Prozac and Alcohol

“I have experienced blackouts when drinking alcohol and engaging in embarrassing and even dangerous behaviors during the blackouts.”

I want to share my recent experience with Prozac. My e-mail address may be posted, but not my name.

I have taken Prozac for close to 15 years, and I would have to say it has provided relief from my depression. Several months ago, I was going through an ugly marital separation and other problems and felt very depressed again. My doctor doubled my Prozac dosage from 20 mg. to 40 mg.

I have always been a social/moderate drinker, consuming 1-2 glasses of wine with dinner most evenings. It never presented a problem on the 20 mg. of Prozac. However, since increasing my dosage, I have experienced blackouts when drinking alcohol and engaging in embarrassing and even dangerous behaviors during the blackouts. I am also craving alcohol in a way I never have before. I also feel that my short-term memory has been negatively impacted.

It has taken me several months to make the connection between my recent behavior and the altered Prozac dosage, but I am absolutely convinced the first is a result of the second.

karenshome@cox.net

 

407 total views, 0 views today

Student's Life Destroyed on Prozac

“(After begging my doctor to put me on Prozac,) I just felt insane. I felt like screaming, tearing my clothes off and running around like a madman.”

I wrote to this site several weeks ago about sending in my story. As I wrote it that night, the anger, fear and trauma built so badly that I ended up ranting and rambling. I needed some time away to think and to collect my thoughts about this nightmare so that I could do it justice on paper. I will try to make it as brief as I can:

In 1991, my parents separated. I was 18 at the time. My mom had been seeing a psychiatrist and was taking Prozac. She turned into a completely different person. She was vengeful, angry and borderline psychotic. My mom told me that my dad was an alcoholic (I since have learned she is as well) and that we have depression in our family. She recommended that I see a psychiatrist as well. I blew her off and went to college the next year. I starting drinking once a week (parties) in college and started becoming depressed. It was harder to get up in the mornings now and I remembered what mom had told me.

I panicked and went to the doctor. Mom went with me to the doctor (right before she left home) and I practically begged him to put me on Prozac if that was “what I needed.” He assured me that the side effects were dry mouth, possible weight gain, nausea, etc. I took the stuff and almost immediately started feeling badly (the doctors told me that that was impossible as it would take two weeks to get into my system.

They have since concluded that some patients are effected in a few days. I just felt insane. I felt like screaming, tearing my clothes off and running around like a madman. I told my doctor that the stuff was making me crazy but he told me that it was me and not the pills (For the record, he was an MD who could prescribe meds. I was referred to him by a psychologist.) So we upped the dose. I had also been taking a benzodiazepine (Klonopin) because I was having trouble sleeping and I immediately became addicted. The doctor never told me that these pills were addictive. I stayed on Klonopin for three years and mixed and matched medications constantly as my condition worsened. I tried to save a drug problem with more drugs and I spiraled completely out of control as I was caught in that vicious cycle we all have heard about.

I tried countless anti-depressants. I was later diagnosed with manic-depression and schizophrenia. The possibility exists that the Prozac helped my depression and left my manic phase alone (or aggravated it.) Medications are constantly evolving and the doctors don’t even know sometimes so I have no real answers. I took Paxil for a day and puked my guts out. I took Luvox and all I thought about was killing people. I took muscle relaxers and other pills while my addiction went unnoticed by doctors in two states. I switched to Atavin in 1995 and drugged myself completely to death for two years. I was taking the near maximum dose. I was later told by other doctors that I should never have been on benzodiazepines for that long. I told one doctor that I needed to quit taking the benzos as they were killing me. He apparently misunderstood me and told me that I would be on them for the rest of my life. I’m assuming he meant the other medications I was taking. I had to go to another doctor to phase down off of the benzos. I had a grand mal seizure by coming off them two days early (I had been phasing down for months.) This was at the Kentucky State Fair in front of my mother and sister and I almost died.

