Survivor Story 192:10/77 – For the first time I know I am not nuts!

 

A Survivor Speaks Out

2003

This is Survivor Story number 10.
Total number of stories in current database is 77

5/29/2003

For the first time I know I am not nuts!

 

Antidepressants

“I’ve been on Zoloft for about a year and a half and I’ve hated every day of it.”

I’ve been reading through the posts on this site and thanking God that I really am not crazy!

I’ve been on Zoloft for about a year and a half and I’ve hated every day of it. The days I hate the most are when I can’t afford to refill it. I’ve told my doctor several times to please get me OFF THIS! When I can’t afford it I have to stop abruptly. THAT IS HELL!

My face goes numb. Then I my heart starts to skip so bad I can’t stop coughing. Sometimes it even throws me into a full fledged asthma attack even worse sometimes MAJOR panic attacks!

I just want to know how to stop. I just need to get off it. I am not glad that I am not the only who has had this happen but at the same time it’s bitter sweet because at least I am not alone.

If anyone has suggestions PLEASE email me.

Tina
MyMagic8Ball@hotmail.com

3,047 total views, no views today

Survivor Story 193:11/77 – Seroxat Ex-user Story. “Possibly suppressing results of the trials…”

 

A Survivor Speaks Out

2003

This is Survivor Story number 11.
Total number of stories in current database is 77

6/13/2003

Seroxat Ex-user Story

 

Antidepressants

“I simply cannot believe that so many people can be struggling to stay alive as a result of this drug without GSK knowing (and possibly suppressing) the results of their trials…”

First of all I would like to say a big thank you to the people reading this email and I hope that the information below will be of some benefit to others.

I used to live in South Africa and during a very intense period of crime (1995-1996) I was involved in 2 separate shooting incidents that I was lucky to survive, the second one occurring whilst I was the responsible adult for two of my nephews. Luckily we were not hurt. However the experience so scared me that I decided to leave South Africa and return to England, where I was born (I am now 32 years old).

I arrived in October 1996, and managed to find a job on the outskirts of London beginning 1997. I worked very well for about 6-7 months, when I noticed that I was finding it increasingly difficult to sleep, I (erringly) put this down to my age. All was relatively well until Christmas 1997, the morning after Christmas Day saw me standing outside in the snow in only my underwear burning up and unable to breathe – my first panic attack. My brother, sister-in-law and my mother not knowing what to do called the ambulance service and there I was in hospital for the first time since I was born. My brother drove me back to my flat after I had recovered and I was ok for a few days and then one morning in the shower – boom – panic attack number two. This time I knew what was happening to me so managed to keep it under control (just). Two weeks later I had another one, this one left me so dizzy that I fell down a flight of steps at a train station, not too serious luckily for me.

I decided that since I had no idea what was going on, and having NEVER ever had an illness in my life other than measles as a child and chickenpox in my early 20’s, I decided to go to a professional i.e. a doctor. This doctor, a delightful, heavily-pregnant lady listened to my story and said “it sounds like an acute anxiety disorder” and told me to register with a doctor near where I lived (I have never, ever needed a doctor in my life, except for sports injuries, cuts from falling off bikes etc.) so I duly did as I was told. I was aware that life for me was holding less and less interest, I had split with my girlfriend, the job was good, but overall things were down and I was becoming more and more easily jumpy at noises. The doctor I ended up visiting spent some time with me and recommended 40mg Seroxat per day (in the USA I am given it’s trade name is Paxil).

The horror, the horror. 2-3 days after starting, stomach problems i.e. involuntary bowel evacuation which I had put down to acute anxiety/PTSD as I was told I had, electric shocks in the head especially when moving the head from side to side or the eyes, still no sleep, breathing more difficult than before (I used to regularly run medium distance competitive runs for which I still have the medals), and so many other little things that made me into a different person, most notably violent tendencies. I got into 4 fights during that time, the fourth one was not so good because I challenged 2 guys and ended up in casualty wing of hospital with a broken nose, much to the horror of my mother who I was visiting at the time, which led to her and I not talking now for close on 4 years.

I finished my holiday and went back to work and found that I was completely unable to function properly. My employer, who was one of the most understanding people I ever had the honour and opportunity to work with, eventually made it clear that if I didn’t jump, I would be pushed. As I believe that dead wood should be cut away I readily agreed to this, even though I had nowhere to go to next. I didn’t really care however, all I was waiting for was to die. Never had I heard of anything like this before.

