Paragraphs six and seven read: “Kelsey had been depressed and was taking several medications but decided to quit some of them cold turkey, particularly Prozac, Larry Kelsey said.”
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Paragraphs six and seven read: “Kelsey had been depressed and was taking several medications but decided to quit some of them cold turkey, particularly Prozac, Larry Kelsey said.”
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updated 10:03 a.m. EDT, Tue September
by Sheeza Ashraf, Fremont, California
I have a 4-month-old baby. I am
going through postpartum depression with a lot of anxiety and panic attacks. I
went through postpartum depression with my first baby eight years ago but at
that time I didn’t have anxiety and I didn’t take any medication. And I started
getting better after 3½ months itself. But now it’s been three months that I am
going through this. I have been taking medications (Paxil 20 mg, Buspar 10 mg)
and getting counseling but it’s not helping much. I still don’t feel myself and
am having unwanted thoughts. How long does postpartum depression last? Is this
temporary? Will this anxiety and depression ever go away? Should I stop the
medications and try it on my own? Does exercise help to get out of the
depression? Will I ever be normal like I was before?
Health Expert Dr.
Charles Raison Psychiatrist,
Emory University Medical School
I am sorry to hear
of your difficulties — you are far from alone in your struggles with postpartum
depression. Indeed, up to 20 percent of women become depressed in the six months
following delivery, but company doesn’t help much when it comes to depression —
or at least the company we typically provide in the U.S. Traditional cultures
understood the vulnerability of new mothers and would often surround them with
family and friends to help with the significant emotional and practical burdens
of coping with the newborn.
I am going to make some general
recommendations about what you might want to consider doing, based only on the
information you have provided above. As always, this should not be taken as
specific advice for your actual situation. That kind of advice can come only
from a clinician who knows you and is involved in your care.
most important, it is very important to continue medication when one is still
depressed, so given what you describe, I would counsel against stopping the
antidepressant. It is not clear how long you have been on the Paxil (generic:
paroxetine), but let’s assume you’ve been on it for at least six weeks. You are
on a low dose. A reasonable first step would be to talk with your doctor about
raising the dose to 40 mg a day and trying this dose for at least several weeks.
If you see no benefit, there are in general two paths your doctor might
recommend (and I say doctor in the generic sense, given that many folks nowadays
see physician assistants or nurse practitioners who often — in my experience —
do a better job diagnosing and treating depression than do MDs). First, your
doctor might add a second antidepressant or an atypical antipsychotic to your
Paxil. Although they are called “antipsychotics,” these agents (for example
Seroquel, Abilify, Zyprexa) are also widely used to help with severe depression
and anxiety and are often quite effective. Second, your doctor might switch you
from the Paxil to another antidepressant. Unfortunately, we have no scientific
way of knowing which agent you should switch to — our best data suggest that
they are all about equal. But one thing is clear: Many people who don’t do well
with one antidepressant will have a great response to a different
Anxiety and panic are quite common when one has a bad depression,
and they can be more miserable to endure than the feeling of depression itself.
It is unlikely that the low dose of Buspar (generic: buspirone) you are taking
is of much benefit. You might want to discuss with your doctor raising the dose
to at least 10 mg three times a day or discontinuing it. The best immediate way
to relieve disabling anxiety is through the use of benzodiazepines (for example
lorazepam or clonazepam). These medications can be lifesavers, but if you take
them for more than three or four weeks your body will become dependent upon
them, and should you want to stop, you will have to reduce them slowly under the
supervision of a doctor.
Let me say a word about exercise. Yes, exercise
has been shown in many studies not only to raise a person’s mood immediately,
but also to work over time as an antidepressant. Therefore, I strongly recommend
adding regular exercise to your treatment regimen. Try to exercise in the
morning, especially when it is sunny. To get the best effect you will need to
work up a sweat. I find that it is even better if you can exercise in a place
with some natural beauty — as being in nature is itself quite comforting for
most of us.