I was a solid B student with an IQ near the upper two percent in HS and I was also a successful athlete. There had been no major disciplinary problems in my schooling life up until I started taking medications. I never partied in HS and probably had only a few drinks of wine in my life before I was 18. Before the medication, I averaged a 3.0 my freshman year in college with the intent to do better. The pills sent my life into a tailspin. I dropped out of college several times after seeing my GPA dip to a 1.0. I bounced from drunk parent to drunk parent and doctor to doctor. I had been on pills until recently, even though I had kicked the Atavin for good seven years ago. I was unable to work during this time as I was addicted.

They tell us that the pills are non-addicting but they don’t understand people with addiction issues. I get addicted to anything. ANY powerful drug will addict me and the anti-depressants and mood stabilizers were no different. After fighting for my right to get clean and free of drugs and doctors (with both parents and doctors), I have made it to some sanity. I ballooned up to 242 pounds on the pills (one social worker asked me once if I would rather be fat or mentally ill.) I have since gotten down to a very healthy and athletic 185 and I feel great. I have also invested in proper nutritional supplementation. Natural supplements, especially fish oils, work and I regret not trying them earlier. In 1998, I had a domestic dispute with my dad and I was arrested and committed. I was abused, bullied and intimidated at the “mental health clinic” where I was committed, where I was put on more pills (after being coerced into signing my rights away.) Most of the rest of the “treatment” was having social workers tell me how to grocery shop (!) and play Scattergories with me and other patients (no joke.) I was also insulted in the clinic and overheard lines like “people think we’re Nazis and criminals.”

One social worker even told me, “There is no such thing as justice.” I may be misquoting exactly how she said it but the message was that justice was a fallacy in the real world. So I knew that I had no rights in this place. They charged me $500 a day (I couldn’t say no as I was a prisoner) and told me about disability and it’s insurance the day that I was to be released five months later. In the meantime, I had been put in a group home, where a miscommunication between the case worker there and the mental health clinic led to me being arrested and put back into the clinic. I was told by the clinic that I could stay as long as it took me to find a job, although the normal period was two weeks. After two weeks I didn’t have a job, so they kicked me out. Terrified, I left and went back to the clinic to talk about what had happened. The police were waiting for me and arrested me as I had “broken the rules of the group home by leaving.” I swear this is the God honest truth.

I now owe these snakes $54,000 for pills that got me addicted and for playing Scattegories while I was a prisoner. I have taken their pills, gotten addicted and have been unable to work. They continued to experiment, make more money and blamed a lot of the problems on me. I called up my original MD in 2001 and confronted him about the issue of medications actually causing the symptoms they are supposed to be treating (since proven my doctors.) I asked him if he knew about these potential problems when he prescribed the first round of meds and didn’t tell me. He said that he did after I continued to press him. I called him a bastard and he hung up (I will also note that he didn’t return any of my calls to talk to him and I had to get him at home.) I tried to report him (symbolically and as a public service) very recently. The woman I was trying to talk to answered me very rudely and in a belittling fashion that I couldn’t report something that long ago. I have since read a lot on this issue and feel that I am just another victim of corporate psychiatry (look it up online.) I am hurt, angry and betrayed by people who took an oath to help me. Some doctors were stooges while others knew the risks and didn’t tell me. These issues put my life at risk and have led to poverty and financial ruin for me.

I have talked to lawyers and they told me that they don’t even touch addiction cases of psyche meds, even if the doctors err. Apparently, these people have dictatorial power to experiment on citizens like me who suffered enough emotional abuse from drunken parents and cruel school children. I also have tried to contact newspapers online with the story but they have not written back to me. I have run from this issue as I feel I have no hope for retribution, satisfaction or justice (they also told me in the clinic that paybacks are bad. Gee I wonder why.) If anyone wants to contact me on this subject, I will be more then happy to talk. I will also be more then happy to fight as I still owe these so-called people $54,000. I don’t even have the money to declare bankruptcy right now. The payments are supposedly ability to pay but I get notices in the mail every month from the clinic.

Again, I swear that this is all the God honest truth. I wouldn’t have believed it myself if it hadn’t happened to me. I am a college graduate with a degree in history and a minor in political science and I am not stupid (I’m studying for the Mensa test now.) I knew what was happening to me the whole way but was too sick to fight it. If anyone has any information on organizations that fight these kinds of things, please let me know as I have tried many things. And, for God’s sake, don’t go to these people if you can help it. Watch your health, take the proper supplements and take care of yourselves. In my experience, if you go to these people and take their pills, you just put a gun in your mouth and pulled the trigger. I also have to live with the pain and shame of this stuff forever.

