Jenny McKinney – clinical depression – Paxil

My name is Jenny McKinney. I am 26 and a stay-at-home mother of three boys, ages 5, 4, and 1 year.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression in August of 1995. I was suicidal and depressed when I was prescribed the anti-depressant, Paxil. My mood swings were already out of control, but worsened after taking Paxil. I was told I would not see results for at least three weeks after beginning the drug. Within three days, my sister, whom was pregnant and I roomed with at the time, said if I did not get off the drug immediately, I was to find another place to live, because she would not have that baby with me in the home.

On Paxil, my mood swings increased greatly to the point I was sugar sweet one minute and violently psychotic the next. I was always nauseated, dizzy, and blacking out. To this day I cannot remember everything that went on at that time in my life. I was only on the drug for 2 weeks and quit cold turkey without consulting my psychiatrist.

I tried to handle life without any kind of meds, but over the next few years tried many herbals, including licorice root, St. John’s Wort, and SamE.

I struggled over the next few years with my depression and anxiety, as I married and had children. I tried counseling, different herbs, and much, much prayer. There were even a couple of times when the doctors wanted to institutionalize me. In spite of all my efforts, after having children the rage really set in. I was constantly yelling at my children, then 3
years and 18 months. I knew I was out of control with my depression and anger when my second son splashed in the bathtub and I spanked his bottom, several times, extremely hard, then sat and cried for hours over doing it. I was truly fearful that I would end up seriously hurting my kids if I did not get help.

Later in the week, my boys and I went to visit family out of state. My mother-in-law introduced me to Reliv when I arrived. As soon as she heard about it, she knew it was what I needed to get better. That was all I needed to hear. I began on Reliv Classic and Innergize immediately. I was taking them two times a day. By the third day, the same sister noticed the difference in me when I had not had my product. By the end of my two-week stay, I had not yelled at my children once.

I have since then had another child, and am able to handle life wonderfully, when I am consistent in taking these products. The best part, is knowing that as long as I am taking Reliv, my children are not afraid of me anymore.

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Suspicious Suicide of Sister 1981 – NOW Solved 2009 – IMIPRAMINE. GENERIC FOR TOFRANIL

This is Lisa’s story of the sudden and tragic death of her sister Lori in 1981. Lori was 25 years old and Lisa was 13.  It took almost 3 decades for Lisa to find out the truth about her sister’s death. Here is Lisa’s story:

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My sister Lori Died Suddenly on Sept. 22, 1981. She was 25 years old. I always knew my Sister’s sudden death was suspicious. I had searched for years for the answers to why, which included contacting the police department, and going over the report many times! Someone had to do this to her, she would not have killed herself! This I knew for sure! I would sit in my driveway where she lost her life, and look at my house many times over, and say how did you sit here, looking at our families home with your daughter, niece, sisters, and parents sleeping inside, how how could you have done this to us, and yourself?!