I don’t have an answer to your question about how long the
depression will last and whether it will ever go away. Everyone is different. We
do know, however, that the longer one stays depressed and/or the more episodes
one has had, the harder it is to treat the condition. This is just the
frightening truth of the disease, and it really highlights how important it is
for you to really get aggressive about your treatment. My sincere hope is that
whatever specific treatment route you follow, you will start feeling like
yourself again as quickly as possible.
Finally, whenever I talk about
specific pharmacologic treatments I need to disclose that in addition to my
academic work I have given lectures for two pharmaceutical companies in the last
year: Lilly and Wyeth. I have also served on an advisory board for Lilly in the
last 12 months.
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SSRI Stories note: Soforty-two percent of the people who committed suicide were taking
Vanderburgh County had the same number of suicides through the first half of
this year as it did in the first six months of 2008, though officials say there
has been a marked increase in self-inflicted deaths tied to the faltering
Of the 17 suicides reported through June 30, six of them
occurred after the person lost his job.
That compares with only one
job-related suicide in the first half of 2008.
Coroner Annie Groves
called it a big concern, especially given the recent news that Whirlpool will
shut down next year, taking 1,100 jobs with it. “When you lose your job, you
lose your home, you lose hope,” Groves said. “That worries me with this
The coroner’s office recently released data on suicides in
advance of Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week, which continues through
Saturday in Evansville. It ends with the LifeSavers Walk, an annual event that
raises awareness and funds for addressing the suicide problem. Registration
starts at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Evansville State Hospital, 3400 Lincoln
Local efforts toward combating suicides grew in 2007, when
Vanderburgh County ended the year with a record 40 self-inflicted deaths.
The numbers went down slightly in 2008, when 38 were reported by year’s
end, and are on pace this year to finish down again.
In addition to the
increase in job-related suicides, Groves said there also has been a steady
increase in self-inflicted deaths by people ages 20 to 39. There were 11 such
deaths in the first six months of the year compared with just five during that
span last year, 14 in all of 2008 and 16 in all of 2007.
“That’s an area
I’m very concerned about,” Groves said. “… It used to be 50 to 59 was our
The 17 deaths recorded through the end of June include only
Groves said there likely are six more suicides among
14 cases officially ruled accidental overdoses, but that a lack of hard evidence
prevents her from ruling those deaths intentional.
But on another front,
the numbers could be construed as artificially high: The 17 self-inflicted
deaths include seven people who committed a suicidal act in another county but
died here after being airlifted to an Evansville hospital.
In any event,
Groves said seeing the numbers come down from the record-setting 2007 figures is
a good sign.
She credits the dip with multiple prevention efforts: the
walk, frequent classes that teach the signs and symptoms of suicide and
brochures and billboards that increase awareness.
“We’re so busy focusing
on how many we’ve lost, we sometimes forget to focus on how many we’ve saved,”
Janie Chappell, chairwoman of the Southwestern Indiana
Suicide Prevention Coalition, said awareness efforts increasingly will focus on
encouraging people suffering from depression to seek medication and
Of the 17 deaths in the first half of 2009, seven people were
taking antidepressant medication, but only one was seeing a counselor. Chappell
and Groves said studies show doing both works best.
“But there’s still so
much stigma surrounding mental health, people are reluctant to get help,”
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“Hastings had trouble sleeping and had been taking antidepressants, but family members don’t know if the medication played a role, Brazil said.”
OKLAHOMA CITY The latest Oklahoma soldier to die in Iraq had become depressed and demoralized by the deaths of friends in combat, and family members suspect he committed suicide, his sister said Friday.
The Defense Department announced Thursday that Spc. Matthew Hastings, 23, of Claremore, died Monday from injuries he received in an incident not related to combat in Baghdad. A cause of death hasn’t been released by military officials, who say an investigation is under way.
Michelle Brazil believes her brother committed suicide based on a recent e-mail his best friend received just before he died.
“He e-mailed his best friend and told her what to do with all of his stuff, and he said he was going to visit his brother,” Brazil said by telephone from Claremore. “Our brother died five years ago.”
Hastings had trouble sleeping and had been taking antidepressants, but family members don’t know if the medication played a role, Brazil said.
His yearlong deployment was scheduled to end in December, she said. Family and friends got to see him during a two-week visit in April.