PS- Sorry it took so long but it’s a long story. I would like my name and E-mail printed as I would like to be a leader in the confrontation of these issues. If you have any questions, please E-mail me.

Jeff Riley
solongsuckers@netzero.net
(Please excuse the E-mail ID. I get angry about past stuff sometimes.)

475 total views, 0 views today

10/31/2002 • Ethyl-Eicosapentaenoate Could Be Effective In Persistent Depression

10/31/2002 • Ethyl-Eicosapentaenoate Could Be Effective In Persistent Depression

By Elda Hauschildt

Archives of General Psychiatry, 2002; 59: 913-919

Ethyl-eicosapentaenoate at a dose of 1 gram per day could be effective in treating depression in patients with persistent illness after standard antidepressant therapy.
Ethyl-Eicosapentaenoate Could Be Effective In Persistent Depression

http://www.docguide.com/news/content.nsf/news/8525697700573E1885256C5B005A901A

By Elda Hauschildt

Archives of General Psychiatry, 2002; 59: 913-919

Ethyl-eicosapentaenoate at a dose of 1 gram per day could be effective in treating depression in patients with persistent illness after standard antidepressant therapy.

“Ethyl-eicosapentaenoate offers an approach to depression that is radically different from that of existing drugs,” say British researchers who conducted a double-blind trial of the drug. They suggest the drug’s position in the treatment spectrum needs to be established by further trials.

The investigators, from Swallownest Court Hospital in Sheffield, England and Laxdale Research in Stirling, Scotland, randomised 70 patients with persistent depression despite ongoing therapy with an adequate dose of standard antidepressant.

Patients received either placebo or ethyl-eicosapentaenoate at one of three dosages: 1 g/d, 2 g/d or 4 g/d. Therapy lasted 12 weeks and was in addition to background medication, which remained unchanged.

Of 52 patients in ethyl-eicosapentaenoate group, 46 (88 percent) completed therapy, as did 14 of 18 patients (78 percent) receiving placebo. No adverse events were observed.

Participants in the 1-g/d ethyl-eicosapentaenoate group showed significantly better outcomes than placebo participants on three assessment scales: the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory.

In the intention-to-treat group, nine of 17 patients (53 percent) in the 1-g/d ethyl-eicosapentaenoate group achieved a 50 percent reduction in the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score. This compared with five of 17 patients (29 percent) in the placebo group.

The researchers observed improvements on all individual items in the three assessment scales with the 1-g/d ethyl-eicosapentaenoate dosage compared with placebo. They say there were beneficial effects on items rating depression, anxiety, sleep, lassitude, libido and suicidality.

There was little evidence of efficacy in 2-g/d ethyl-eicosapentaenoate participants, and 4-g/d ethyl-eicosapentaenoate participants displayed non-significant trends toward improvement.

850 total views, 0 views today

Married to Zoloft and I Want a Divorce

“I quit cold turkey. Big mistake! Five days later I ended up in the hospital emergency.

I knew something was really wrong.”

 

On September 1997, I went to see my doctor to complain, for the fifth time, (I had seen my doctor five times that month) of nausea and that I had very little energy. She got upset with me and told me that I was in denial, and that my problem was really depression. She prescribed me Zoloft.

At that time, I had just began my first semester in university. My illness did not go away. I felt sick and run down. Six weeks went by, and one day I got violently sick and ended up in the hospital. As it turns out, the reason I had been ill was not because of a depression I knew I had, but because I had a viral infection that had gone untreated for months.

After I was treated for this infection, I continued taking Zoloft, as I thought it my help me cope with my final exams. I continued taking Zoloft or a few months and finally decided to come off the drug. I quit cold turkey. Big mistake! Five days later I ended up in the hospital emergency.
I knew something was really wrong. The psychiatrist re-ordered Zoloft, and the withdrawal effects quickly disappeared.

