“Nothing is as awful as life was on Paxil.”
In September 1997 I was feeling down. Since each day seemed to be worse from the previous, I called the local mental health agency asking for help. Within 3 weeks, I was given an appointment, and prescribed Paxil for depression (which I questioned because a friend of mine who was a neurosurgeon had been taking Paxil and killed himself 3 months earlier) and lorazepam for anxiety.
A few weeks passed and I was not feeling any better. I had quit going to do things outside my house and I knew there was something wrong. I told my therapist who said to wait a while because sometimes it takes a month or so for the Paxil to work. So, I waited for 2 more weeks, by this time I could not get out of bed at all. I did not shower or eat either. I called the doctor and then went to see him. I told him there was something very wrong. I wanted to die. I wondered if I needed more medication (I felt so rotten, I thought if I felt this bad on the medication, I thought I would be worse without it) He wrote a script for Trazadone. I took it and did not wake up for 23 hours. I called the clinic, there was no one there who could help and I was asked to call back the next day. The next day was Wednesday, I called again, no one called me back. Thursday I had an appointment with my therapist. I told her I was doing awful and had thrown the Trazadone away. I explained if one pill could knock me out for 23 hours, I did not need 30 of them in the house the way I was feeling. I told her something was very wrong and she said to talk to the doctor. He was unreachable. Friday I called again after no return phone calls. I got the nurses voice mail. I left a message. About 5:30 pm she called me back and I told her there was something very wrong with me. She said everyone was gone and she would have the doctor call me on Monday. I told her again there was something wrong with my meds and I needed help.
At about 7:00 pm I took 60 Lorazepam (although I had no idea what I was doing and have no memory of wanting to die) and cuddled down into my bed and went to sleep. (I don’t remember the next four days. The following is the pieces as told to me) At 11pm I called my sister in law and told her I took a bunch of pills She took me to the hospital where no one believed how much Lorazepam I had taken until they took a blood level. It was too late to pump my stomach so I had to drink Charcoal. The hospital released me about 2 hours later and said to continue my Paxil until Monday when the Doctor could talk to me.
I am told I stayed in bed all day Saturday and mostly slept. I tried to get up a few times but fell (and had huge bruises all over my body for the next 3 weeks). About 9pm I cut my wrist open and took another bottle of pills. And then sat down at the computer to write a suicide letter. 18 hours later I was found still typing on the computer by my mother.
I remember telling her what I had done and that there was something very wrong with me. She called my regular doctor to make an appointment. The next day, Monday, my mother got me up and helped me bathe. I got on the scale and saw I had lost 30lbs in the past 7 weeks while I was on Paxil. I was so weak I was unable to walk alone.
My mother took me to my regular MD. She said I had a Paxil induced psychosis and to quit taking it right away. She gave me Zoloft in case I crashed from going cold turkey. I never took any Zoloft. I was too afraid. These behaviors were not me. They were not things I would have done no matter how depressed I was.
It has been 8 months since all of this happened. I am not on any meds or feel like I need them. However, I have some shocking sensations but not as bad as the 2 months right after quitting the Paxil. My memory is terrible. I can’t remember what I did yesterday, or words when I start a sentence. I can’t juggle tasks. My problem solving ability is gone. And I am uncomfortable in large groups of people. It feels like everything is closing in.
I am psychologically fine. The only good things that came from this is that I know I am strong enough to fight anything. And depression is something I can handle on my own. Nothing is as awful as life was on Paxil.
Years 2000 and Prior
This is Survivor Story number 67.
Total number of stories in current database is 96