“He told us his plans for when he got back,” Brazil said. “He recently did some shopping online and ordered some clothing and that package arrived here in July, so he didn’t plan this for very long.”
Hastings was assigned to the 582nd Medical Logistics Company, 1st Medical Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command out of Fort Hood, Texas.
He joined the military in August 2006 as a light-wheel vehicle mechanic and had been stationed at Fort Hood since February 2007. The unit provides basic medical services, said Tyler Broadway, a Fort Hood spokesman.
Hastings, a 2005 graduate from high school in Broken Arrow, liked to hunt and fish and “was just a comic,” Brazil said.
“He had a lot of friends. He always made everybody laugh,” she said.
Although Hastings’ death is still under investigation, the U.S. Army has developed a program to respond to increased suicides among soldiers. Beginning Oct. 1, soldiers will take a test to see how they respond to stress and to assess their resiliency, officials announced this week.
The Army said Aug. 13 that there were 62 confirmed suicides and 34 unconfirmed cases from Jan. 1 through July 31.
As for Hastings, Brazil said an autopsy is being conducted on her brother and his body hadn’t arrived in Oklahoma yet.
“I’m fine right now. I go in and out,” Brazil said. “I wake up in the morning and realize it’s not a nightmare and I cry for hours. After that, it’s just planning for the funeral. I’m sure it will soak in again soon.
“It’s such a shock.”
Hayhurst Funeral Home in Broken Arrow is handling funeral arrangements for Hastings, Brazil said.
Besides his sister, Hastings is survived by his mother and stepfather, Lawanda and Roger Lowry of Coweta; his father, Clark Hastings Jr., of Redfield, Ark.; grandfather Clark Hastings Sr., of Jacksonville, Ark.; and grandparents, Wanda and Vernon Cline of Pryor.
Hastings was going through a divorce and had no children, Brazil said.
An AP database based on Department of Defense news releases indicates Hastings was at least the 75th Oklahoma military serviceman to die in the war in Iraq.
Their brother, Clark Hastings III, preceded him in death.
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Second paragraph reads: “Chandler police said Carol Roby, 62, suffered a nervous breakdown after going off her Zoloft, an anti-depressant medication. Her family noticed her missing Saturday when she didn’t meet them for a 2 p.m. meeting. She also didn’t make an 8 a.m. work appointment, police said.”
FROM THE WARNING ON OUR www.drugawareness.org WEBSITE FROM ITS INCEPTIONIN 1997:
Withdrawal can often be more dangerous than continuing on a medication. It is important to withdraw extremely slowly from these drugs (usually over a period of a year or more depending upon the length of use of antidepressant medications).
Chandler woman reported missing calls family from Tucson
8 commentsby Megan Boehnke – Aug. 10, 2009 10:01 AM
The Arizona Republic
A Chandler woman who was missing over the weekend called her family late Sunday from a hotel in Tucson.
Chandler police said Carol Roby, 62, suffered a nervous breakdown after going off her Zoloft, an anti-depressant medication. Her family noticed her missing Saturday when she didn’t meet them for a 2 p.m. meeting. She also didn’t make an 8 a.m. work appointment, police said.
She left behind her medication and insulin kit.
Roby drove to Tucson and checked herself into a hotel before eventually calling her family.
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Hi, my name is Lori White. I live in Sandy, Utah, and am a mother of 5 children, and grandmother of 7.
After being married for 12 years, I became a single mom for the next 9 years, during which time I had 4 teenagers at the same time. Depression runs in my family, and after a very difficult divorce, I found myself spending a lot of time in bed, especially when the children were in school. It was hard to cope with life, and I cried easily and found it difficult to stop crying.
Eventually I found a wonderful man and remarried, but every time there was a problem with one of the children, I would sink back into a depression. If I dropped the children off at school and one of them said, “Duh, Mom!” , I would shrink into myself, feel very incapable, and wonder what I had done to have my children hate me so much!
My doctor took pity on me, and put me on Prozac 8 years ago. When I was on the medication, I felt wonderful! I had NO problems!! And neither did anyone else! I was not affected by anyone else’s sad life or situations, and didn’t, couldn’t, cry.
