My Experience with Zoloft

“While on theses meds, I drove off the highway from the effects of Seroquel.“

Hi,

My name if Regina Jones. I am a 55 year old white female.

I started taking Zoloft in 1995 when my husband got ill. He was diagnosed with Major Depression, which had affected me.

My Psychiatrist first prescribed Prozac. I was on it for about 4-5 months, with no side effects. My doctor took me off the drug because of the fear of the side effects of
Prozac that hit the news. He started me on Paxil, a fairly new drug. I started to have blood sugar problems. I went to the pharmacy and asked for the information sheet on Paxil. The Pharmacist was hesitant. He thought I would not be able to understand the information. He didn’t know that I had worked in a hospital for 15 years and understood medical terminology quite well.

Near the end of the information, in very small print, it said that a rare side effect was Diabetes. I told my doctor and he took me off Paxil and started me on Zoloft.

My husband’s depression lasted over two years. I remained on Zoloft.

He was forced into retirement at age 47, with 30 years with the telephone company. The same year his mother died.

He retired, and we moved. In those 2 1/2 years, my husband was on 18 different meds.
Within a month after moving, I noticed that something was very wrong with him, but his therapist and Psychiatrist did not believe me.

Nine months later after a numerous list of events regarding my husband, he became Psychotic. Our family doctor recognized Bipolar Disorder in my husband, as he said, “it took me 30 seconds.”

He has been on Depakote since 1999. His whole nature has changed. The doctors still don’t believe me. My husband is a stranger to me and it has broken our 26 year marriage apart.

I truly believe that my husband has become a totally different, non-functioning man, because of all the drugs he has been on.

Me, on the other hand, remained on Zoloft since 1995. After the breakup of our marriage in 2002, I collapsed. I was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue, PTSD, Hyperglycemic, Major Depression and Suicidal. My therapist had me committed to the hospital. I was seeing a Psychiatrist. I told him that I am very sensitive to all drugs and to please start me slowly on any new drugs. The doctors always know best! They want you at a “therapeutic level” almost immediately!

He started me on Effexor and Seroquel. While on theses meds, I drove off the highway from the effects of Seroquel. I don’t remember anything until I woke up in the hospital ER. I called my doctor and told him that I was not going to take Seroquel any longer. This upset him. As my body was adjusting to the higher levels of Effexor, I grew more agitated and irritable each day. One night I felt that I was going out of my mind, that I was losing control of my thought processes, which scared me, and I felt like pulling my hair out of my head. I called my doctor, screaming at him about this drug. He said to go off the drug. I did, but a week later, my therapist suggested that I go back in the hospital voluntarily. I did. My doctor in the hospital put me back on Zoloft and Xanax, because the two drugs agreed with my body. I was clearly depressed, but they didn’t want to wait for me to grieve all my losses for the previous 7 years. So one doctor was telling me that I needed ECT. He used intimidation to force me to sign the papers. Only because I was not on the previous drugs, I was not a zombie and able to discern what was best for me. I did not sign. My roommate did. She ended up in ICU and another patient stopped breathing and had to go to another hospital.

1) I was finally discharged. I reported the doctor and hospital to Patient’s Advocacy Rights. They have had an investigation going on since 10/02. I called that hospital an “ECT” farm because the patients end up there for ECT.

2) I went back to my Psychiatrist for follow-up, back on Zoloft and Xanax. He dismissed me as his patient. He told me that I was an abusive and dangerous patient. I did not report him, but I wrote him a letter of my thoughts about him and drugs.

3) My concern for my husband and myself is important now. My husband is so drug induced, he has become comfortable, following Dr.’s orders. I am aware that my long-term use of Zoloft and Xanax is frightening. My body is so dependent. I take 1 Zoloft (100 mg) in the AM and 1 Xanax (1 mg) at night. I now have Diabetes and take Glucophage 500 mg/2 at night and Starlix 120 mg/1 three times a day.

My sister and I believe in Alternative Medicine. We currently both work for Enzymatic Therapy, PhytoPharmica, and Integrative Therapeutics as Sales Reps.

She doesn’t take any prescription drugs. She uses herbal supplements.

I use herbal supplements carefully, and still trying to reduce slowly my prescription drugs. Hopefully soon, I’ll be able to take herbal supplements in place of prescription drugs.
Our boss is Bipolar. She is strictly on herbal supplements and functions quite well, no like my husband who gave up at age 50.

