This is Survivor Story number 34.
Total number of stories in current database is 77
Prozac Dose Increased to 40mg, Dad Kills Himself
“Please, Senators put a stop to wide spread use of SSRI’s, because death is forever”
I want to tell you how an SSRI has completely changed my family, forever.
My dad was told by his family dr. that he had a chemical imbalance of Serotonin and that he needed to take one, 20mg, Prozac every day for the rest of his life.
My parents believed that. So every day for 5 years my dad took his wonder drug.
Dad had an open ended prescription, he saw his family dr. once a year to re-issue his yearly prescription. He also found a discount pharmaceutical laboratory where he could buy his Prozac in bulk.
Over time he gradually became more, and more, manic. Dad retired during those 5 years he was on Prozac, but he took on several part-time jobs. He was picking up and or delivering cars for car dealerships, here in Omaha.
But he would travel all over the country to pick up the cars. He was also doing handyman jobs, like building retaining walls, cleaning out gutters and building patio covers. Then in the winter he was in charge of snow removal for a janitorial company. That meant, every time it snowed, dad had to make sure all the properties that the janitorial service cleaned, were also cleared of snow.
He was hardly sleeping. Sometimes he was home for 4 hours and then on the road again to get another car. Remember, he was suppose to be retired!
Sometime in the spring of 2000 dad stopped taking Prozac. I think he just couldn’t keep going at that pace and he felt it was Prozac that was driving him to go, go, go. We didn’t know that he stopped. I had been telling him over and over during the 5 years that I didn’t think there was a chemical imbalance, and I didn’t think he needed to take Prozac but, we didn’t know that stopping cold turkey could be so deadly.
Over Memorial weekend 2000 my family started to notice that dad was not acting his normal self. He was very withdrawn. It was then that my family realized he stopped taking Prozac. He went back to his family dr. and he put dad right back on Prozac.
That didn’t work, dad was getting more and more depressed. So the family DR put my dad on Effexor. When that didn’t work either the family dr. put my dad in the hospital and called in a psychiatrist. Dad stayed in the hospital for 2 days and was released to go home.
The family dr. told my dad to stop taking the Effexor and go back on Prozac. The DR. had my dad increase the dosage of Prozac from 20mg to 40mg a day.
My dad was at home and he was suffering. He laid on the couch and the light bothered him, so he covered his head with a blanket and noise bothered him too. He wanted the room dark and quiet. I think dad was suffering from serious withdrawals and his dr. didn’t know it.
After 4 days of being on Prozac at 40mg my dad got up off the couch when no one was home, he walked downstairs to the basement and found a gun. He then walked upstairs to his bedroom, and went into the bathroom, and there, in the shower, he shot himself. My mom found him dead, laying there when she came home.
Senators, this should have never happened! For one thing a family dr. should not be allowed to prescribe these mind altering drugs with no knowledge of their side effects, or that they can cause serious withdrawals, not to mention the fact that a family dr. doesn’t know about depression, or mental health issues. These SSRI’s were never tested for long term side effects. No proof has been shown to prove the chemical imbalance theory. So why can Drs.. continue to prescribe these drugs to their patients, to take permanently.
My dad would still be here today, if his family dr. would have sent him to see a psychiatrist and not just prescribed Prozac. I think this is gross neglect and it is happening everyday. Please, Senators put a stop to wide spread use of SSRI’s, because death is forever!