So I spent the next few months living off my savings and a loan from my bank, and decided that this Seroxat was probably the cause of the mushy head I had but was not sure. I had to work as I was looking after my brother and his family but in order to do that I HAD to work, so I kept on with the drug and looked for work. I had been prescribed some form of beta blocker over and above the Seroxat because the Seroxat seemed to have no real beneficial effect on me, immediately I started with them as well I felt much better simply because respiration and pulse slowed down so much I didn’t feel like I was always on the verge of another panic attack. So, I stopped taking the Seroxat immediately.

OOOPPSSS! what a nightmare! Nowhere in the literature supplied in the packaging of the drug, nor in any conversation with my doctor of the day, was there any indication of the physical pain and mental anguish that followed. I lost the plot completely, never felt anything like it. Constant electric shocks in the head and hands, wanting to die, it was awful. I started drinking to try and alleviate the pain and allow myself to sleep, bad idea I know, but the last thing I wanted to do was to take some other form of terrible chemical into my system. I stopped the beta blockers as I eventually ran out of money, at that stage I really didn’t care much about anything, most especially myself.

I went to stay with the brother, who had stayed with me, for a month or two, his exact words were “Come and stay with me and the family until you are through this” which I thought was fair given he had stayed with me for so long, however within a month his tune had changed “You have to get a job now or you cant stay” were I think his exact words, not what you want to hear when you are going through what I was, but dutifully I found a contract nearby and went back to work for 3 months. It was so difficult, it was a simple job compared to what I was doing, yet I found it so hard to do, and still the electric shocks in the brain. I still couldn’t get back into the things I enjoyed doing, all I could do was get up in the morning, go to work, leave work, go to a bar and have a couple drinks until the zinging sensation in my head was sufficiently dulled for me to try to relax, then go back to my brother’s house. My two nephews there simply could not understand why Uncle Mikey didn’t want to play any more (we always took time to do things together, bike riding etc.)

After 6 months of this I found some more simplistic part time contract work, less hours but better money per hour and I was feeling a lot better about myself and of course the serotonin levels were going up naturally, but still the zaps in the head, not constantly now but whenever there was a sudden noise near me or someone surprised me in some way (even a fork falling on a plate) but I still thought that this was probably something to do with PTSD and my disillusionment with doctors in general (unfair that it is) meant that I never went to get a second opinion.

This fluctuating state of affairs has been the norm ever since, I have been more and more into debt as I am unable now to work to the hours most people expect, yet costs are not going down so debt levels grow. Thus, we come to Monday of this week, and I see the news in England that Seroxat is now not to be given to under 18’s – I follow the link to the Seroxat Users Group website and lo! – there are hundreds of people, and a petition signed by thousands, all feeling the same symptoms, either while withdrawing from the drug or like me, up to 5 years later (I am the worst I have identified so far but believe me I am still researching) – The horror the horror! What has this drug done to us? It did nothing to me but ruin my personal life, leave me in no position to work so in serious debt.

I was so relieved to find the website I was in tears (another new trait of mine since Seroxat) and I have been actively involved with the website and others ever since.

IT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT that people around the world are made aware of the side effects and withdrawal effects of Seroxat(Paxil) as experienced and independently reported by so many of us. I am deeply afraid that I have been permanently affected by using this drug, if I had any idea that what has happened to me could have happened I would have stayed in South Africa and taken my chances with a quick round to the head rather than the (feared permanent) affects I am now suffering with. I am also wishing to pursue a lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, I simply cannot believe that so many people can be struggling to stay alive as a result of this drug without GSK knowing (and possibly suppressing) the results of their trials, surely the trials must have shown a strangely disproportionate amount of symptoms against their placebo tests, surely?

I wish anyone who reads this story the best of luck if they are on Seroxat/Paxil, if anyone has been advised to use it I would say “NO! find an alternative treatment” without hesitation, and if anyone can tell me the name of a lawyer in England that can help me try to recoup some of the tremendous financial losses of using Seroxat, I would be deeply and eternally grateful to that person.

I am so glad it was not me, everyone told me it was, very hurtful when it comes from your own family members, I feel so vindicated as a result of this week, let’s all work together to ensure that no more harm is done and reparation is made by GSK.

Yours Faithfully,
(more healed in the last 5 days than ever with Seroxat or the 5 years that followed)

Mike Rushworth
mikeyrush@hotmail.com

354 total views, no views today

Survivor Story 194:12/77 – My 10-year Nightmare Started with Prozac.

 

A Survivor Speaks Out

2003

This is Survivor Story number 12.
Total number of stories in current database is 77

6/16/2003

My 10-year Nightmare Started with Prozac

 

Antidepressants

“My mental and many physical disorders were caused primarily by the medication I was given by my doctors. I lost 10 years of my life.”