I also joined NAMI – Sacramento, CA for two years. I am a certified teacher and facilitator. The subject that I had trouble teaching was the lecture on drugs. We always tell the family to follow up with their doctors with any questions. We are not allowed to give any opinions. We are allowed to share our experiences. But I have not been able to teach anymore. I can’t teach anything that I don’t believe in.

I believe that there is a place for drugs for a short period only. If the MDs would join with the NDs, there could be a balance that is very beneficial to everyone. Our company has two NMDs, so our formulas are at a professional level.

Any questions, anytime, I am willing to share my experiences.

Go after the drug manufacturers!
My healthy 10 yr old dog died taking “Revolution.” I reported this incident also.

Regina Jones
13712 Endicot Circle
Magalia, CA 95954
530-873-3411 (phone and fax)
reggiej@infostations.com

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Zoloft Prescribed for Migraines

“These poor children don’t have a chance.”

I was 38 yrs old when I was prescribed “ZOLOFT”, for severe migraines on a daily basis for the past 10 yrs. At that point, I was taking it for 3 days and woke up with my mind racing. I felt like I was going out of my mind. I immediately flushed them down the toilet, for fear my children would get a hold of them by mistake. GOD only knows how I made it through that night, because I (to this day) don’t. For the past two months, I am now on Topamax for my migraines and the only side effects are possible kidney stones, but I drink lots of water to cure that. I like those odds a lot better.

MOMS AND DADS DO NOT LISTEN TO THESE DRUG COMPANIES!! I was an adult, and I knew it was the medication. These poor children don’t have a chance when you have family doctor handing it out after a 15 min. visit.

GOOD LUCK & GOD BLESS

JANICE BEDEK
dagrizzys@comcast.net

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An Answer to Our Nightmare on Paxil

“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.

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

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Strange Colors on Paxil

“…my brain started freaking out inside over colors .”

 

Hi I would like to share my own experience with Paxil as it has been unlike any other I have heard of. I was given Paxil for what my family doctor thought I was suffering from a anxiety disorder. I took Paxil for a period of two weeks when I noticed that it was severely changing thought patterns and decided to abruptly quit. I was not warned of any serious problems with stopping the medication and suffered a breakdown three days later. I contacted the doctor who gave me the Paxil and was told to start the medication again. The symptoms I suffered from stopping seemed to vanish within a few days, but then after staying with the medication for a period of almost 3 months or better was when I was struck all of the sudden one day with the most bizarre thing that I never have heard or dreamed of could happen.

I awoke okay and went to work on a project that day when in a split second my brain started freaking out inside over colors and I am talking about colors that actually exist like the paint job on your car for example. Not only was my brain going bizarre over colors but also started firing thoughts through over them and crashing out emotionally and mentally. At the end of the week I was totally devastated. I could not hardly look at any single object in my house without my brain producing these same symptoms over and over.

I realized that Paxil was probably to blame since these sort of things just do not happen. I threw the medicine away at the end of that week and called the doctor who gave it to me. I was told that it could not be the Paxil and was treated like a nut case.

I went on to suffer horribly for a month when I seemed to get somewhat better. Although I never quite recovered. I felt as if I was getting better each day but the problem continued to exist slightly. After a period of 6 months I had my brain totally relapse again and produce identical symptoms all over again. It now has been 2 years since this has happened, and I am still not free of these symptoms.

What Paxil did to me is a mystery. I have never heard of the brain going screwed up over colors like this when there is no reason for it. I truly hope that no one else ever has to live with something like this. And to this day no doctor even knows what has happened. Nor have I ever found anyone who has suffered anything similar to what I have.

If anyone had experienced such a thing I have never heard of it, as maybe they are not around to tell of it. But one thing is for certain, and that is that an SSRI can do things that no one has heard of.

Randy Shine
ratzo22@hotmail.com

 

12/17/2001

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

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I am a Prozac Survivor

“I think this experience will haunt me for the rest of my life.”

 

My name is Charly, I am a Dutch man and I live in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. My age is 33 years, now on 8 august 2000. After 4 years I think it’s time now to tell about my Prozac experience that have changed my belief system and my total way of living. I think this experience will haunt me for the rest of my life and I think I’m ready to face that fact now. I’ve tried to “just forget it” in all kinds of ways, but for me it’s like once you’ve been there, there is no return. I have a few good friends who really try to understand me in this feeling, but I also know that’s too much asked from them. I arrived at the place were I really wish to meet and talk to other Prozac/SSRI Survivors and I hope this story will be the start of this.

