosen had no history of suicidal

But by 2007, he said Mr Rosen was steadfast in his  beliefs that what
we happening to him was a spiritual  experience.

Last year he was admitted to Mill View Hospital in Hove  under the
Mental Health Act but he was deemed well  enough to be discharged on
August 14 and it was not  until Mr Rosen's family got in touch with
the hospital  in November that he was asked him to come back for a

Mr Rosen produced a letter for doctors featuring the  signatures of
his parents which said they were no  longer worried about him.

But his mother told the inquest her son and written the  letter
himself and they had signed it under 'extreme  pressure' from him.

She said her son had expressed a desire to travel and  twice they had
paid for him to go on holiday. The first  time they had paid for a
trip to Norway but Mr Rosen  never made it to the airport and the
second time they  had paid for him to go to a spiritual retreat in
Wales  but the holiday was a disaster and he returned days  later in
an angry and distressed state.

In December he returned to the family home in Reading  for the Jewish
festival Hanuka and his family thought  he seemed more grounded.

Mrs Rosen said: "We talked about him travelling and he  said he wanted
to go somewhere warm and he needed some  sun.

"We booked a ticket for him to go to Egypt and he was  due to go two
days after he died.

"The evening before his death I actually spoke to him  and I was a
little bit anxious as a parent as he had  chosen to go to Egypt. What
with being Jewish I didn't  think it was the wisest place to go and I
said be  careful and he did say, 'I am frightened'."

Brighton and Hove coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley  recorded a verdict
of suicide and said Mr Rosen may  well have had a period of
improvement or he may well  have had a period of decision, taking his
life back  into his own hands.

She also read part of his funeral eulogy to the court  which had been
written by his parents.

It said: "It seems in his final few weeks he was  getting more in
touch with the reality of his  situation, was becoming aware of how
fragmented his  mind and his life actually were and this was extremely
  painful, unbearable, for him.

"And so he ended his life, in a beautiful park in  Brighton, in a
natural place that gave him comfort,  with a red-breasted robin as his
companion. He did not  die alone but had the natural world as his companion.

"His parents and sisters, his family and friends, can  and should take
comfort that he is now at peace and  nothing can cause him pain again."
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