Dr. Tracy,

I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping
our daughter, Leslie. Without the information from your book and tape it is doubtful that we would have known how to get her off of her drugs.

She recently spoke in front of about 50 people, telling her story. Believe me, 1 1/2 years ago she would not have walked into a room with more that 5 people without experiencing serious anxiety.

I just read your newsletter about the woman’s daughter who had mutilated herself. Our Leslie did also and her doctor tried to convince us that she had already done that as a child. She hadn’t of course, not until she was prescribed all of the many drugs.

She has been on a roller coaster, but is doing so wonderful now. She is no longer taking anything and is outgoing, happy, active in her
children’s education and in her church.

Her husband frequently tells her that he feels like they are newly weds because he hadn’t seen her that way for almost 11 years.

Her children frequently tell her that they are so happy to have their mom back.

I would like to send you a transcript of her story that she told to the 50 people.

Please continue your campaign, we have told many people about your book and tape.

Marion Schiffgen
____________________________

Leslie’s lecture she just gave:

My name is Leslie Judd and I appreciate the opportunity to tell you my story. I recently had a major life change. This came about because of information that was passed on to me by Young Living. It also came about because of encouragement from my family, friends and because of my faith.

Close to 11 years ago I experienced some serious depression. I now recognize that it was most likely post-partum depression, since it began following the birth of my third child. The condition was serious enough to cause me to be unable to function normally. After a visit to the doctor, I came home with a prescription for Prozac. This was the beginning of a 10year nightmare.

Almost immediately within the first few days I began having side effects such as hallucinations, hearing voices and no relief from the depression. I went back to the doctor, who now prescribed Paxil and Trazadone. Temporarily, it seemed to help with the depression, but I was a zombie all of the time. I felt like I had a hangover every morning. With Paxil, and all of the anti-depressants I took from then on, I had what is called a withdrawal or “wear-off effect”. Basically it is a withdrawal caused by the fact that my body soon adjusted to the dosage and then I would need a higher dosage. Symptoms of this effect were electrical sensations throughout my body, a shutters and whoosh sound with every move and a trailing when I moved or turned my head. This continued to increase until the doctor would change my medication and I would begin the cycle again.

I began fluctuating between depression and hypomania.

I started seeing a therapist, the therapist referred me to a psychiatrist. She put me on Zoloft next. Starting with a fairly low dose. My initial diagnosis began as Major Depressive Disorder, but soon became Dysthymia, or severe mood disorder. After trying different antidepressants, like Effexor, Serzone ( now off the market due to the fact that it causes liver failure) and Wellbutrin, all of which gave only temporary relief, she decided to try lithium because my symptoms had become like that of a bipolar patient. (So now the diagnosis had become Bipolar II disorder) My condition began to worsen.

At this time the doctor decided to experiment with different types of drugs such anti-seizure medications, such as Topamax, Depakote, Lamictal and Neurontin, as well as anti-psychotics, like Risperdal, Seroquel, and Zyprexa, causing me to have a multitude of other side-effects such as tremors, visual disturbances, anxiety and nervous problems for which I was prescribed benzodiazepines. Guess what, I was more depressed, I was more ill than I had ever been before in my life.

Due to an inherent back problem, I have always, even as a teen, had back pain. Now my back pain was getting worse. The medications decreased my pain tolerance. I developed Fybromyalga. I became obsessed with illness and with pain. I gained an excessive amount of weight. I also began behaving impulsively, lost interest in relationships and developed social phobias, such as agoraphobia (fear of public places, not wanting to leave home). I would panic in crowds, break out in a sweat, collapsing in terror.

Of course my children were suffering during this whole time because I was unable to provide nurturing. I could not feel joy or affection, and I became obsessed with death. I didn’t want anyone to touch me, cried sometimes uncontrollably but could never explain why. I felt hopeless. I felt like a burden to everybody. I spoke with slurred speech, couldn’t find words and had loss of memory. The tremors became so severe that I could no longer write a check or sign my name. This only led to more anti social behavior and self isolation.

Every month I went to my doctor, each time my medication and dosage were changed. There was a point during the ten years that I realized the medication was making me sick. Especially when I got lithium toxicity. My body was holding on to all fluid, I was bloated beyond recognition, my pupils were dilated (one more than the other), I started to get panicky and I had constant nausea and severe headaches along with other symptoms which alarmed my husband, and he called my doctor who told me to stop taking the medication immediately.