In February 1994 I visited my family doctor and told him about my depression because of a stranded relationship. Because I had heard and read about the “magnificent new wonder-drug” Prozac and it’s far fewer side effects then other anti-depressants I asked him for a prescription. I didn’t needed any psychotherapy cause I knew very well the background of my depression and it wasn’t that bad. If I had only knew then, what I know now, I wasn’t depressed at all, I was feeling down and I just wanted to feel better, happy, not sad. -later I would find out what a real depression was after Prozac hitting me hard-

My family doctor prescribed me Prozac 20 mg daily. About 5 to 6 times I took a monthly cure of Prozac 20 mg daily with intervals of a few months. My first response on Prozac was pretty good, I became more active, but looking back on that period I also became more reckless and naive, less bright and focused on my environment (people and circumstances). I was completely convinced of the innocence of this product and believed that it could actually help me feeling better. The only side effects that it gave me at first were some flu-like symptoms (like shaky), some nerve twitching beneath my right eye and a dry mouth, nothing very serious. My dream recall increased tremendously and they were more rich and vivid then ever. I’ve ended the last cure of Prozac (30 days) in April 1996.

On Friday 2 august 1996 (about 4 months later) I went to my family doctor for another 30 day prescription of Prozac because I still felt somewhat down the last few months. I took one pill that afternoon and went out of town to pay a visit to my parents. While driving in my car for about a half a hour I suddenly felt a strange kind of dizziness in my head. I felt inconstant contractions to be followed by a very painful stitch at the right side on top of my head, then followed by a feeling as if a bloodstream went down on my forehead.

A milky mist came down upon my eye sight, although I still could see, thank God. From my neck an extremely burning sensation radiated throughout of my whole body, especially my spine, arms and legs. My whole body felt like burning inside. Then a stiffening of my body followed and I had a constant feeling of “electricity pain” in my whole body. My body felt electrified, constantly. It’s very hard to explain this feeling, but it’s like goose-flesh so much intensified that it hurts and keeps your body tensed…constantly ! (-It feels like you don’t have a body anymore, but only “wires” connected to high electricity-)

I drove my car upon the verge and came in a state of shock. I remember that my first thought was: “It’s over, this is a stroke and parts of my body will be paralyzed”. Then I realized that couldn’t be the case cause I could still move my body parts and I could still talk, but inside I was completely panic- stricken. What is happening to me ? My God what if this won’t go away ? “I must keep my head cool, stay calm and drive on” were my thoughts.

I only parked for a few seconds upon that verge to check out if I still could function and drove on in the direction of my parents house. The whole incident, from the start of feeling dizzy, till the drove on to my parents, lasted less then 1 or 2 minutes. It took one Prozac-attack to blew away my comfortable feeling of self, of me in my body ! The milky mist that came down upon my eye sight would stay for days. First thing I did when arriving at my parents house was immediately calling the family doctor who tried to convince me that this was just some side effects I was going through and I should keep on taking the Prozac, which I did not, because in the state I was in, this stuff just had to leave my system, immediately. I’ve contacted 5 other doctors who all said that if this was a Prozac induced side effect at all, it would pass away within a few days. It didn’t. I was so scared, I was so shocked and unknown of what happened to me, and the responding of the doctors knocked me out. Physically and mentally I became a wreck, fractured. All I could do was lay down and trying to sleep.

From that moment on I would stay and move into my parents house for about one year. I couldn’t work anymore, I couldn’t focus anymore, I had changed from a self-confident grown man into an extremely anxious pitiful man, locked up inside, not able to function anymore. I got more then terrified, I couldn’t rationalize anymore, I just couldn’t bring my thoughts to the right proportions, and believe me, you would be terrified too, cause you think you’re going crazy, out of your mind (of course Prozac/SSRI Survivors all know how that’s like). It was very difficult for my parents, but they’ve cared for me as good as possible in that period, not really understanding what happened to me and not able to communicate with me.

The first 14 days I went straight into hell, just pure and plain hell. My body, my nervous system, became extremely oversensitive and totally out of control. It’s difficult to explain but I wasn’t in control anymore but my brains were, sending signals of pain throughout of my whole body. It was the most frightening experience I ever had in my whole life. My body felt as if it was turned inside out. It scared me so much and I had no idea if there was coming any relief of this. I didn’t committed suicide, but I don’t know what I had done if that bit of a relief didn’t came after 14 days. My ego (what you think you are) blew away into pieces. Boundaries that belonged to my personality structure were far exceeded. It’s an intrusion of your integrity that is not easily to describe but I’ll try to explain: I had thoughts and emotions that were not mine (but artificially produced by my brain), thoughts and emotions that didn’t belong to my personality, my character, that which makes me the person I am. Thoughts that were racing in the middle of my fore head like “resonating clouds of gas”.