After being on the medication for 6 years, I was introduced to a wonderful product, Classic, made by the Reliv company. After taking it for 6 months, I decided to go off the Prozac, which I did over a 3 week period. I found that I could cry again, could sympathize with others, and feel sad, but it didn’t last–I could stop crying, and I could feel happy again when I chose to.
I have been off Prozac now for 2 1/2 years, and just don’t have the cloud of gloom sitting on my shoulder that I had before going on it. When something sad or difficult happens in my life, it doesn’t bury me–I may cry, go to bed really feeling down, but when I wake up in the morning, I am fine–able to cope and put the problem in perspective.
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My name is Nathan Gibb. I was diagnosed hypo-manic over ten years ago which, as I understand it, is a tamer version of manic-depressive. I had been taking a medication called Wellbutrin to manage the low end of the mood swings where I spent most of the time. Within the last couple of years I took a position with a company who offered no health insurance and so from month to month it was often impossible to stay consistent with the meds.
My experience on Wellbutrin was that I was maintaining a quality of life that was about 75% of how I felt before I began experiencing depression symptoms in my 20’s. I began the Reliv products in Nov 2001 and immediately began sleeping better and experiencing more energy. At about six weeks the depression that I was mired in began to lift. I have steadily improved over the last year and feel that I am able to handle stress, avoid debilitating lows that used to negatively impact my work and home life, and I have hope and a quality of life I have missed since I was in my 20’s.
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I have had large weight gain, 18 kilos in less than 6 months. I was taking a max. dose of 300mg at night. I am now slowly reducing the medication to stop further weight gain. At the present I am taking 100mg at night and it has helped to stop further weight gain. My doctor does not want me to stop taking it completely.
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Taper off very, very, very slowly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dropping “cold turkey” off any medication, most especially mind altering medications, can often be MORE DANGEROUS than staying on the drugs. With antidepressants the FDA has now warned that any abrupt change in dose, whether increasing or decreasing the dose, can produce suicide, hostility, or psychosis – generally a manic psychosis when you then get your diagnosis for Bipolar Disorder. Of course drug-induced Bipolar is temporary so you need to learn more about that if it has already happened to you. We have a DVD on explaining this and how to recover from it: “Bipolar? Are You Really Bipolar or Misdiagnosed Due to the Use of or Abrupt Discontinuation of an Antidepressant”: https://store.drugawareness.org/product/bipolar-disorder-streaming/
The most dangerous and yet the most common mistake someone coming off any antidepressant, atypical antipsychotic, or benzodiazaphine makes is coming off these drugs too rapidly. Tapering off VERY, VERY, VERY SLOWLY–OVER MONTHS OR YEARS (The general rule of thumb for those on antidepressants (ANY antidepressant, not just the current antidepressant – add up all time on any of them) for less than a year is to take half the amount of time on them to wean off and for long-term users for each 5 years on psychiatric drugs of any kind the general rule of thumb is at least a year or more.), NOT JUST WEEKS OR MONTHS!—has proven the safest and most effective method of withdrawal from these types of medications. Thus the body is given the time it needs to readjust its own chemical levels. Patients must be warned to come very slowly off these drugs by shaving minuscule amounts off their pills each day, as opposed to cutting them.
WARNING: The practice of taking a pill every other day throws you into withdrawal every other day and can be very dangerous when you consider the FDA warnings on abrupt changes in dose.
This cannot be stressed strongly enough! This information on EXTREMELY gradual withdrawal is the most critical piece of information that someone facing withdrawal from these drugs needs to have.
A REMINDER: IT IS EASIER TO GET DOWN OFF A MOUNTAINTOP ONE GUARDED STEP AT A TIME THAN TO JUMP FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM.
