A MUM is marking what would have been her son’s 40th birthday by raising awareness of the condition she believes led him to take his own life.

Olly Roberts died in September 2012 after suffering with mental health problems for 11 years.

Heather Buchanan said she believes drugs intended to help him - including one to combat acne - actually made him ill.

His family say he suffered from akathisia, a movement disorder which leaves sufferers struggling to stay still and feeling emotionally uneasy. The condition can be caused by some anti-depressants - which Olly was given after suffering from chronic anxiety and depression - brought on, his family say, when he started taking acne drug, Isotretinoin.

As what would have been his 40th birthday approaches, his family want to honour his memory by educating others about the condition and have pledged to complete an art centre he was building to help others suffering with mental health problems.

Olly had suffered with skin problems since the age of 14 and began taking Isotretinoin at 21.


84 jobs to be axed as Worcester distribution centre announces closure

Worcester restaurant closes 'due to unforeseen circumstances'

Mrs Buchanan said the drug affected his mental health and he was then prescribed with antidepressant Seroxat.

Mrs Buchanan said: “The drug had changed him.”

She added: “He became very withdrawn and was weepy for no reason. He was terribly shaky, and people labelled him as mentally ill. Olly didn’t understand that it was the drugs that made him feel so awful. He died believing he was a waste of space. He couldn’t metabolise both the drugs, which made him feel worse.”

Mrs Buchanan said it was only after his death that she researched his condition with doctors and discovered akathisia.

Mrs Buchanan described her son - who would have turned 40 on Tuesday (February 18) - as “very kind.”

She added: “Olly was talented, funny and a delightful guy. He never wanted to die, he just wanted the terrible pain he suffered, from mental and physical side effects, to stop.”

“There is no pain like the deep shock and sadness of losing your child by suicide. But over time, the emptiness and pain changes to a longing to do something to celebrate the lives of these brave youngsters, to further any aims they had to help others, to write about them, remember them, and to help each other see a positive way forward.

“Trying to help others going through the aftermath of suicide, has helped us too, knowing how alone we felt when it first happened.”

The family launched the Olly Roberts Charitable Trust after Olly left them a letter asking them to help others feeling as he had done along with his savings.

Before his death, Olly was building an art centre next to his family home in Bromyard.

He was hoping to offer distraction by getting people together to paint, write, make films and enjoy a relaxing environment.

His family are fundraising to complete the construction. To view the page, visit www.justgiving.com/olly-roberts