This stopped the toxicity from progressing, but the immediate withdrawal caused me to crash into an even deeper depression. More medication, without relief, more suicidal ideation. Alcohol binges.

During this whole time, my husband, family and friends stood by me. I didn’t know it, I didn’t care. I even expressed hostility towards those who tried to reach out to me with their concerns. I had no interests, no hobbies outside of the dark, morose, and depressing. My music, books, movies that I watched all dealt with depressing subjects, especially death. I had total dissociation (Feeling as though I were transparent or not feeling anything at all.) I slept most of my days, but had to take drugs to sleep at night too. I had nightmares if I dreamt at all. I was always jittery and hyper vigilant. I could not tolerate any light and often called myself a vampire.

I had to have throat surgery due to sleep apnea, anther side effect from the weight gain. And during the recuperation time we made a move to Chino Valley. Major stress, beyond what I was able to deal with and within a few weeks I was hospitalized for the first time for a breakdown. I was in the hospital for 10 days. It was a frightening experience. Locked doors, scary people and more medication changes.

When I was released and came home I was worse than ever. My eyes were dead. I shook uncontrollably, actually a side effect of anti seizure medications. I had to move my legs constantly. I was having hallucinations. I had absolutely no energy and no desire to do anything. I felt empty. My family rallied to get me back on my feet. Friends brought dinner to help out. But I really remember very little of this time period. It was as if I were seeing things from outside of my body.

I felt nothing. I just wanted to die. This is when it all started to climax. My symptoms escalated to the point that I had to be hospitalized again. During this whole time, my psychiatrist kept assuring me that it was just a matter of time until the right balance of medication was determined. It was trial and error. Ten years of trial and error! From my 25th year until I was 36years old. The years that I should have enjoyed most with my husband and young family.

An attempted suicide made for my second hospital stay, where I was humiliated in front of other patients by psychiatric techs, after which I made another attempt to end my life while I was still in the hospital. I lied to get out of the hospital, telling them I felt better. Eight days later I went home on new drugs.

Two weeks later I was back in for another eight days. I was so out of it. I felt like I was in a vacuum. I did things contrary to my nature, not even thinking of consequences. Nothing mattered. On leaving the hospital following my third stay, I was told that my diagnosis was Bipolar II, Panic and anxiety disorder, PTSD ( post traumatic stress disorder), and Borderline Personality Disorder with psychotic episodes. It seemed that I would just get worse and never well again.

Back home, my family searched for answers, looked for ways to help me. Good friends, Brian and Barb Kuckuck went to a Young Living convention in California. They returned with help. An audio tape and a book from Dr. Ann Blake Tracy.

The tape opened our eyes to the destruction of people’s lives these drugs cause. I today know I have a disposition towards depression, but I am not bipolar, I am not psychotic and I do not have a borderline personality disorder. My mental and many physical disorders were caused primarily by the medication I was given by my doctors. I lost 10 years of my life.

I followed Dr. Tracy’s guidelines for tapering off of the medication and I have been using the Cortistop and various supplements as well as essential oils, particularly Peace and Calming, Valor and Clarity, without which, I know it would have been much more difficult to break free from the drugs. The weaning process is a long one, it can last for up to two years, but it is worth it.

Today I have been completely free of my medications for 5 months. Although I still have some residual side-effects, I am living my life again and enjoying it. I thank Young Living and Dr. Ann Blake Tracy for making me aware, I thank my husband and children for their untiring love and patience, thanks to my family for their persistence and love in searching for something to help, I appreciate my friends, who were there for me even though I didn’t know it and I especially thank my faith for giving me the strength and courage to succeed.

Marion Schiffgen

234 total views, no views today

Survivor Story 195:13/77 – A Paxil Withdrawal Success Story. “it was altering the way I thought”

 

A Survivor Speaks Out

2003

This is Survivor Story number 13.
Total number of stories in current database is 77

7/8/2003

A Paxil Withdrawal Success Story

 

Antidepressants

“The Paxil was altering the way I thought – my thought processes were not me.”

My story has no tragic ending to it…THANK GOD!!!!

Pre-Paxil: I was experiencing severe anxiety (mostly physical sensations running through my body) along with just feeling NOT like myself. It was like someone else was walking around in my body instead of me – I had lost myself. My sense of well-being was totally destroyed… I could experience no comfort in anything – nothing. After an initial visit with a psychiatrist for 65 minutes, I was diagnosed with life-long depression (dysthymia) and now I had hit an even deeper depression. No reason why, just happened. I guess the years of raising two wonderful lively healthy sons, being married for over 25 years, active in volunteer work, working full time, seemingly well adjusted to this life with all it’s foibles and struggles…all counted for nothing.