No matter how few or how many side effects you have had on these antidepressants, withdrawal is a whole new world. The worst part of rapid withdrawal can be delayed for several months AFTER you quit. So even if you think you are doing okay you quickly find that it becomes much worse. If you do not come off correctly and rebuild your body as you do, you risk:
Although my book, Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? Our Serotonin Nightmare!, contains massive amounts of information you can find nowhere else on these drugs, it does not have the extensive amount of information contained in the CD focusing mainly on withdrawal issues. The CD contains newer and updated information on safe withdrawal from these drugs. It details over an hour and a half the safest ways found over the past 30 years to withdraw from antidepressants and the drugs so often prescribed with them – the atypical antipsychotics and benzodiazapenes. And it explains why it is safest to withdraw tiny amounts from all of the medications at the same time rather than withdrawing only one at a time.
It also lists many safe alternative treatments that can assist you in getting though the withdrawal and lists other alternatives to avoid which are not safe after using antidepressants. And it contains information on how to rebuild your health after you have had it destroyed by these drugs so that you never end up feeling a need to be on these drugs again.
The CD is very inexpensive and will save you thousands in medical bills which far too many end up spending trying to do it on your own without this information. (One woman who decided she was okay coming down twice as fast as recommended paid a terrible price. After withdrawing she suffered the REM Sleep Disorder early one morning and attacked her husband with a baseball bat (for which she has no memory) and which ended their lifelong courtship and marriage. And cost her $30,000 to be in a psychiatric facility where they put her on five more drugs plus the antidepressant she had just withdrawn from! You can see why many have lamented that they wished they would have had the information on this CD before attempting withdrawal.
To order Ann Blake-Tracy’s book go to: https://store.drugawareness.org/product/prozac-panacea-or-pandora-our-serotonin-nightmare-2014-ebook-download/
To order the CD, “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!” go to: http://store.drugawareness.org/product/help-i-cant-get-off-my-antidepressant-mp3-download/
This is a CD doctors can also benefit from when attempting to withdraw their patients from these drugs which the World Health Organization has now told us are addictive and produce withdrawal. And doctors have begun to recommend the CD to their patients.
In 2005 the FDA issued strong warnings about changes in dose for antidepressants. They warned that ANY abrupt change in dose of an antidepressant, whether increasing or decreasing the dose….so that would include switching antidepressants, starting or stopping antidepressants, forgetting to take a pill, skipping doses, taking a pill one day & not the next, etc…. can cause suicide, hostility, and/or psychosis – generally a manic psychosis which is why so many are given a diagnosis for Bipolar Disorder after this withdrawal reaction that can so severely impair sleep leading to a psychotic break.
Clearly coming down too rapidly can be very, very dangerous. We encourage you to arm yourself with knowledge by downloading our CD on safe withdrawal.
WARNING: In sharing this information about adverse reactions to antidepressants I always recommend that you also give reference to my CD on safe withdrawal, Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!, so that we do not have more people dropping off these drugs too quickly – a move which I have warned from the beginning can be even more dangerous than staying on the drugs!
The FDA also now warns that any abrupt change in dose of an antidepressant can produce suicide, hostility or psychosis. And these reactions can either come on very rapidly or even be delayed for months depending upon the adverse effects upon sleep patterns when the withdrawal is rapid! You can find the CD on safe and effective withdrawal helps here: http://store.drugawareness.org/
Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org & http://ssristories.drugawareness.org
Author: ”Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World” & Withdrawal CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!”
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Paragraphs 3 & 4 read: “Last week, 37-year-old Dane took his life in California where he was stationed. His family in Auburn questions if more could have been done to prevent his death.”
“They say he sought help from the military to battle depression and PTSD and was on medication.”
Full Military Honors Planned For Marine
Family Questions Whether He Should Have Been Given More Help
POSTED: 11:19 pm EDT July 2, 2009
UPDATED: 11:43 pm EDT July 2, 2009
AUBURN, N.H. — New Hampshire is preparing to lay a Marine to rest with full military honors.
Staff Sgt. Charles Edward Dane, known as Eddie to family and friends, served six combat tours, dedicating 15 years in service to the country.
Last week, 37-year-old Dane took his life in California where he was stationed. His family in Auburn questions if more could have been done to prevent his death.
They say he sought help from the military to battle depression and PTSD and was on medication.
After two DUIs, Dane was being processed out of the service he loved.
A funeral with full military honors will be held Monday at noon at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen.
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