prozac/fluoxetine

prozac/fluoxetine
paul pezzack
i started taking fluoxetine a generic form of prozac in january 2006 after being attacked and having my jaw broken.at first i felt ok,i was prescribed 40mg a day.i started to notice that when i went out drinking i could drink a lot more than usual.sometimes i would miss out a tablet or not take them for a bit.i thought it was smoking and or drinking.so i stopped them.i gave up everything but gradually got worse.i stopped taking the prozac in august 2007,i began to feel very dizzy,lethargic,anxious.i went to my doctor and he said i shouldnt have just stopped but it was ok because they have a long half life in the body and therefore taper out on their own.on 24th september 07 i woke with a terrible headache and the room wouldnt stop spinning.i had been getting muscle spasms and hot flushes for a while but just didnt know why.i went to my doctor.he said i had an ear infection and gave me antibiotics.i took it for 2 days and just couldnt believe how i was feeling my body was as heavy as a rock,my head everywhere ,i couldnt think straight at all.i decided it wasnt an ear infection and it must be the prozac and i would try and get off them.i stayed at my mums house and didnt take any for 12 weeks,i would have nightmares,shaking,hot flushes,muscle spasms,rigid muscle and stiffness.,headaches like you wouldnt believe ,a pain in my back like a hot poker had been pushed in there,shaking,shivering,visual impaiment,foggy,feelings of being outside myself or looking through a fisheye lens and incredible urges that i might hurt my mum or myself or anyone else,i cried all the time.it was the most horrific time ever in my life it was everyday allday ,24/7 of pain and anguish..eventually i gave in on december the 6th after reading on the internet that it could take 6 months to get off them.i have had side effects ever since,all the effects i had originally have continued,it has ruined my life and i feel trapped.no doctor ive spoken to believes me,i went the hospital on many ocassions and almost got laughed at because they couldnt find anything wrong.they all say you cant have problems with prozac.they just put it down to a mental health problem and treat you like an idiot.i have considered killing myself many times to get away from the pain.but something in me keeps fighting and i want to be free.i have cut down to one fifth of a tablet now and my side effects are much easier to cope with,but i really feel like i have had no help or advice at all.i have never had anyone advise on how to get off it.i have just taken the tablets apart and cut it down over the past 2 years.even my own family dont think im ill,if it wasnt for my one brother and my mum,who sadly died in november 2009 .i would be dead for definate.i would have been better off being a heroin addict and recieved help and advice.if anyone can give me advice i would be very grateful.im from wales in the uk and it seems totally ignorant to these terrible drugs.good luck to all of the people who try to stop taking them and please remember no matter how hard it gets dont ever give up and give in.together we can fight these evil drugs.

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PROZAC: Worsening Depression & Panic Attacks: England

Paragraph twelve reads: “The next day was a Friday and I started taking
the Prozac extremely reluctantly. The side effects listed on the pack
included headaches, dizziness, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains, dry
mouth, loss of appetite, anxiety, sleeplessness, nervousness. If I am
anxious now, I thought, how anxious will I be on Prozac? If I wake at four each
morning now, and toss and turn for many of the hours that follow, will I get
any sleep on Prozac?”

Paragraph fourteen reads: “By Monday I could not move. I felt sick, heavy
as a rock, everything ached, and my head swam. I had the pains and sort of
breathlessness associated with heart attacks and I was, of course, crying.
I rang work to say I had some sort of bug and that I hoped to be right the
next day. Speaking was an effort. It was hard convincing myself that the
advantages to leaving the house and seeing the doctor outweighed those of
staying inside where I wanted, desperately, to be, but I knew I needed to
seek advice. Dr Fahey offered, again, to sign me off work; my response, again,
was an adamant no. I was going into work as soon as I could.”

Paragraph 20 reads: “After the second visit to Dr Fahey everything
changed. She made me realise that whatever self-deceptions I had entered into,
the reality was that I had not been into work for several days, nor was I
currently fit to go in. She signed me off for two weeks and gave me
tranquillisers to moderate the increasingly severe panic attacks. She advised me
strongly to leave London. The idea of being on my own without work for two weeks
was unthinkable, unbearable. Amanda was off to visit our parents in the
country and taking the children with her. My brother-in-law Neil was staying
at home an extra night then would join her there. Amanda’s suggestion was
that I drive to be with Neil and then the following day he would drive us
both to Suffolk to be with the whole family.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/apr/18/depression-and-recovery-c
amilla-nicholls

Woman on the verge
She was a media executive at the top of her game. But a debilitating
midlife crisis forced Camilla Nicholls to hit rock bottom. In a searingly honest
account, she details her nervous breakdown – and her tentative steps back
to recovery

It all started slipping away from me in July 2000. Depression had been
part of my life for a long time, but that summer it ceased to be under
control. It was shortly after a married friend’s party that I had the first
significant “What is the point?” conversation.