After that experience, I knew that I could not quit this drug abruptly, so, a year later, I tried the tapering off method. I went from 150 mg to 50 mg in a matter of four months. The withdrawals became progressively worst, to the point that I could no longer function normally. I had difficulty putting words together; my short term memory was greatly disturbed and I felt like I as losing all mental capacity. I could not read anymore; a pass time I really enjoyed. I could no longer write; and writing was one of my favorite hobbies. To make a long story short, I had to start taking Zoloft again at a dose of 100 ml, just to be able to function.

I have been on Zoloft since 1997.Zoloft ruined my life. Sure, I was depressed before 1997, but at least, then, I was in control of my life. I had some good days. Now the good days are few and far between.(I can’t remember when I felt joy.)I went from being a functional woman with drive and hope for the future; to a scared nervous wreck. I don’t even look or feel the same anymore. It’s like being someone else. Before Zoloft, I always kept my house clean and tidy; I weighed 120 pounds and looked great; I had hobbies which kept me sane; I had a support system and my family admired and praised me. Now, I weigh 208 pounds; I little confidence and drive; I used to be good with money but now I have maxed out my credit; I have become an angry and bitter person; I have thoughts of suicide every day; I have no friends left; In sum, I am not me anymore.

Three days ago, I decided to quit cold turkey again. I am writing this now, because I know that in a few days, I won’t be able to put one word in front of the other. I already feel the withdrawals. Every time I move, my eyes lose focus and my head feels funny. It feels like it skips a beat. It’s very difficult to describe and to tell the truth, I don’t want to see my doctor because he won’t take me seriously. Since I’ve been on Zoloft, I have attempted suicide 11 times. I want myself back. I want that drug out of my system and only hope that it hasn’t caused permanent physical damage.

Zoloft ruined my life.

BarryCompaq@aol.com

 

10/15/2002

This is Survivor Story number 8.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

522 total views, 0 views today

Celexa / Citalopram Hell

realized now that the hell I was going through was a direct result of taking Celexa.”

 

Hopefully my story will be an eye-opener to those who are offered this drug (as SSRIs are so commonly offered to those unknowingly suffering from BZD-induced depression and/or withdrawal).

About 2.5 years ago, I was prescribed Citalopram (Celexa, Cipramil) for depression. I had no other symptoms of “anxiety disorders”, etc, I was just “down”. I was assured that it was a wonderful, revolutionary new drug—-safe, non-addictive. A veritable happy-pill; nothing short of a wonder-drug.

Little did I know that this drug was anything but safe, harmless, or non-addictive; little did I know how this drug was going to ruin my life.

Initially, Celexa didn’t appear to be very effective, and so my dose was increased (from 20mg/day to 40mg/day, then to 60mg/day, if I remember correctly). “Nothing to worry about”, or so I was told.

I experienced two major side-effects whilst on Celexa (the real problems began later). I lost all short and medium-term memory. To this day, I can remember very little of those six months of my life. Furthermore, my mood drastically altered. Far from alleviating my depression, I became angry, withdrawn, and more depressed than ever before.

After six months of being on Celexa, I was brought rapidly (far too rapidly) off it over the period of a few weeks, and eventually came fully off them.

Two weeks later, all hell broke loose.

At first, I thought it was a very bad case of flu—-all my joints and muscles ached to the point of burning, my sinuses became painful, all the lymph nodes in my body swelled up. My head seemed as though it was on fire; unlike any migraine I had ever experienced before. I rapidly lost weight until I was well under 7.5 stone (about 105lbs or 45kg, and I’m about 5’10” in height). Everything I ate, I vomited straight back up, I couldn’t keep food down at all (and at one point, I couldn’t keep water down either). My memory was the same as when I was on the drugs (i.e. very little).

I felt like I was dying—-and if I’d lost much more weight, I probably would have.

I went back to our doctor’s surgery. He diagnosed that I was suffering from “some severe condition like glandular fever”, and had me rushed up into inpatient admissions at our local hospital.

I’ll spare you the details of the incredibly poor hospital treatment I received; I was bombarded with all kinds of obtuse theories about my suffering, which were eventually winkled down to “unidentified viral infection” and “possibly CFS/ME”.