The thoughts were extremely immoral, offensive, negative and from a self-destructive kind. I was embarrassed by these thoughts and so afraid, not able to stop them. The thoughts were extremely clear and strong, I actually could “hear” the thoughts and it’s very difficult to explain how that’s like, but “resonating clouds of gas” fits the closest description. It’s through this experience that I can better understand now how a phenomenon like telepathy might work.

Next to it I experienced exaggerated feelings of compunction. I condemned myself for “sins” from my childhood, like molesting the cat. The emotions that came up were so horrible with thoughts like: “how do you think to live on with this ?”, again, I just couldn’t rationalize anymore, as responsible as “I” made myself for these “sins”. Also I “saw” in my minds eye (and you have to understand that I saw it so clearly, like in a very vivid dream experience) symbols that scared the shit out of me, spires (like in the dark ages), people with masks, etc., all kind of bizarre and scrappy. I got oversensitive for coffee, herbs, etc.. I was extremely oversensitive for light and sound, which caused me pain upon top of my head, symptoms you can best compare with meningitis. My neck was heavily contracted. I couldn’t watch any movie with more or less contained violence. It scared me, my nervous system just couldn’t bear it.

Nightmares that I experienced were horrible, violent, frightening and so realistic that after awakening it took me some time to realize that I was already awake, and that this was a nightmare, not happening in real-time. That was another symptom: the filter between my sense of reality and my dreams got blurred. I felt like I was in a dream-like state (locked up inside) and couldn’t woke up from it. I still have this symptom occasionally, after 4 years now. In one of the nightmares I was raped by a good friend of mine, it was so horrible. Can you imagine someone very close to you, you really know well, you care for this persons integrity and you have a realistic nightmare being raped by this person. Then you “wake up” from this nightmare not realizing that you are awake already. Sometimes at night I woke up with such pressure on my chest (it literally felt as if someone was pushing on my chest) that I had difficulty with breathing. A lot of nights I even didn’t dare to sleep alone. My heartbeats were heavy and up-speeded along with the excessive sweating of my body, especially at night. I really do not understand why I didn’t drove in panic to the hospital at some nights, but I didn’t. At some nights I didn’t dare to sleep at all, because of the realistic nightmares that gave me a feeling as if something evil did came over me. I was also afraid to wake up being totally paralyzed, and the feeling of this being possible was very strong. It felt like anything could happen, I wasn’t in control anymore.

<“Recovery”> After 14 days I saw a little light at the end of the tunnel. After 40 days the burning “electricity pain” (electrified feeling) in my body had slightly changed in an all embracing itch feeling, which was a blessing compared with the hell of inner nerve pain. The “resonating clouds of gas” thoughts in my head, slightly changed into a feeling of a “stone” in my head. This “stone” is accompanied with contractions in my forehead and radiate behind my nose to my fore teeth.

After 4 years now, the “stone” and the contractions are still returning when I work behind a computer screen (indeed right now). After 4 years I still experience occasionally shivering of my body. After 4 years I still experience a kind of alienation from my emotions and my physical body. It feels like you’ve lost a part of yourself and some un-trustable stranger substitutes that part. I’m just glad that I can live a “normal” life right now. I’m still bitter, who’s gonna give me back what I’ve lost ? The battle I’m still fighting to win, is to win myself back again, and that means:

THE COMPLETE AND TRUSTED FEELING OF MYSELF I ONCE HAD.

I know I’m not alone, I’m just one of many, a Prozac Survivor, a SSRI Survivor. I do wish to meet a lot of others now who are SSRI Survivors. Here in the Netherlands I’ve had a tremendous support by Frank van Meerendonk, the director of the Prozac Survivors Support Group (PSSG) in The Netherlands. Frank van Meerendonk has gathered a lot of information concerning SSRI’s, horrible stories, trials and neuro research. His approach is very down to earth. It’s shocking to know that there are so many people on SSRI’s nowadays in 2000 – about 40.000.000 worldwide on Prozac, not to mention the other SSRI’s- after so many victims crying out to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Among those people on SSRI’s are many children. Many children are also on Ritalin and Dexedrine, a Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor, just like Cocaine or Speed (Amphetamine), and we all know the actions of these drugs very well.