Every guest had brought with them a child, or a swelling stomach. Hardly a
conversation was had at head height; we were all dipping and bending or
squatting to catch half a sentence with someone too heavy to stand for long.
There was no chance of eating as little hands pawed at the snacks, and
pregnant women, picking through the non-pasteurised, took precedence around the
table. Sentences were left hanging in the air as parents attended to
toddlers’ or babies’ urgent needs.

My friends will bear testimony that I am very fond of children. But I was
bitter because, aged 39, I had no partner, no prospect of a partner and,
more significantly, no prospect of motherhood. Maybe the party felt harder to
cope with that day because my hopes had just taken a severe knock. I had
been told by an unsentimental doctor’s receptionist that I was
peri-menopausal (ie approaching the menopause) and the possibility of my bearing
children was lodged somewhere between zero and infinitesimal.

The “what is the point?” conversation is the one for friends and family to
look out for as a first clue to depression. This is not the “what is the
point?” response of a child to doing homework or cleaning a bedroom; it is,
rather, “what is the point of my being alive?” For depressives the feeling
is often heightened when the reasons for depression are not obvious to
themselves or, more importantly, to others. This leads to the cajoling (or
worse, hectoring) question: “What have you got to be depressed about – you have
a great job/partner/house/body?”

I come from a small, loving, middle-class family. I was not brought up to
follow a particular religion, although as a child my grandmothers took me,
and my only sister Amanda, to Sunday services at the local church in the
Surrey town where we spent all our youth. What my parents did adhere to with
near religious fervour was the observation of good manners. A framework of
politeness in all situations was my firmest mould. Now, grown up,
approaching a milestone of middle age, it was safe to say on paper I had more than
most: a well-paid, challenging job in the media, to which I was virtually
married, a lovely house without an enormous mortgage, often exciting
relationships, great friends and I remained close to my stable family. And yet by
August 2000 my predominant talent was for crying.

I wish when I had first asked “What is the point?” I had been advised to
seek medical help urgently. I was talking to my friend Amy, who was no
stranger to depression herself, so I may have acted had she done so. Instead,
Amy told me a story of finding love herself, unexpectedly, and how it could
happen to me. She may even have taken the phrase “You often find someone
when you are not looking” for another turn. What I do vividly remember is
putting my feet up against the cool marble side of my fireplace, saying “I just
cannot see the point any more”, and crying.

A strong feeling of sadness about my childlessness had persuaded me to
seek the help of a psychotherapist, Judy, in the autumn of 1999 and I had been
visiting her regularly since. Judy, like the majority of therapists, took
the month of August as holiday, leaving me and a whole host of other therapy
regulars in a limbo land of summer anxiety. I looked to herbal drugs – St
John’s wort and others – to boost my spirits and, as ever, I threw myself
into the full responsibilities of my job.

What I was far from realising was that none of these tactics were enough.
Therapy alone cannot conquer a depressive illness, and neither can herbal
drugs. Making work the focus of your life is certainly not the answer. I
felt under-appreciated in my job, believed that my contribution counted for
nothing. I felt my body had let me down, and that I was useless physically as
well as professionally. The feeling was exacerbated when the last person
with whom I had had a physical relationship (and with whom I was still
involved) took up with someone more than 10 years younger. I found out,
painfully, through a third party. This was when my emotional strength started to
give out.

The crying got worse. At work, tears would inconveniently start to fall
down my face in the middle of writing an email or at the point of making a
phone call. In the past many had taken refuge in my office seeking privacy, a
shoulder, advice, a place to scream, and now the adjustable blinds became
an essential masking tool for my own distress. I frequently took time out to
weep in a neighbouring colleague’s office. She began to beg me to seek
help, but because I was in professional mode, I assured her I was really
working hard in therapy and a day didn’t go by without my taking the St John’s
wort. All would be fine.