A few months later, I was still suffering—-I’d made a slight improvement, and then the illness seemed to reverse course, and I got rapidly worse again. Once again I saw the same doctor; once again he seemed genuinely concerned; once again I was admitted to hospital. This time they added a little twist to their already absurd theories; I apparently had “both CFS/ME and severe sinusitis”. To combat this supposed sinusitis, I was put on a regimen of both intravenous and oral antibiotics.

Bear in mind that, at this point, I had no reason to suspect that Celexa, or, rather, my withdrawal from it, was causing these symptoms.

I was on these antibiotics for what seemed like an eternity; in total, I’d guess I was given the equivalent of around 50 courses of antibiotics. Needless to say, my body became much weaker as a result.

It was now about a year since I had come off Celexa. My condition seemed to be gradually improving, but I was still incapacitated by the symptoms. Due to circumstances that I don’t plan on making public, I became aware of the side effects of another class of psychotropic drugs, benzodiazepines.

A little research revealed that many, many others had experienced unnervingly similar symptoms and conditions after withdrawing from not only Celexa—-but other SSRIs, notably Paxil (Seroxat, paroxetine), as well.

I realized now that the hell I was going through was a direct result of taking Celexa.

“After about 2 to 2.5 years, you can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel” —-paraphrased words of a Paxil survivor.

It’s now about 2.5 years since I withdrew from Celexa. Over this time, I’ve been making—-and continue to make—-a very slow, gradual recovery. I have two or three residual symptoms, but they are very, very slowly diminishing in intensity. I have near-constant pain and inflammation in one side of my head; and my memory and concentration is still not 100% of what it was.

Chances are that what Ashton says is true; neurological repair after damage by psychotropic drugs does occur in time.

This kind of experience is not unique. Try reading through the antidepressant web (http://www.socialaudit.org.uk/), drugawareness.org (http://www.drugawareness.org/), Paxil survivors, etc, etc resources.

My experience has surely brought new meaning to the phrase “hell on earth”. Be warned; accept these drugs at your peril.

James Moore

 

5/29/2002

This is Survivor Story number 23.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

710 total views, 0 views today

Teenager Didn’t Know What He Was Doing on Paxil

He ended his life because of this damn drug.”

 

On Nov.6, 2000, my world was turned upside down. Life as I knew it was changed forever on that day. My beautiful 19 yr old son was put on the drug Paxil for depression. He was never monitored and I was never told of the dangers associated with this mind-altering drug.

He was on this drug for about 3 weeks. Then on Nov. 6,2000, my son took a shotgun and put it in his mouth and pulled the trigger. He ended his life because of this damn drug.

How can they claim that it is safe when all I hear is how dangerous this drug is and that when you are on it, you have to be monitored very closely.

I was told by the doctor that “it wouldn’t hurt him.” Well when I asked my son one day if he was still taking it, and he said yes, but he didn’t like the way it made him feel, I asked him what he meant by that.

He said “like I don’t know who I am or what I am doing”.

Now he is silenced forever and I am living a life of never having to see my son grow into a wonderful person. He will never have a family of his own thanks to that “damn wonder drug” known as PAXIL.

I wish that they would pull that drug from the market so no other family will have to live this nightmare.

Sally Vanwinkle
sallyvanwinkle@hotmail.com

 

5/5/2002

This is Survivor Story number 25.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

455 total views, no views today

Thanks to Prozac, I’m Surrounded by Murderers, Rapists and Worse

“The doctor said Prozac would make me happy. I’m not happy.”

 

NOTE FROM ICFDA:

THIS IS A LETTER FROM A YOUNG MAN NAMED KURT DANYSH WHO COMMITTED A VIOLENT ACT ON PROZAC. AFTER READING IT, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE TO HIS LEGAL DEFENSE FUND, EVERY DOLLAR WOULD BE APPRECIATED. IT TAKES KURT ABOUT A MONTH AND HALF TO MAKE $20 IN THE PRISON WHERE HE MAY BE FOR THE NEXT TWENTY TO SIXTY SOME YEARS. PLEASE SEND DONATIONS TO THE KURT DANYSH LEGAL AID FUND, C/O OF JOSEPHINE MILEA, 111 FOX RUN ROAD, STEWARTZVILLE, NJ 08886 OR CALL 908 479 2289 FOR MORE INFORMATION. THANKS, ICFDA
——–

I am so sorry to hear your son’s story. I am sorry I cannot contribute to his memorial fund financially, but I send you my support and prayers. (See the ICFDA Survivor Story“He Never Said Goodbye.”)