There are NO excuses for these SSRI manufacturers, they just don’t care, they don’t listen, still going on producing copy-cat Prozac-clones, with a cute selling name, but with the SAME diabolical effect, working on the SAME serotonergic and related dopaminergic system in the brain, calling them: Prozac, Sarafem, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, Celexa, Anafranil, Redux, Fen- Phen, etc.. In the month of September 1997 the diet-drugs Redux and Fen-Phen had to be withdrawn by the FDA because of their serious life-threatening action’s, damaging the brain, heart and lungs. It’s obvious what is going on here ! It’s so very important to protect the (future) children against these products, these Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and the awful arrogance of their suppliers !

I don’t know exactly how to describe this, but I definitely know that SSRI’s influence your conscience and the center of your will. I am talking by first hand experience, and after this experience it’s so very difficult to gain control back over your life again. It’s so hard to believe again that YOU are in control over YOUR mind, that YOU determine YOUR thoughts and YOUR emotions. I was not only heavily (post)-traumatized by this experience but also parts of my personality have changed. For example: I have to avoid some social situations because of my increased anxiety. I never had this before Prozac. I also have become extreme sentimental. I used to be a very bright, inquisitive individual. Now I have to force myself to be with people and to learn new things. I feel mentally raped by Prozac and it nearly killed me, but it could not destroy my essence.

SSRI’s are without any doubt the most dangerous and underestimated drugs on this planet and for what I and many other individuals have experienced, the product of pure evilness. These SSRI’s are products of pure darkness disguised as “angels of light”. It’s striking to see how they rush their “blitzkrieg”, to deceive the world, how people on them, are defending their drugs to the bone, worshipping them. It’s striking to see how our doctors have blind faith in SSRI’s and invite them to come in, like they were descendents of the Gods. It is a very frightening development of OUR future ! It’s very frightening to see the power of the almighty pharmaceutical companies, who develop and push their SSRI’s to the world, using their power by influencing the health care system and the media. It’s very frightening to watch a world of individuals fall asleep, who ridicule the cause of increasing school- and workplace shooters by using the nickname of “the Prozac Defense”. I can only hope that these individuals wake up from their dream-states in the near future, to find themselves naked and that they may see how many human lives their deceivers have destroyed in their surroundings….

–Charly–

3/11/2001

This is Survivor Story number 7.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

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Prozac Killed My Son

“I want to join others who are trying to remove Prozac from the hands of doctors who hand these pills out like ‘candy to kids’.”

 

I am in the seventh month of mourning the loss of my 14 year old son. During those months I have been reading everything I can find on suicide, survivors of suicide, etc., trying to make sense of my son’s death.

He was a good boy, an honor student, attending the Accelerated Learning Lab (for the gifted & talented), at Lakeridge Jr. High. He was maturing rapidly, and for reasons unknown to us, was showing signs of depression. Because I had read so many things about depression having a “genetic link”, and as my husband has suffered severe periods of depression all his life, I wanted to help my son from falling into the life long pattern of depressed episodes that my husband still struggles with. We took him to our family doctor and was promptly prescribed Prozac.

As I look back on everything that has transpired from that time until his death, I now understand that the changes in his behavior were a direct result of the drug. I want to join others who are trying to remove Prozac from the hands of doctors who hand these pills out like “candy to kids”. As a result of my searching for answers, I was led to the book “Prozac Backlash”. What an eye opener! If my doctor had known of the serious side effects that could occur, I’m sure he wouldn’t have prescribed it. If I had known, there is no way that I would have even contemplated giving it to my son. His depression was certainly a concern, but he wasn’t suicidal. I know that I’ll never be able to “prove” that Prozac killed my son, but I believe this with every fibre of my being.

Then I was led to Edward Havass, an attorney in SLC. I was told that he had been investigating Prozac related suicides. He consulted with an attorney in Houston about my son’s case. I received a letter this week informing me that my son’s suicide wasn’t consistent with other cases they were investigating because he committed suicide after having been on the drug for a couple of years, rather than within the first few weeks. He also said that it was unusual that my son took his life after stopping the Prozac. Mr. Havas also told me that a history of depression in the family also clouded the issue.