So, I started taking Paxil.

Paxil days: I was so black inside – I could not be alone – I have NEVER been that way my entire life! My hands were shaking so bad I could hardly write. Interestingly the depression seemed to be subsiding – there was an indiscernible ‘lift’ – but I was still not myself. I fought anxiety and a feeling of desperation constantly!!! I told my husband numerous times how much I loved him and no matter what happens to me don’t ever forget that… Because sometimes I feel like I won’t be able to control the urge to kill myself. Someone suggested I see a peri-menopausal specialist – I may need estrogen. I am pushing 300% to just get through the day…

Paxil and estrogen days: After beginning the estrogen it only took a few days to “feel” myself coming back. YES! It is slow – but Lynda is coming back. However, I still shake – my sleep isn’t right – it’s not restful, no appetite, still feel overwhelmed in my thoughts, confused and hard to concentrate… but I can deal with all of that because my sense of well-being is returning. I want to stop the Paxil. It is altering the way I think.

Paxil withdrawal: My symptoms…horrible aches all throughout my body… I could hardly open and close my hands it was so painful. Felt like I had a huge case of the flu… confusion, inability to concentrate – worse than ever. I started experiencing the electrical zaps in my brain. Frightening! I was very, very dizzy. Ultra confused. I could hardly lift my head off of the pillow because the pain was so intense in my neck and head . I began experiencing stomach cramps and severe diarrhea. And the nightmares! They were horrible! VIVID bad dreams. And I could hardly handle the intensity of sights and sounds… I thought I was going crazy! I had to fight the intense feeling that I had to take more Paxil… and the intense feeling that I had to drink (I am a recovering alcoholic – 17 months sobriety)…

Day 10 of Paxil withdrawal – July 7th, 2003: Without a doubt I can say my brain is working better than it has in 6 months. I still have stomach cramps, dizziness, intense dreams, zapping sounds in my brain…. but I can finally say the total Lynda is almost back. The Paxil was altering the way I thought – my thought processes were not me. This is different than a sense of well-being . The sense of well-being was lost because of the hormone deficiency. I could never have handled the Paxil withdrawals had I not had my sense of well-being back. The altered way I was thinking was prompted by the Paxil.

Thankfully I never acted upon the suicide thoughts. Thankfully I never was violent (although I had to work extremely hard to control myself).

Lynda Frieden
LFRIEDEN@svbank.com

280 total views, no views today

Survivor Story 185:3/77 – An Answer to Our Nightmare on Paxil “No on a crusade to help”

 

A Survivor Speaks Out

2003

This is Survivor Story number 3.
Total number of stories in current database is 77

2/16/2003

An Answer to Our Nightmare on Paxil

 

Antidepressants

“I feel like I am on a crusade to help prevent another family and child from going through this experience.”

Finding this web sight was such a revelation to us. After reading through all of the experiences, we knew that we finally had the answer to the nightmare that we experienced. I immediately wrote the following letter to all of the doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, and special education teachers that had worked with my son. I feel like I am on a crusade to help prevent another family and child from going through this experience.

Our son began experiencing anxiety and panic attacks upon our move to a new home in the country. They became frequent enough for us to seek help. We found a therapist and upon his recommendation, we took him to our family doctor. The doctor prescribed 5 mg. of Paxil. Almost immediately, there was a change in his personality. He became much more anxious, angry, and aggressive. Our son had never exhibited this behavior before. A phone call to the doctor resulted in raising the level to 10 mg. At this time, he began having horrible rages and out of control behavior. He destroyed the interior of our vehicle, and kept threatening to jump out of the moving vehicle. At that point, in desperation, I called a psychiatrist. He raised the dosage of Paxil to 20 mg. and added 15 mg. of Buspar! This caused us to visit hell with our son. At therapy, I voiced my concern that his behavior and personality were so strange. The therapist approach was to discuss his behavior as though he were deliberately misbehaving. Following that session, our son become enraged and proceeded to rage at me, his father, destroyed his bedroom, verbally and physically abused us for approximately 3-4 hours that evening. We finally got through to the doctor who immediately told us to not give him any more of the drugs. We stopped the drugs cold turkey. He had been on the Paxil for less than a month.

This was the beginning of a least a 3-year journey into hell, which we now believe was generated by the Paxil, and later on the Serzone. He continued to have rages, severe “fight or flight’ responses where he would run away from anything he thought might threaten him . He was unable to function in school and we had to place him in special education as an emotionally disturbed child. A special “one on one” aide was given to him to help keep him from running away. He repeatedly abused us verbally and often physically. He would lie in bed at night sobbing at how he felt. At different times he would threaten to hurt himself as well as others. Any little thing would set him off and he would go into another “rage” that could last for hours.