I am sure you are wondering why me, a convicted murderer, is writing. Your son and I have something in common. I was placed on Prozac in 1996 for depression. I was 18 and naïve. About three weeks into “treatment,” I became irrational. Paranoid, and violent. This was very out-of-character for me. In a week’s time, I slapped my girlfriend, beat up a friend, and purposefully crashed my truck into a stone wall. Now most people would notice they were behaving abnormally, but on Prozac, you think that you are rational, even at irrational times.

That is the best way I can explain it. I finally went over the edge on April 25th, 1996. I walked 13 miles to my father’s home in a trance-like state. I was very calm, but it was as if I was watching myself from outside.

At my father’s home, I visited with my father for a while, and in the middle of the visit while he bent over to pick something up, I shot and killed him. There was no reason for harming him. I loved my father very much. To this day, I can’t say exactly what I was thinking at that moment.

After the shooting, I turned myself in to police where I calmly confessed to the shooting. I knew now that my behavior was out of control. I told the police that the meds I was on had been making me act weird, but they didn’t want to hear my “excuses.”

Even at court, my attorney said he could find no evidence to show Prozac caused violence. The makers of Prozac even offered to aid the prosecution’s case against me. Protecting their drug al all costs.

To avoid the death penalty, I pleaded guilty to Murder Three. I am serving 22 1/2 to 60 years in a maximum security prison. I am surrounded by murderers, rapists, and worse every day. All I wanted was help. The doctor said Prozac would make me happy. I’m not happy.

Cases like your son’s and mine are not as rare as people think. I pray someday, we will find the justice we deserve and the truth will be told. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

God bless you.

Kurt Danysh
#DL-4879
SCI FRACKVILLE
1111 Altamont Blvd.
Frackville, PA 17931

 

3/21/2002

This is Survivor Story number 36.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

398 total views, 0 views today

Prozac Nearly Ruined My Life at 13

“I frequently wandered around in a daze, or ran around at all hours of the day and night. I became intensely suicidal.”

 

I was put on Prozac by my GP at 13 for depression. Before going on the drug, I was a happy, normal child. Within two weeks of being on Prozac, I was hypomanic. I realize that with hindsight. I started getting into trouble with the police, I was extremely aggressive towards anyone who dared come near me, and I started self-harming. I frequently wandered around in a daze, or ran around at all hours of the day and night. I became intensely suicidal, taking a total of 15 overdoses while on this evil drug. I inserted pins into my arms, started drinking, and physically assaulting people. I was arrested numerous times, once for throwing knives at the police, and nearly got charged with attempted murder (no one was hurt). My mother realized that Prozac had completely changed my personality, and took me off it. About three weeks later, I awoke one morning, not knowing what I’d done during the time on Prozac, and having a memory gap of the whole time I was on the drug. I could not remember a thing. 5 yrs later, I am back to my usual self, but I still suffer from the time I spent on Prozac. I started getting flashbacks of things that occurred whilst on the drug, flashbacks to events my mother verified, because I could not believe them. I am very wary of going on any psychiatric drugs, because of the damage Prozac caused. If you are reading this, please remember, you are taking your life (and others, possibly) in your hands.

 

2/2/2002

This is Survivor Story number 45.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

321 total views, 0 views today

Xanax and Paxil—a Life-Altering Combination

“The scary part is that this was considered a legal practice.”

 

Hello,

My name is Barton Mahoney. Thank you for this forum. It represents an opportunity to know that others understand what I experienced with the drug Paxil.

Bad, bad, bad for Bart! It has been a lonely experience in explaining the affects this intrusive drug has had in my life. I am one of those people that this drug was not designed for, doing it only by a doctor’s order. If I only knew what was in store for me, assuredly it would never have happened. It was prescribed not so much for depression as to help with an extreme case of fatigue. Depression and fatigue can appear hand-in-hand when working 80+ hour workweeks in construction. As an energetic and conscientious building contractor this is now my previous occupation.