Finally, I began to realise that taking pride in hiding the fact that I
was on the emotional skids was not a good end in itself. I rang my GP, Dr
Fahey, a plain-speaking, wise Irish woman. I was brave, then sniffled, then
howled, and she said there would be a prescription for me at the surgery that
night for Prozac. She assured me I could ring if I felt I needed to talk
before our appointment in a week’s time, and then she asked if I wanted time
off work. My response was an emphatic no. “I have to keep going into work.
Work is what I do.”

The next day was a Friday and I started taking the Prozac extremely
reluctantly. The side effects listed on the pack included headaches, dizziness,
diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains, dry mouth, loss of appetite,
anxiety, sleeplessness, nervousness. If I am anxious now, I thought, how
anxious will I be on Prozac? If I wake at four each morning now, and toss and
turn for many of the hours that follow, will I get any sleep on Prozac?

The first night, I was lucky – friends invited me to stay, friends who
understood. But on Saturday, as I prepared to leave, I began to sink at the
thought of being alone. My friend was pregnant and to make more demands on
her and her partner felt wrong. We stood on her doorstep and she held me
close, hugging me and asking if I would be OK. “Yes,” I lied, then, more
truthfully: “I have to be.” But I cried all weekend.

By Monday I could not move. I felt sick, heavy as a rock, everything
ached, and my head swam. I had the pains and sort of breathlessness associated
with heart attacks and I was, of course, crying. I rang work to say I had
some sort of bug and that I hoped to be right the next day. Speaking was an
effort. It was hard convincing myself that the advantages to leaving the
house and seeing the doctor outweighed those of staying inside where I wanted,
desperately, to be, but I knew I needed to seek advice. Dr Fahey offered,
again, to sign me off work; my response, again, was an adamant no. I was
going into work as soon as I could.

Everyone has different experiences of how they interact with family while
in the grip of a depressive illness: some gain no support, some seek no
support, some have in mind that individual members of their family are largely
or totally responsible for their illness. Despite our lifestyles being
completely different, my sister, Amanda, was the one I could turn to at any
time.

I was struck by an inability to talk to my parents. I simply could not
pick up the phone, or see them. I keenly felt the weight of their love, and
therefore the weight of their disappointment that I was childless,
partnerless. I saw my own confusion and grief reflected back at me. Eventually I
began emailing them messages telling them a little – oh, such a little – of
what I was experiencing. I am sure it was partly a result of the good manners
they themselves had instilled in me that I made this faint but direct
contact. My preferred position was really to remain silent. What child wants to
tell the parents that gave them life that they want it ended?

By the time I returned to Dr Fahey three days later Amanda knew that
something was really wrong. I had told her that I found eating difficult and
that I was afraid to leave the house. I was ringing work each day to say I
still had not improved enough to go in. Mornings are the worst time for
depression and I was piling on the agony by setting myself the unrealistic target
of going to work and then feeling a failure when I was unable to meet it.
Dr Fahey advised that I cancel the regular appointment with Judy, my
therapist, for that week. At first I suspected professional competitiveness
(“I’ll save you” – “No, I’ll save you!”), but she was trying to prevent any
further introspection on my part. I could not see how I was going to get the
few miles across north London that the visit required anyway.

So for three days my sister and Judy coaxed me, by telephone, out of the
house. A 20-yard trip to the newsagent was fine, a trip to M&S was less
successful. I made it to the shop, but halfway round I froze. All that food,
all those people. I loaded up a basket then had to leave it mid-store and
struggle out of the shop to lean against the wall and gasp. I clutched at my
chest, I thought something might rupture.

All this time I kept thinking I would be back at work any minute. That I
had to be back at work. It was essential that people did not know there was
anything wrong. And, really, there was not anything wrong. I was barely
eating, I could barely leave the house, but I was surely fit for work. Surely.

After the second visit to Dr Fahey everything changed. She made me realise
that whatever self-deceptions I had entered into, the reality was that I
had not been into work for several days, nor was I currently fit to go in.
She signed me off for two weeks and gave me tranquillisers to moderate the
increasingly severe panic attacks. She advised me strongly to leave London.
The idea of being on my own without work for two weeks was unthinkable,
unbearable. Amanda was off to visit our parents in the country and taking the
children with her. My brother-in-law Neil was staying at home an extra
night then would join her there. Amanda’s suggestion was that I drive to be
with Neil and then the following day he would drive us both to Suffolk to be
with the whole family.