From what I have read, the effects of Prozac can stay in your system, sometimes months after having stopped the drug. I have also read that their is no scientific evidence to genetically link depression in family members. From my personal research I have found that even the experts don’t exactly know what is a “normal” serotonin level. How can they, in good conscience, prescribe a drug to correct a serotonin imbalance, when they don’t even know if there is a serotonin imbalance? From what I’ve read, there is no “consistent” pattern. And finally, who is to know when my son first started thinking suicidal thoughts? He felt uncomfortable taking the drug; he didn’t want anyone to know he “had” to take them. I tried telling him that it was no different than a diabetic taking insulin. If he had a serotonin imbalance, it was no different than a diabetic who had a different kind of imbalance. I told him these things because that is what our doctor had told us.

A couple of times I discovered that he hadn’t been taking his pills consistently, and asked him if he would need my help to remember to take them. On one occasion, he said sometimes he just simply forgot, but on another occasion he said he just wanted to handle his “own problems”. He wanted to be a man, and not have to depend on “some stupid drug”. I consulted with my doctor about this internal struggle he was having, and my doctor told me that Prozac was a long acting drug. It stayed in the system for awhile, but that my son should try to be more consistent.

We dealt with three separate incidences involving my son that were completely out of character for him. I am not going to detail them here, but suffice it to say, all three were extremely upsetting events, and with each occurrence, I remember thinking “Is Prozac playing a part in this?” And then I’d remind myself that our doctor had expressed his complete confidence in the safety of this drug, and eventually I brushed it off on the “teenage hormonal imbalances”, and wondered to myself if gifted kids like him just saw things and handled things in ways different than average kids.

After two years on the drug, (He was first prescribed Prozac a few months after his 12th birthday), he made a self determination to wean himself off of the drug. I hadn’t known about this decision until one day I was thinking that it had been awhile since I had filled his prescription, and when I examined the date on the pill bottle, I found that his prescription should have been refilled a couple of weeks before, but the bottle was still about half full. I talked with him about my discovery, and that’s when he confessed that he was trying to “go off of them by himself”. I had heard a few controversial things about Prozac, but I didn’t know that there might be withdrawal problems with them. Still, I quietly observed him, and he seemed to be doing really well.

His best friend had come to stay with us for the summer break between my son’s eighth and ninth grade, and my son was happier than I had seen him in a long time. They were planning all kinds of things together – biking the trail that led from the lake to Bridal Veil Falls, trips to the mall, 4-Wheeling with dad, hours and hours of Nintendo and Sega game competitions – maybe even joining up for summer football together. The night before he died, they were up in his room playing something on his Sega set, laughing and whooping it up. I remember my daughter pounding on the bedroom wall and yelling at them to “shut up because she was trying to sleep”. I thought about putting an end to their self made entertainment myself, but then thought, “Oh let them be boys… it’s only for the summer”, and besides, my son was a good kid. He didn’t ask for much. The next morning he got up, removed a small handgun from my husband’s safe, walked out into the orchard, and shot himself in the head. It had been roughly two or three weeks since he had taken his last pill. His best friend was devastated. Our hearts have been ripped open. I don’t know if we’ll ever feel normal again.

I am looking for others who may know of suicides that occurred within weeks or months of “quitting” the drug. I realize that Prozac has helped many people. I have a couple of close friends that claim that Prozac really helped with their depression. Well tampons are great too, but even tampons have caused toxic shock syndrome in a few people. But the manufacturers of tampons didn’t try to hide that fact. There are warnings on every box of tampons. Or what about the small percentage of people who have severe reactions to nuts? Food products have to be very specific about the ingredients contained in their products for the protection of those few who might have an adverse reaction. Why did Eli Lilly refuse to put warnings on the drug insert labels? They have known all along about the reports of increased agitation and suicidal thoughts that were produced in some of their test studies.

My plea is for Eli Lilly to be responsible. My hope is that these drugs will only be dispensed under the careful supervision of a highly trained professional who understands all the risks! If it causes Eli Lilly’s profits to drop in half, so be it. My hope is that no family will have to go through the pain that we are day by day enduring. The only thing that sustains me is my belief in a just God. If justice is not meted out here, it certainly will be in the life to come. If there is anyone out there willing to help me in my desire to bring suit against Eli Lilly, please contact me as soon as possible. I want Eli Lilly to handle this drug responsibly or NOT AT ALL! I have read how this drug king has been shutting people up with money. Money will not shut me up! Money will not bring my baby back!

My name is Dawn Rider. You can e-mail me at drider@kotm.org. Or call me at (801) 221-9930 ext. 112 or ext. 138. I can also be reached at (801) 225-7459.

P.S. If you read my story, please share it with others.

Dawn Rider
drider@kotm.org
(801) 221-9930 ext. 112

 

2/16/2001

This is Survivor Story number 12.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

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