Paxil, smaxil, serotonin, shmeritonin. I had no idea of what these were or what they would mean, before it was too late. They prescribed it with Xanax, another wonder drug. Within the first week I was complaining to my doctor about the effect it was having on me. I was told my condition was consistent with the early affects of the drug. It was recommended to continue the medication for the 4-6 week incubation period when the Paxil would then become balanced with my system.

This never happened. I stopped the Xanax within months. My personality and character changed so dramatically that I left the construction trades, lost the respect of my family, along with every ounce of self-esteem that I had within a very short time. I can remember it being hard to feel a smile. It was the major contributing factor to the demise of a life once enjoyed, leading to the perils of a drug user. I wish this on no person. The scary part is that this was considered a legal practice.

I was hospitalized on several occasions during the first year. Each time was the result of collapsing on the floor or when lying down and not being able to get up. I would just lay there not able to move or with a feeling of not wanting to move. It is difficult to explain. If helped by a person and moved very slowly they could get me to my feet, only to immediately collapse again. Three times at home, Twice while at hotels, once on an airplane. That time they had to hold the flight I was on from taking off. It took better than a half an hour to retrieve me from the bathroom. Two very helpful Texas police officers saw our way to a hospital. I was treated in the emergency room but they wanted to take blood. With a phobia about shots plus being through this experience before I felt to have a better answer for my treatment. They did not understand that I just wanted to lie there and that I would be fine in a little while. I tried explaining my condition at the hospital and asked if they would please call my doctor. They did not make the call and released me because I refused treatment by not letting them stick needles in me. I took a later flight home and told myself that this was it. I had to get off this drug.

I was in the care of my doctor this entire period from September 1997 until November 1999. What is interesting was how the medical clinic provided me with prescriptions of Paxil even after I had lost my insurance (I lost everything but that’s not the point). My thinking was that they are giving me the medication because they know something may go wrong if I stopped taking it. Something was adrift for them to give me the medication for free. It appears I am discovering that they did know once this drug had taken its place in my system that it was a very long process to wean a person off the drug. Plus there was a possibility that I may not be stable enough for those around me. There was nothing about this on the drug description at the time, only to say do not stop medication without consulting your doctor. I did and was told to very slowly reduce the dosage until I could handle life without it.

It took over a year to free myself from this consummate condition. It has been a year and a half since my final battle with the drug. The final no-more-Paxil period lasted for about three weeks. No different than any other episode during this treatment, if I stopped or slowed down the medication I would lose my motor skills or would lose my will to use them. Slowly perking-up I am happy to say that now without this drug in my system and because of a very supporting family; I am back to my old self and am finding life enjoyable once again. The further life distances itself from the history of this period the better off I will be. Occasionally, I still have strange twinges at the base of my neck and I now shake when doing something tedious with my hands. I had always prided myself in the steadiness of intricate tasks, but this is no more.

My memories of this period are also quite bothersome. I have spoken with three attorneys, one said his legal counsel doctor said I should have been able to stop cold turkey with out having any problems. Right! A second said it appeared to be a class-action suit after a 20-20 television show about the anti-affects of anti-depressant medication. A third attorney said it would cost more than his firm could afford just in getting the case to trial. I left it at that knowing that I was greatly improved and able by nature to fight my way back to a life.

My wife and I were married at age 15 & 16 respectively. We have three wonderful adult children. For 31 years we have been through many tough times and this is now just another experience. I don’t want to think of where my life would be if I hadn’t fought through and separated myself from the clutches of Paxil. Even thinking through this letter helps with the healing process. I was compelled to write because it appears the truth is coming out. Previously, I actually thought I was going crazy and that nobody was listening, nor would they believe me. It was the loneliest feeling in the world.

I am saddened by the actions of those people under the influence of this drug. To have done the things that they have hurts all of us. To an extent I can understand how they felt when performing these horrific acts.