At their house that evening I crept into my nephew’s room, in his narrow
bunk bed and under his Star Wars duvet. I gasped and sweated through the
night. In the morning, Neil appeared with some tea and suggested we have
breakfast. Fine, I said, yes. Then I realised I might split in two if he left
the room. I gestured that I could do with a hug – and then I started the real
drop to the bottom. It was as if my chest was going to be rent in two.

As Neil pulled gently away I kept up appearances and said I would be down
for breakfast in a minute. I got as far as the bottom of the stairs and
realised I could not breathe, was going to faint, and sat there bleating for
Neil like some injured animal. You need to eat, he asserted. You need some
sugar, something. It had been so long since I had eaten properly my throat
was constricted; my head, heart, lungs felt squeezed. And the panic was
rising: what if I never eat again? What if I have to stay in this state? What
if? What if? I began to hyperventilate. Neil collected me up and calmly set
me on the sofa. He found some dextrose tablets and crammed them into my
mouth, he lifted my feet above my head and he repeated over and over again that
this was the worst, it would get better. But when I could speak I just
begged him tearfully to ring my doctor, to get me to hospital, to put me out
of my misery. To stop everything, to make it stop.

When Neil felt the panic attack had subsided enough he did go to the
phone. He did not ring my doctor, nor the hospital, but Amanda, who got in the
car and came back to be with me. In the following days I frequently asked if
I could be taken to hospital. I wanted, demanded, a lobotomy. I wanted
something to stop the pain, the panic, the screaming, the crying, the
darkness. I wanted some peace.

Amanda and Neil withstood my pleas and I am glad they did. I am not sure I
would have survived hospital. And I could not give up with my niece,
Jessica, and her brother, Alexander, around. “What is actually wrong with you?”
12-year-old Alexander asked repeatedly in the first few days, until my
sister took him to one side and gave him an explanation in her determined and
straightforward way. I was relieved. I did not know how to answer him, I did
not want to scare him and I did not want to lie. But apart from this one
small challenge the children were nothing but help to me. They would appear
in the morning and scramble on or into my bed and tell me what lay ahead
for them that day. And when there is someone so trusting asking you questions
as if your opinion still mattered and telling you stories as if it was
still important to impress you it is hard to plot and plan death, or much
harder anyway.

Amanda brought me breakfast in bed before she left for her teaching job.
Breakfast was a small glass of orange juice placed in the centre of a plate
with toast fingers arranged around the glass to look like a flower or a sun
– something hopeful. I did not feel worthy of such treatment and it would
make me cry. Neil worked from home so I was never alone, and Amanda would
ring me when she got to work, in her break and at lunchtime.

If my illness put a strain on Amanda and Neil’s marriage or their family
life as a whole they did not say. To help the days pass I did my best to
read carefully selected books – nothing with relationships in, nothing about
family love. I met Neil for lunch in the kitchen. I had become, as my mother
was to remark unforgettably, “a vegetable”. Most evenings were spent
inert, watching the family life go on around me. I listened to the children’s
music practice and I made occasional attempts to help with homework. I should
have known that a night of fractions with Jessica was unlikely to be good
for either of us. I had to leave her with her homework book pages rubbed raw
and almost transparent to howl in the bathroom. She clearly felt this was
a topsy-turvy world of role reversal. Wasn’t the child supposed to be in
tears of frustration not the adult?

While the family watched TV I tended to lie behind it as it continued to
induce a state of panic. I tried to hold on to vestiges of my own lifestyle.
Neil recorded The Sopranos for me, but I managed no more than a few
minutes. It did not induce panic, but anguish. Mine was no longer the life of a
sharp, media-savvy woman with sophisticated tastes – after all Amanda had to
gently chivvy me to wash my hair. I found that Alan Titchmarsh and other
toilers on the land and in the kitchen posed no threat. Being so far removed
from my former life made them oddly bearable to view.

Outside scared me. I felt flimsy and exposed. I did not want to be seen or
heard. When Amanda was home I followed her round like a shadow, always
keen to be in the same room, always keen to be held. I ate a little more food
and gained some substance, I had a few more hours’ sleep a night. Armed
with a mobile phone and a huge send off from Neil one day I left the house to
buy a paper. It is several hundred yards to the paper shop from their home,
but it felt like a major adventure, and as I paid for the paper I felt a
surge of spirit, a lightheartedness I had not experienced for some time.