At that time, we visited with another psychiatrist and began seeing another therapist. Our son was put on Serzone and we were told to increase his dosage until 350 mg. He continued to fall apart, and twice we ended up at the Crisis Center. The second time, we were told to raise his Serzone to 600 mg. and keep him at home. Our lives had been devastated. And still no one could give us a real reason for his bizarre, out of control, so totally out of character, behavior, other than to tell us he had Panic and Anxiety disorder. Bi-polar and other disorders were discussed. In therapy, Bi-Polar disorder was discussed, possible abuse was insinuated. We now believe that the real problem was personality changes brought on by the medication and yet no one addressed this possibility. Our psychiatrist left it to our discretion to raise and lower our sons medications as we saw the need. We knew that we wanted him off and once he seemed calmer, we took it upon ourselves to gradually, very slowly remove him from the meds completely. It took us over a year, and now our son has been drug free since March of 2002. His personality has come back. He is doing well in school. He has not had a rage in a year. He is a loving, happy kid and we are looking at a happy life again.

We are angry and disgusted. We are terrified when we think about all that has happened. All because of a lack of knowledge on the part of professionals who should have realized that the problems we were having were not because of family life, or mental illness or abuse or “being angry with your mother”. Drug companies are experimenting on our children and doctors are taking the word of these people and dispensing drugs without fully knowing or appreciating the consequences.

Please, when a desperate parent comes to you for help, before you write out that prescription, make sure that you inform the patient and parents about all the potential problems. Research the drug fully so that when you dispense it you can do so with good conscience. Think, before you attribute the problem to “family problems” that maybe a child is experiencing a reaction to one of these drugs and treat the problem immediately. Pharmaceutical drugs save lives, but also destroy lives.

Our lives will never be the same, but we are recovering. We were lucky. Our son is still alive and the future looks bright. My goal is to make sure that as many people know about what happened so that others may avoid the hell we went through.

0

Doris and Brian Petro
314 Co. Rd. F45
Penrose, CO 8124
petro@amigo.net

529 total views, no views today

Survivor Story 186:4/77 – Sturggling to Withdraw from Paxil.

 

A Survivor Speaks Out

2003

This is Survivor Story number 4.
Total number of stories in current database is 77

3/12/2003

Sturggling to Withdraw from Paxil

 

Antidepressants

“Thanks for everything you’re doing to help people like me and for working so hard to get these drugs off the market.”

I’ve taken SSRI’s for nine years and am really struggling in my withdrawal from Effexor. I am unable to work due to my inability to focus, mood swings, fatigue, etc. I’m trying to read your book, but slowly. I have a hard time focusing. Its hard to believe these drugs are still being manufactured, marketed, and distributed the way they are in light of all the information and documentation you present.

I am on a nutrition supplement. If I wasn’t, I probably wouldn’t get any nutrition at all due to my low appetite. Today is a bad day, I can’t believe this is happening to me. I can’t work, I’ve never been unable to work for any reason. I’ve always worked and enjoyed working. Now I abhor the thought of trying to undergo the process of looking for a different job because I know I can hardly function at times. My husband and I will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary later this month, but my withdrawal has definitely taken some of the joy out of that. Not to mention the tremendous stress this has placed on our new marriage. My husband’s first wife died of cancer, he cared for her for several months as she deteriorated. I don’t know if he’s going to be able to handle this. He can’t understand why I just don’t find another job and start working again. I look like I’m fine, what’s the problem? I’ve tried to explain to him what this is like and what this is about but I think he completely discounts it. Its just not real to him. I don’t know what to do anymore. He’s getting tired of all this, as I am. But I didn’t ask for this, and I have tried to explain that to him to no avail. I feel really guilty and ashamed, putting this added pressure on him. Today was such a bad day, I woke up feeling hopeless and alone. I spent a good deal of it crying, and isolated. I just feel so spent, like there’s nothing much left in me. I don’t mean to sound like I’m whining, but I don’t know where else to turn. Do you have any suggestions or direction for me?

As far as my withdrawal goes, I did do my first cut back today in awhile. I have been on 37.5mg for a couple months and had been maintaining. I have the capsules, not the tablets. From what I’ve heard its easier to withdraw using the SR version. I divided the capsules as best I could, I think I’m probably at about 32mg now. I can’t wait until I’m off this drug. I’m exercising every day, but when I look in the mirror I feel disgusted because I put on about 30 pounds from being on this drug. I never had a weight problem in my life so that part of this is hard too. I guess that’s all for now. Hope this isn’t too long. Its hard for me to take the time to sit down and focus to do this so I think I get a little wordy because I’m afraid I won’t be able to write again for awhile. Thanks for everything you’re doing to help people like me and for working so hard to get these drugs off the market.

