My 10 Year Antidepressant-induced Nightmare Trip Into Hell

My name is Leslie Judd and I appreciate the opportunity to tell you my
story. I recently had a major life change which came about because of
information from Dr. Ann Blake-Tracy that was passed on to me by Young Living
Essential Oils.

Eleven years ago, I experienced some serious depression which I now
recognize was most likely postpartum 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, and this was the beginning of a ten-year nightmare.

Within the first few days, I began having hallucinations and hearing
voices, but had no relief from the depression. At my next appointment, the
doctor prescribed Paxil and Trazodone. 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, which means that my body soon
adjusted to the new dosage and then I would need a higher dosage. Symptoms
of this effect were electrical sensations throughout my body, shudders and
whoosh sound with every move. Also, a trailing feeling when I moved or
turned my head. This increased until the doctor would change my medication and
I would begin the cycle again. I began fluctuating between depression and
hypomania.

The therapist I started seeing referred me to a psychiatrist, who put me on
a fairly low dose of Zoloft. My initial diagnosis was 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.

Next, the doctor decided to experiment with different types of drugs such
as anti-seizure medications (such as Topamax, Depakote, Lamictal and
Neurotin) and anti-psychotics (such as Risperdal, Sroquel, and Zyprexa), which
caused 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 became even more depressed and I was more ill than I had ever
been before in my life.

The inherent back problem I have had since I was a teenager was now getting
worse. The medications decreased my pain tolerance. I developed
fibromyalgia. 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, and collapse in terror.

I could not feel joy or affection, and didn’t want anyone to touch me. I
became obsessed with death. Sometimes, I cried uncontrollably without knowing
why. I felt like I was 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 when I went to my doctor, 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.

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

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. To get out of
the hospital, I lied by telling them I felt better. Eight days later, I
went home on new drugs.

After two weeks at home, I was back in the hospital 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 the consequences. Nothing mattered. On
leaving the hospital following my third stay, I was told that my diagnosis
was Bipolar II, Panic and Anxiety Disorder, PRSD (post-traumatic stress
disorder), and Borderline Personality Disorder with psychotic episodes. It
seemed that I would just get worse and never be well again.

Back home, my family searched for answers. Our good friends, Brian and Barb
Kuckuck, went to a Young Living convention in California and returned with
help — an audio tape and a book by Ann Blake-Tracy.

The tape opened our eyes to the destruction that these drugs can cause in
people’s lives. Today, I know that 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 physical disorders were caused primarily
by the medication I was given by my doctors.

I lost ten years of my life.

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

Today, I have been completely free of my medications for five months.
Although I still have some residual side effects, I am living my life again and
enjoying it. I thank Young Living and 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.

Leslie Judd

[For more information on the Young Living essential oils discussed here, Link

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Posted in SSRI Nightmares and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
(DrugAwareness.Org & SSRIstories.Net)
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!”

She has specialized since 1990 in adverse reactions to serotonergic medications (such as Prozac, Sarafem, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, Serzone, Remeron, Anafranil, Fen-Phen, Redux and Meridia as well as the new atypical antipsychotics Zyprexa, Geodon, Seroquel and Abilify), as well as pain killers, and has testified before the FDA and congressional subcommittee members on antidepressants.

WITHDRAWAL WARNING: In sharing this information about adverse reactions to antidepressants I always recommend that you also give reference to my CD on safe withdrawal, Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!, so that we do not have more people dropping off these drugs too quickly – a move which I have warned from the beginning can be even more dangerous than staying on the drugs!

WITHDRAWAL HELP: You can find the hour and a half long CD on safe and effective withdrawal helps here: store.drugawareness.org And if you need additional consultations with Ann Blake-Tracy, you can book one at www.drugawareness.org or sign up for one of the memberships for the International Coalition for Drug Awareness which includes free consultations as one of the benefits of that particular membership plan. You can even get a whole month of access to the withdrawal CD with tips on rebuilding after the meds, all six of my DVDs, hundreds of radio interviews, lectures, TV interviews I have done over the years PLUS my book on antidepressants with more information than you will find anywhere else for only $30 membership for a month (that is only $5 more than the book alone would cost) at www.drugawareness.org. (Definitely the best option to save outrageous postage charges for those out of the country!)

0 Comments

  1. “I lost 10 years of my life”.

    I know exactly how you feel because that’s what I think to myself everyday. I was put on antidepressants when I was 19 and am 2 months away from my last taper after deciding to come off it at age 26. The doctor put me on Prozac without even diagnosing what was causing the depression and since then I have been on Zoloft, Effexor, Luvox, LIthium, Olanzapine.Now I’m 4 years away from 30 and I feel like I’ve woken up from a deep sleep.
    There’s a huge void where I should have been doing things like having relationships, learning how to drive, getting work experience and enjoying being young and in my twenties. Instead I was staying in bed all the time, avoiding people, busy trying to end my life, looking horrible (dry skin, hair) and feeling nothing for anything. I completed my bachelor degree from a top 10 university in Law in England and up to today, couldn’t care less about it.

    I’m only coming to understand WHY I was depressed which had to do with family problems. Like you- there was NOTHING wrong with me. Over the last few months I’ve read upt to 15 books by family systems psychologists such as Harriet Lerner, John Bradshaw and Janie Ward which have helped me immensely in understanding myself and mysteriously “cleared” my depression.That’s the worst part about it- the fact that you, me and others didn’t neccessarily need these drugs and our problems could have been solved by much less invasive means. Now the depression you, me and others have is the result of the problems caused by being on these meds for so long. One problem I’m having that I haven’t heard mentioned yet is neuropathy.I get pain, stabbing and burning in my arms and legs and pudendal nerve area (reproductive area) that I’ve had for months since stopping. So I can’t sit for long periods and have sexual dysfunction amongst many things…

  2. By the way- thanks for sharing your story…

    It’s not easy to have gone through what you’ve gone through and come out of it and talk about it. More people should come forward like this and tell their story…

  3. I lost ten years as well. Your fight was admirable and thank the Lord you went off them. I just went off them myself about 1 year ago and it has been hard, the meds kept me numb and in a state of hangover tiredness most of the time. I am still trying to get over the anger I feel for having missed so much of my children’s lives because I believed that I had to be on the meds…I should have listen to my husband all those years ago and have tried to go off them sooner, but the withdrawl was to crazy to handle while trying to have any kind of family life….I often wonder how many other families have been hurt by these awful meds!

    Thanks for sharing! I think we have to share so others will know the truth!

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