And then my mobile rang. It was one of my friends, and I was able to share
my achievement with her: I had made it to the paper shop on my own. She
was so delighted she asked if I had planted a flag there. It was great. But
the next day I wept over our celebration. How pathetic. I was a 39-year-old
woman, a senior executive at a national newspaper, someone who at the
office made hundreds of decisions a day, a woman with a reputation for being
scary, and the biggest achievement of that week was leaving the house and
handing over loose change to buy the newspaper for which I was still officially
the spokesperson.

When the next visit to Dr Fahey loomed I decided I should venture back to
London a day or so earlier, the logic being that if I could not be on my
own in the house then I should not be going back to work. And going back to
work was my goal, and what I expected my doctor to be helping me to do. It
was a disaster. The appetite which had been coaxed into some sort of life in
the bosom of my sister’s family disappeared. There was no room in the
house that I could settle in. I could not sleep. I used the time to make my
will to plan which friends of mine struggling with infertility I would endow
with financial gifts when I was gone.

Dr Fahey was prepared to give me a very, very limited supply of sleeping
tablets but “not enough to kill yourself with”. I think I smiled at that.
“Do you ever think of killing yourself?” she asked quickly. “I rarely think
of anything else,” was my response. “And how would you feel about seeing a
psychiatrist?” Fine, I said, fine. They would make a home visit. Fine. On
returning home I panicked. Was I going to be sectioned?

I immediately rang my friend Roger who had had a hand in sectioning
someone in the past. His advice was that it takes two to section. If I saw two
through the fish-eye in the door then I should not let them in.

A short time later my doctor rang and told me that there would probably be
two people who would visit me, a psychiatrist and a psychoanalyst. Two? I
started to shake. “Will they take me anywhere?” I asked coyly. “I do not
know,” my doctor replied. “Only if they think it is necessary.” As soon as I
put down the receiver there was an incoming call from Siobhain, a lawyer as
well as a friend, who, alerted by Roger, was offering to come and be in
loco parentis to prevent a sectioning. And then Martin, the psychiatrist,
rang. “I will be with you in half an hour.”

Perhaps I could convince them that I was not mad. The lethargy which
almost permanently overwhelmed me was temporarily thrown off as I set about
making my house look sane. I made piles of paper, I cleaned the tea mugs, I
folded the rug under which I spent most time. Then I had an inspiration.
Recycling. If I put some paper in the recycling bin it would look as if I was
investing in the future.

When Martin arrived on the doorstep he appeared to be on his own. I made
tea for us in a scene straight from a badly acted kitchen drama; the spoons
and china clattered as I tried, unsuccessfully, to keep the shaking under
control. We sat in my living room. I questioned him. “Are you really on your
own?” and “Are you going to take me anywhere?” He stated reassuringly that
there was no one waiting outside.

Things got better after that. He gave a name to what I was suffering – a
serious depressive illness – which at its worst was a killer. He identified
a singular problem and spoke it out loud. “So you feel you are incapable of
doing anything, of being good at your job, of holding down a relationship,
of being a mother, and now you cannot even kill yourself, is that right?”
So right, so right, I could not speak. This was a jam I could not see my
way out of – and I was not at all sure that Martin, or any other well meaning
person, could help me out of it either.

It was months into my illness before any of the professionals ventured to
use the term breakdown. It was several more before I learnt that this was
not a cause to feel ashamed.

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Matt’s Story

“On July 18, 2003, I lost my son to suicide after 10 weeks of being on the antidepressant Lexapro.”

Matt was a healthy and happy child who grew up in a loving home, the youngest of six. He was athletic and outgoing, well liked by his peers and adults as well. Matt was a good student, with a strong sense of right and wrong, a kind heart, and a sound faith in God. He loved sports and music, and was always joking around with his family and friends. Oh, he could be stubborn when he thought he had a point, and he was known to procrastinate with the best of them. He was a joy to us always. Then, during his senior year in high school, things started to change.

He became withdrawn and was having trouble sleeping. He lost interest in his friends, school, his job, his college plans, and basketball (the thing he loved most). Matt turned 18 on April 25, 2003. A week later he began treatment for “clinical depression” (his first episode). There were several things that could have contributed to his depression, though most were normal “growing up” situations. One thing we do know is that Matt was suffering from post traumatic stress. At the age of 13, he was hit by a car on his bike. He suffered a frontal lobe head injury, but every indication was that he recovered well from that accident. Still, five years later, he began reliving the accident as though it had just happened. He was having nightmares and panic attacks, but Matt was NOT suicidal.