KathyKatLover@aol.com

98 total views, no views today

Survivor Story 187:5/77 – Serotonergic Poisoning on Paxil. “Horrible electrical feelings in my mouth.”

 

A Survivor Speaks Out

2003

This is Survivor Story number 5.
Total number of stories in current database is 77

4/5/2003

Serotonergic Poisoning on Paxil

 

Antidepressants

“My teeth no longer feel like my teeth and I have horrible electrical feelings in my mouth.”

I was being treated for a bipolar depression with St. John’s Wort, and my doctor prescribed Seroxat (Paxil). This was in June 1999. I became seriously ill within three days and then had all sorts of drugs thrown at me for my “depression.”

All these brought various horrors with them. In fact I suffered “serotonergic poisoning” for 22 months.

There was no acceptance of my constant statement that Seroxat was responsible (although I was taken off it after a while). There are no words to describe what it felt like. I could so easily be dead, for several reasons.

I feel terribly disabled now with a variety of neurological damage caused by the experience. e.g.. My teeth no longer feel like my teeth and I have horrible electrical feelings in my mouth. This is called ‘OFD.’ Of course I am receiving medication for this.

In summary I could say that my life is wrecked, but I try not to make sweeping statements for my own sake.

I am progressing as bravely as I can and want to make as good a recovery as possible. This is the only way, otherwise I would truly despair, and if I have any choice in the matter I am not going to let this win. This is the real me talking, rather than the drugs.

 

156 total views, no views today

Survivor Story 188:6/77 – Confused on Desipramine. I could not understand what was coming out of my mouth!

 

A Survivor Speaks Out

2003

This is Survivor Story number 6.
Total number of stories in current database is 77

4/15/2003

Confused on Desipramine

 

Other Medications

“…(I) could not understand the English that was coming out of my mouth, and about every third word my wife was saying.”

As I have scanned through the accounts of those affected in a life altering way, I have yet to run across any dealing with desipramine, so I guess I must add my short yet important experience to the mix.

I began seeing a Pain Management Doctor, one that happens to be young, and also deeply cares whether he helps me or not. His interpretation of my sleeplessness, and my addiction to pain (it controls my life, therefore by definition classifies as an addiction), as depression for which I was prescribed Desipramine.

After two weeks my wife informs me that she thinks it is not something that is helping me, other than my newfound ability to sleep at night, which was impressive enough to ignore the one that’s opinion means more to me than anyone’s on earth. And for a note, that part of the story was many bottles or months if you will, ago.

Three weeks ago, I “came to” if you will and could not understand the English that was coming out of my mouth, and about every third word my wife was saying. It confused me to the point that I though she was full up of the maintenance that was part of helping a disabled 42 year old man entailed, and was going to divorce me, from which came what I now know as a panic attack.

Once we were able to communicate through the fog, I understood she was mine forever, and she wanted to know what course I intended to pursue. I told her to wean off of those “blue pills” was my first mission, and informed the Dr. that it was my intention to get rid of them, he wrote a prescription stating to take half a dose. With this as the reasoning, I decided to take the usual 2 and then 1, then 2 then 1 and 1. So forth until I was taking one then none for seven days. I seems to have worked rather well and by the Grace of God I can remember why I am leaving the house more often than before, and I presume the most important question is, how many of you have dealt with Desipramine and what did it do to you?

Robert Joinerville
Texas
joinerville.1@email.com

351 total views, no views today

Survivor Story 189:7/77 – Effexor Survivor “I tried to commit suicide 2nd week on Effexor”

 

A Survivor Speaks Out

2003

This is Survivor Story number 7.
Total number of stories in current database is 77

4.15.2003

Effexor Survivor

 

Antidepressants

” I was taking Effexor into about my second week when I tried to commit suicide.”

My name is Amanda and I was taking Effexor into about my second week when I tried to commit suicide.

I firmly believe that this drug played a huge part in my doing so. I would never even entertain that idea under any depression that I had been through. I was the type of person who could not understand how a person could inflict pain upon themselves.

I have been tried on every drug that you can just about think of. Now I am labeled bipolar and take Seroquel at bedtime, and Wellbutrin in the day. High doses I might add, but the point I want to stick too is the fact that Effexor changed my whole personality my whole outlook on life and I didn’t even realize it. It was like I went crazy!

