Due to the length and detail of this witness’s testimony, this article will consist of 2 installments. I begin with a general overview of the witness and the defendant’s psychiatric treatment in the first part of 2013.
On the 7th day of the Daniel Marsh trial, Dr. Cheyenne He was called to testify. Dr. He is a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Kaiser facility in Vacaville. She was responsible for administering and monitoring the medications prescribed for Daniel.
The first time Dr. He saw Daniel was in January, 2013. The doctor refilled the Zoloft and Seroquel that were prescribed when Daniel was released from a hospital stay in late December, 2012, adding an additional antidepressant, Wellbutrin. After that, Daniel had regular visits at approximately two-week intervals with Dr. He. His mother was in the examination room for all visits except for a few minutes.
Patients fill out a mood score questionnaire upon arrival. A history is taken from the parent. The chief complaint is taken from the patient himself. The diagnosis is based on a set of criteria that include observation of the patient and his or her response to questions put forth by the physician. Daniel’s questionnaire score was in the severely critical range. His demeanor was cooperative but guarded. Daniel was asked if he had suicidal and/or homicidal feelings. His response was no. The doctor didn’t pursue the topic if the patient’s response was no. Daniel didn’t offer any information that wasn’t asked of him.
Daniel also had a psychotherapist at Kaiser, Timothy Hesgard, who wasn’t authorized to prescribe medications but handled the talk therapy side of Daniel’s treatment. Daniel was prescribed weekly individual therapy sessions in addition to group therapy.
Dr. He had access to the patient’s complete medical record, including notes from the therapy sessions, history of both inpatient hospitalizations and all other medical treatment. She noted that he had a history of depression and anxiety since 2008, with worsening symptoms for several months. His weight had been monitored for a year due to the diagnosis of anorexia in late 2011. Dr. He’s diagnosis was severe depression and anxiety, but no PTSD, mania, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, bulimia, psychosis or panic attacks.