The counselor that he was seeing was shocked and visibly shaken by Matt’s death. He said that he never saw any indication that Matt would do such a thing. The medication was prescribed ( by a family practice doctor) to help correct a “chemical imbalance” which we were told is at the root of depression. He began taking Lexapro during the second week of May. We were told the side effects could be nausea, insomnia, headaches, dizziness. Did anyone say “and suicidal behavior”? NO!!!

I am devastated to think that something we were giving my son to help him could have literally taken him from us. At the very least, we should have been warned to be on the look out for certain signs. Signs I have since learned are danger signs, such as anxiety and akathisia. I had never heard that word before, but I now believe that Matt was experiencing it. I realize that I have gone on at length, and still there is so much more I could say. Our lives have been ripped apart, and I’ll always wonder “What If”” he hadn’t been taking that medicine? Would he still be here?

Nothing can bring my son back. I would just like to share our story with other parents who may be helped before it’s too late.

I would also like to hear what others have to say about Lexapro. My e-mail address is csteub@visuallink.com. I welcome hearing from anyone who has an interest in this look forward to hearing from you. Thank you. Celeste

Celeste Steubing
csteub@visuallink.com

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Effexor & Topamax

“I never want to take pills again.”

Hello all, My name is Denise and thankfully I am still alive to tell this story and hopefully help someone. I have been bulimic for 17 years, on and off but never sought treatment until 2000. My Dr. put me on Effexor. When I went back to see him I told him I couldn’t sleep he put me on Xanax. I did that for about 2 years but got tired of taking pills all the time. I went off the Effexor, and the withdrawals were horrible, headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, no appetite, but I made it.

After I stopped the meds I realized how poorly I was sleeping while I was on them because I always felt “Hyped up” mentally but physically worn out.

After about six months I got pregnant and then suffered a miscarriage. I went back on the Effexor and Xanax. Also the Dr. said Topamax was being used to treat bulimia. So then I was on 3 meds. One of the Great things about Topamax is it did help with my headaches/migraines. A few months later I stopped the Effexor again (another bad withdrawal) and cut way down on the Xanax. after 4 months of just taking Topamax, I starting getting SERIOUSLY SUICIDAL.

I wouldn’t leave my house or go to the gym. I didn’t want to go out. I went to the Dr’s Office and told him this and he gave me sample of Wellbutrin. As I left I thought “more meds!!!” So I decided to do my own research and discovered that Topamax can cause suicidal feelings/depression so I stopped taking it. I never want to take pills again. I am looking into B-Complex for the migraines.

Thanks,

Denise Lee
thecure6@bellsouth.net

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Coming Off Paxil—the Hard Way

“…I told him I was going to just end it all and kill myself.”

 

I was prescribed Paxil by a walk in clinic doctor. During the first week nothing seemed real, and I wasn’t able to express my emotions. Everything was calm and ethereal.

I was going through a very hard time with my boyfriend and breaking up. By the 3rd week, I was in a level fog, unable to get too upset or too happy. All I wanted to do was sit down and read or sleep. I didn’t want to take a shower or get out of bed. I’m normally a very motivated person but I just didn’t care anymore. I couldn’t follow conversations and didn’t really want people to talk around me; I just wanted to sit quietly.

It’s now been one month and I am trying to wean myself off Paxil. I was on 50 mg a day, which I am now understanding is a high dose. I was also taking Klonopin at night. I started skipping my Paxil every other day, and then chopped a few in half. I have terrible headaches, where I literally have to hold my head in hands; it feels like it will rip open. Every time I cough or move my head it hurts and spins. I have had diarrhea for 2 days now. I sweat constantly and my body hurts like when you have the flu. My fingers and toes have tingles and dead spots. I went to my boyfriend’s the other night and told him I was going to just end it all and kill myself.

I honestly felt like it was the right logical answer. I have all these feelings of despair. I can’t seem to think straight. I finally began writing in my diary trying to tell myself it was just the Paxil. I found several websites addressing these problems with Paxil and I feel better. I am 27 years old, and I don’t want to end up a cliche…I am going to keep weaning myself off this drug and begin exercising and eating healthy, to get it out of my system. Now that I know all these weird thoughts aren’t me…just the Paxil. I am going to be brave and make it thru.