I believe that I have been used over and over as a guinea pig. I am 31 years old and I have been taking different meds since 1996. When tried on Effexor in 2001 I came very close to ending my life.

twnsmom2@aol.com

169 total views, no views today

ICFDA Survivor Story

A Survivor Speaks Out

2003

This is Survivor Story number 3.
Total number of stories in current database is 77

2/16/2003

An Answer to Our Nightmare on Paxil

Antidepressants

“I feel like I am on a crusade to help prevent another family and child from going through this experience.”

Finding this web sight was such a revelation to us. After reading through all of the experiences, we knew that we finally had the answer to the nightmare that we experienced. I immediately wrote the following letter to all of the doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, and special education teachers that had worked with my son. I feel like I am on a crusade to help prevent another family and child from going through this experience.

Our son began experiencing anxiety and panic attacks upon our move to a new home in the country. They became frequent enough for us to seek help. We found a therapist and upon his recommendation, we took him to our family doctor. The doctor prescribed 5 mg. of Paxil. Almost immediately, there was a change in his personality. He became much more anxious, angry, and aggressive. Our son had never exhibited this behavior before. A phone call to the doctor resulted in raising the level to 10 mg. At this time, he began having horrible rages and out of control behavior. He destroyed the interior of our vehicle, and kept threatening to jump out of the moving vehicle. At that point, in desperation, I called a psychiatrist. He raised the dosage of Paxil to 20 mg. and added 15 mg. of Buspar! This caused us to visit hell with our son. At therapy, I voiced my concern that his behavior and personality were so strange. The therapist approach was to discuss his behavior as though he were deliberately misbehaving. Following that session, our son become enraged and proceeded to rage at me, his father, destroyed his bedroom, verbally and physically abused us for approximately 3-4 hours that evening. We finally got through to the doctor who immediately told us to not give him any more of the drugs. We stopped the drugs cold turkey. He had been on the Paxil for less than a month.

This was the beginning of a least a 3-year journey into hell, which we now believe was generated by the Paxil, and later on the Serzone. He continued to have rages, severe “fight or flight’ responses where he would run away from anything he thought might threaten him . He was unable to function in school and we had to place him in special education as an emotionally disturbed child. A special “one on one” aide was given to him to help keep him from running away. He repeatedly abused us verbally and often physically. He would lie in bed at night sobbing at how he felt. At different times he would threaten to hurt himself as well as others. Any little thing would set him off and he would go into another “rage” that could last for hours.

At that time, we visited with another psychiatrist and began seeing another therapist. Our son was put on Serzone and we were told to increase his dosage until 350 mg. He continued to fall apart, and twice we ended up at the Crisis Center. The second time, we were told to raise his Serzone to 600 mg. and keep him at home. Our lives had been devastated. And still no one could give us a real reason for his bizarre, out of control, so totally out of character, behavior, other than to tell us he had Panic and Anxiety disorder. Bi-polar and other disorders were discussed. In therapy, Bi-Polar disorder was discussed, possible abuse was insinuated. We now believe that the real problem was personality changes brought on by the medication and yet no one addressed this possibility. Our psychiatrist left it to our discretion to raise and lower our sons medications as we saw the need. We knew that we wanted him off and once he seemed calmer, we took it upon ourselves to gradually, very slowly remove him from the meds completely. It took us over a year, and now our son has been drug free since March of 2002. His personality has come back. He is doing well in school. He has not had a rage in a year. He is a loving, happy kid and we are looking at a happy life again.

We are angry and disgusted. We are terrified when we think about all that has happened. All because of a lack of knowledge on the part of professionals who should have realized that the problems we were having were not because of family life, or mental illness or abuse or “being angry with your mother”. Drug companies are experimenting on our children and doctors are taking the word of these people and dispensing drugs without fully knowing or appreciating the consequences.

Please, when a desperate parent comes to you for help, before you write out that prescription, make sure that you inform the patient and parents about all the potential problems. Research the drug fully so that when you dispense it you can do so with good conscience. Think, before you attribute the problem to “family problems” that maybe a child is experiencing a reaction to one of these drugs and treat the problem immediately. Pharmaceutical drugs save lives, but also destroy lives.

Our lives will never be the same, but we are recovering. We were lucky. Our son is still alive and the future looks bright. My goal is to make sure that as many people know about what happened so that others may avoid the hell we went through.

0

Doris and Brian Petro
314 Co. Rd. F45
Penrose, CO 8124
petro@amigo.net

415 total views, no views today