My prayers and thoughts go out to all that are affected. These are all very disturbing conditions that to some extent fall on the shoulders of those that offer these treatments and to those who manufacturer the drugs that they prescribe. It is a dangerous business. These drugs which are administered do have an affect. I can claim adverse reactions if the person is not designed for treatment in such a manner. We all deserve more information, especially when it comes to a drug that effects our central nervous system. For those who have had or are having similar experiences, you are not alone nor are you crazy.

If you are thinking about taking an anti-depressant, discuss all possibilities with your doctor. If the medication is helping you, then you are lucky. I might still be enjoying a life once stable. Hopefully I will continue to overcome and in time will be fully restored. As I get older it will be interesting to see whether I will ever chance taking any medication. Never again do I want to go through this experience no matter what my condition may be. I would rather go natural.

Thank you for hearing my voice. Now that I have written this brief letter about my experience, I hope it will help others understand the dangers of drugs not meant for the masses. Still it hurts to the center of my soul when considering these possibilities. I have experienced Paxil. Communication is our strength and it should be critically applied with matters of health. Manufacturers, doctors and patients must have all possible information before making life-altering decisions.

I signed no waivers in regards to potential side-affects, which excuses my ignorance. Luckily I was strong enough to help myself. Woe to those who are not so lucky, you are at the mercy of questionable practices by those we should be able to trust.

On the Mend

 

8/6/2001

This is Survivor Story number 19.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

460 total views, 0 views today

Prozac Prescribed "Without a Thought"

“I cannot help wondering how much of his problem was enhanced or made worse by this drug.”

 

I was not too surprised to see the list of behavior problems. My son was just sixteen when the diagnosed him with depression. His teachers noticed, people saw and said nothing until he made an attempt at suicide.

We immediately sought medical help, and unfortunately because we have an HMO, were limited to a therapist with little or NO experience in treating his problems. The Psychiatrist who initially saw our Son, prescribed Prozac without a thought, and never informed us of the possible adverse reactions.

Instead of getting better, he got worse. The Therapist (who usually treated ADD juveniles 6- 11 yr. old) was clueless, even after I expressed that I was not comfortable with her treatment. When I suggested she refer us to someone with experience treating teens she stated that she and my son were getting along and not to worry. (She kept telling me how charming my son was).

I even asked that he see a male therapist, because I felt my son was manipulating the situation. No, she (his therapist) would not consider this. In the meantime the psychiatrist, never inquired or saw our son after the first visit.

Things got worse, our son stopped caring about anything, continued to mutilate himself. Finally one night at a friend’s house they snuck out and almost burned down a barn. It was then that the psychiatrist announced that he was only feeling guilty about what he had done and that they were done treating him? Get this, all of a sudden there was supposed to be nothing wrong with him!

The therapist then had the absolute gall to say to my husband and myself that she would not “get involved with kids and the court system” and that our son should “see a male therapist because she now felt he needed someone who would better understand our Son!!!!

They never mentioned the Prozac, or what we should do. So we took him off the meds, went to court, sold our home and moved. I am not blaming Prozac for our son’s problems, just that it made a bad situation worse. It may have been what pushed him over the line. He simply stopped caring.

This story does have a good ending though. When we moved our coverage location changed. We then were blessed to find Dr. Young Ho Kim a psychiatrist who specializes in treating teens. His new Therapist was a woman, Christine Daley, who although I was doubtful at first, turned out to be both professional and qualified. They treated our Son without ANY drugs. While it was a lot of work I at last felt there was hope. That was a while ago, our son is now in College, and seems to have returned for the most part to normal. I cannot help wondering how much of his problem was enhanced or made worse by this drug.

It was when I heard about the boys in (I believe it was) Kentucky, who pulled the fire alarm at their school and proceeded to shoot people coming out, and when I first heard about the boys a Colombine that I started to wonder. Sure enough it wasn’t long before the details about the boys revealed that they had been treated for problems, and like my son had been given anti-depressants.

I was angered that the first reaction to the crimes were “Where are the parents?”, or that somehow it was the fault of bullies, or TV Please. Only after the fact with all the blame properly labeled to the parents, society, school, the weather, whatever, might you have heard someone whisper the word Prozac. I wonder how many listened.

Ms. D. Abel

 

7/26/2001

This is Survivor Story number 16.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

357 total views, 0 views today