NOTE FROM ANN BLAKE-TRACY: This is why this is the wrong way to come off these drugs! The roller coaster effect in one’s mood swings of taking the drug every other day is horrendous! It is so important to know to wean VERY gradually off these medications and once again I would recommend my hour and a half long tape detailing how to do this without these horrible reactions.

(800-280-0730)

 

8/9/2001

This is Survivor Story number 20.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

591 total views, no views today

Going Crazy after 10 Days on Paxil and Xanax

“I realized that the majority of my symptoms were directly related to the Paxil.”

 

I’m a 31 year old female (and a registered nurse) I have 2 young children, recently I went through a lot of loss in my life. My mother in law battling her second brain tumor, and I cared for my grandfather in his home until his death. During this time I became very anxious and started having some neurological symptoms of twitching and fatigue. My physician suggested I get to see a neurologist to rule out MS.

That was the day I had my first panic attack (seems mild to me now.) I then realized I could not see a neurologist for over 2 months. The anxiety intensified, my M.d. prescribed Xanax and Paxil.

The first day I only required a 1/2 of a .25mg of Xanax. But by day 3 on Paxil I was taking 2 whole tabs of Xanax with no relief. In just 3 days I began going crazy. I had my husband take me to the hospital. I was not sleeping, eating, I was very dizzy. I had tingling, burning, numbness all over my body, headaches, and strange tremors and electrical sensations. Many of these symptoms mimic the symptoms of MS. I went through the whole battery of tests, all negative.

It was not until day 7 of Paxil that I realized that the majority of my symptoms were directly related to the Paxil. I weaned myself over 3 days, (only on it for 7 days before) It has only been 8 days now, I am feeling about 50% better. Every morning I wake up and go for my morning walk (3 miles) It takes so much out of me, but I know it is important. When I come home I have to prepare myself for the long day of taking care of my children. I am trying to stay busy and surround myself with alot of very supportive people.

At this point my three biggest complaints are dizziness, extreme fatigue, and inability to sleep. I just wanted to know if my story sounds familiar, (I had no mental health history before 3 weeks ago!) I just have to keep thinking that I will be better someday. Thanks for your support. My love and prayers to all of you suffering.

Jenny

 

8/6/2001

This is Survivor Story number 21.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

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The Wrong Way to Withdraw from Paxil

“Now that I know all these weird thoughts aren’t me…just the Paxil.”

 

I was prescribed Paxil by a walk in clinic Dr. During the first week nothing seemed real and I wasn’t able to express my emotions. Everything was calm and ethereal. I was going through a very hard time with my boyfriend and breaking up. By the 3rd week, I was in a level fog, unable to get too upset or too happy. All I wanted to do was sit down and read or sleep. I didn’t want to take a shower or get out of bed. I’m normally a very motivated person but I just didn’t care anymore. I couldn’t follow conversations and didn’t really want people to talk around me, I just wanted to sit quietly.

It’s now been one month and I am trying to wean myself off Paxil. I was on 50 mg a day, which I am now understanding is a high dose. I was also taking Klonopin at night. I started skipping my Paxil every other day, and then chopped a few in half. I have terrible headaches, where I literally have to hold my head in hands, it feels like it will rip open. Every time I cough or move my head it hurts and spins. I have had diarrhea for 2 days now. I sweat constantly and my body hurts like when you have the flu. My fingers and toes have tingles and dead spots. I went to my boyfriends the other night and told him I was going to just end it all and kill myself. I honestly felt like it was the right logical answer. I have all these feelings of despair.

I cant seem to think straight. I finally began writing in my diary trying to tell myself it was just the Paxil. I found several websites addressing these problems with Paxil and I feel better. I am 27 years old, and I don’t want to end up a cliche. I am going to keep weaning myself off this drug and begin exercising and eating healthy, to get it out of my system. Now that I know all these weird thoughts aren’t me…just the Paxil. I am going to be brave and make it through.

NOTE FROM DR. TRACY: This is why this is the wrong way to come off these drugs! The roller coaster effect in one’s mood swings of taking the drug every other day is horrendous! It is so important to know to wean VERY gradually off these medications and once again I would recommend my hour and a half long tape detailing how to do this without these horrible reactions. (800-280-0730)

7/16/2001

This is Survivor Story number 26.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

336 total views, 0 views today

A Teenager’s Journey into Prozac Hell

“He was on Zoloft about 5 days when he told me that he now could not distinguish between dreams and reality.”

