ANTIDEPRESSANTS & REM SLEEP BEHAVIOR DISORDER (RBD)
New Zealand woman drives 320 Kilometers in her sleep, even texting while she drove! She was found the following morning parked at the home she had previously lived in. This is the second time this has happened to her as far as driving while asleep and now police are working to revoke her license.
Please go to the original article and read the comments. Then read my comments below to learn what so few know about this most dangerous disorder that is an all too common side effect of serotonergic medications like antidepressants.
In this sleep state known as RBD people have been known, not only to drive, but to do things completely uncharacteristic of themselves such as fight like a military person although never serving in the military, become promiscuous, but also even to murder those close to them. This is an unconscious state without normal inhibitions and full of automatic behavior based on whatever dream you may be having.
This link http://www.oddee.com/item_96680.aspx will show you some of the MANY possibilities when you are acting out your dreams or nightmares while experiencing RBD. We have many of these types of cases which were induced by the use of antidepressants. Keep in mind that the most common side effect of antidepressants is insomnia, especially in withdrawal, so those in antidepressant withdrawal often have their chances of experiencing RBD increased by being prescribed drugs similar to Ambien.
I am very impressed with the majority of comments here as you appear to have a good understanding of this most deadly of sleep disorders. It is called a REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) and 80% of those who go into it hurt themselves or others. I have one book I have written on RBD and am finishing up an ebook now.
Although rare in the past we are seeing more and more of this deadly disorder. While drugs similar to Zolpidem (Ambien) are found in 3% of these cases what few are aware of is the research by America’s two foremost experts on this disorder showing that 86% of the cases they are diagnosing with RBD are patients currently taking an antidepressant. But because RBD has long been known as a “drug withdrawal state” the risk of RBD in antidepressant withdrawal or Zolpidem and similar drugs could be far greater!
The worst of this disorder is when it is a nightmare you are experiencing when you go into this sleepwalk state. For two decades I have listened to people repeat over and over to me after coming safely off an antidepressant “I acted out my worst nightmare on this drug!” And as I testified before the FDA this previously rare sleep disorder of RBD is exactly what comedian Phil Hartman’s wife experienced when she shot her famous husband under the influence of two serotonergic drugs: Zoloft and Ultram (tramadol).
Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org & http://ssristories.drugawareness.org
Author: *”Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World” & Withdrawal CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!”