 

My 17 yr. old son was prescribed Prozac after being diagnosed with mild clinical depression. We were told the side effects could be headache, stomach upset and anxiety for a few days. When I voiced concerns about this drug, stating that I heard it caused violent behavior etc. I was told that these were “fairy stories” and that Prozac was an excellent drug. He started Prozac and we hoped for the best.

He had been sleeping excessively, and after one day on Prozac, he woke up and said that he had woken up a few times during that first night. I figured the drug was starting to work. About a week later he announced that he had talked back to a teacher at school. ( very unlike him) I told him never to do that again. A week after that he came home from being out with friends, and he seemed very agitated. I asked him what was going on and he told me that he felt like a bully and had almost gotten into many fights at school. He said he didn’t care about anything, and if someone died, he wouldn’t even care. He said he felt his friends were becoming afraid of him. This was after about 3 weeks on Prozac.
I immediately called the doctor and told them I wanted him OFF this drug. He was becoming a different person and it wasn’t good. She asked me a few questions and said maybe we should try another drug. She never told us to taper him off this drug. She said to keep him off of it a week and then start on a small dose of Zoloft.

When he went off Prozac He was a wreck. He was shaking, had headaches, felt anxious, and kept telling me he needed some kind of medicine. It was as though he was craving some kind of drug. He then started on Zoloft.

He was on Zoloft about 5 days when he told me that he now could not distinguish between dreams and reality. The doctor now told me to take him off Zoloft. Again, we were never told to taper him off. He just stopped. We now know that going off of these drugs cold-turkey is the worst thing that you can do.

Then the hell started. Total change in him. He was hardly sleeping, and when he did sleep, he had horrid, violent dreams. He could not concentrate on anything, and his short term memory was shot. He said and did things that were totally unlike him. It should be noted that he had NEVER HAD ANY OF THIS HAPPEN BEFORE HE WAS ON PROZAC. He saw a therapist who suggested that he was bipolar, and he would have none of her. He asked me if he was going crazy, and told me he felt “criminally insane” in his mind. He said his thoughts were horrible.

At this point, I got on the internet and discovered Dr. Tracy’s web page. Everything my son had been going through was there in black and white. I sent for her book, and discussed it with our pediatrician. His advice was to let my son “dry out.” We told our son what we thought was happening, and hoped for the best. However, twice during the next month he became hypomanic, and wanted us to take him to the emergency room. We knew that they would only pump him full of more drugs, so we decided to wait out the episodes. The morning after each episode he seemed much better. However, his mood now became very unpredictable: it swung up and down from day to day. He also suffered tremendous weight loss during this period.

I then sought out any help I could find. We went to an acupuncturist, who told us that he had heard of such reactions to Prozac. He believed that he could help my son, whereas every traditional medical practitioner who we visited had not heard of such reactions, and discounted the idea that Prozac could have been the cause of such behavior. After a few months of acupuncture the violent thoughts and dreams subsided. However, his concentration and memory were still greatly affected. This had a huge impact on his school work. After a few more months of acupuncture, he seemed better, but still had an up-and-down mood.

At this point, he became extremely depressed, and we ended up seeing a psychiatrist. The doctor put my son on Depakote for rapid cycling mood disorder. He traded in his mood swings for constant depression. A small dose of Wellbutrin was then diagnosed to help this condition. After a couple weeks, he told me that he felt worse and wanted to quit taking all medication. He had once again begun to experience rage, and knew that the drugs were not good for him. He went off of all drugs, and began to feel better. at the same time, the acupuncturist started working on something new, and things started to get better.

I had been praying constantly throughout this ordeal, as had many friends and family members. I know that this has helped him, and all of us, get through these extremely hard times.

Since his attention and memory have been affected, his performance in school has dropped and his plans for a future education have been severely altered, at least for the time being. Our son has gone through an ordeal which no one his age should ever have to face. But with the support family members and his friends (who were kind enough to be there with him throughout the whole drawn- out incident, violent mood swings and all), we were all able to survive. It has been over a year since he has taken Prozac, and hopefully things will continue to improve.
This experience has taught us to rely on our instincts and to seek out as much information as possible on any drug prescribed to anyone in our family. I hope our story can help others in getting trough or averting similar situations.

Sincerely, a wiser, yet sadder, mother.

 

10/29/1998

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 31.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

538 total views, 0 views today