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Nothing made sense then, and for the decades that followed. However, now almost three decades later “2009″ the truth has finally surfaced. I now have the answer I have searched for my entire life since that tragic morning I found her in her 1977 Buick with our father’s handgun in her lap. I promised her that morning I would not give up until I found the “truth” about what really happened to her. My sister loved life, and her family, and knew we loved her! She would not have taken her own life. So why did she?
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Summary of Lori’s Story:
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My sister moved home, and filed for divorce in 1980. I am her younger sister Lisa, and we spent most of this time together when she moved back home. I was going into the 8th grade that year. I was so happy that she was moving in with us, and that I would have time to spend with her. We were very close, very similar. Lori was a strong, smart woman, and she was determined to make it on her own! She worked for the county that we lived in, and was very well liked at her job. She also made enough money where she would be able to live. People that she worked with were shocked like everyone else was to hear about her sudden, so out of character death.
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At the time she lived with us she was doing fine, going to work everyday, and taking one day at a time to rebuild her life. Throughout her divorce it was stressful, just as much as expected in any divorce situation. It is a life change. Suddenly the last month to weeks of her life I noticed that she had changed. I listened, and I watched her suddenly turn into someone I did not know. I could not figure it out? Why was she acting like this? Saying these things to me? Finding it funny to scare me? Lori suddenly started to talk about death, and dying! In which she would include me in her plans/ideas on how I/We could end her life!
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Some examples are as follows:
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1. Lori would loop a belt around her neck, and ask me to pull it as hard as I could until she stopped breathing!
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2. Lori would ask me to come in the middle of the night, and put a pillow over her face to suffocate her in her sleep!
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3. Lori would lay still in her bed, and when she heard me coming down the hallway she would lay still, and pretend to be dead. When I shook her to wake her up she would not move. She stayed so still until she couldn’t anymore, and started to laugh out loud hysterically at me, and then would say to me “I’m just joking Lisa, I just wanted to see what it would feel like to really be dead, and what you would do if I really was?! Then she would go on to say to me, “you don’t have to worry I wouldn’t really do anything, I’m too chicken!”
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4. Lori suddenly changed by saying things to me like “HE” is in your room, closet and going to get you! Will you sleep with me in my room on the floor next to me? She also would say things that did not make sense like.. see this pin this will pop your face, see this curling iron, this will burn your face! It Never made sense the things she started to say..that was not her!
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5. Lori suddenly at times would go from laughing, and joking about something into anger, (suddenly she pushed me into a file cabinet, it, and myself fell on the ground) Lori never would hurt anyone, especially me;  agitated, and confused mood. (suddenly she would look at me with sadness in her eyes, and say to me I don’t know why I am saying or doing these things.. I must be going crazy.
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Lisa & Lori

6. Something else happened shortly before her life ended in such a tragic horrific way. Lori suddenly became very sick she came down with the flu. She lost weight, she could not eat, drink, or get up out of bed she was very pale, and weak, frail looking. I felt so bad I could not help her feel better. I had never seen her so sick before. She could not hold food down and was growing weaker by the day.

7. Lori also suddenly started to fall asleep with her bible on her face. As if she were reading. praying for help to feel better. I had to take the bible of her face a few times when she finally was able to sit still, and take a short nap.
8. Lori’s sleeping patterns suddenly changed as well.
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9. The night before she died, I remember it so clear. Lori kept rocking in our rocking chair that we had in our living room. She would not stop! She also was talking much faster than usual, and walking much faster as well. When I finally asked her to stop rocking so fast she just looked at me like she couldn’t stop, or didn’t want to. It was like someone was pushing her to rock. I thought it very odd at the time but soon overlooked it because of all her sudden behaviors had been so altered lately that I almost was getting use to the changes.
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10. That night my sister’s were staying up to watch the Deer Hunter a movie that came out in the 80′s I believe. They wanted me to stay up also to watch it with them but I was tired, and only made through some of it. The Russian Roulette camp scene came up. Where each of the prisoners were made to put a loaded handgun to their heads, some chambers were full, some were not. Each prisoner was made to take a chance when it was their turn. If it was empty they lived. If it was not they died. Lori made the comment/question: Do you think if I did that it would work the first time? Then she laughed it off. Then she started talking about our German Shepherd Dog who was aging. Lori said what are we going to do with Champ when he dies? Then she said well it doesn’t matter, if we bury him the worms will eat him anyway! Again she laughed.

I went to bed soon after that part of the movie, I was very tired. Lori came into my bedroom late that night, and stood in my doorway. She was talking to me, and asked are you awake? I remember mumbling back to her yes, but was half asleep still. She looked at the last supper picture I had on the wall, and asked me who was so and so? I don’t remember the name she said. Then she went on to look at her daughters picture on my wall, and said aww, isn’t she so cute! Then the last thing she said to me was “Well I’ll see you in the morning ok?!” and off she went down the hallway, I heard the front door slam as it usually did behind her around that time of night. That night Lori was not sad, depressed, crying, or irritable, just sounded so full of life! Energized.

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I did not know it then, but that was the last time I would hear her voice. That early morning of September 22, 1981 I was getting ready for school. I went into her bedroom to borrow a shirt of hers, and I quietly asked her if I could borrow it? Lori did not answer, so I took it, and got ready to catch the bus. As I walked out the front door down our driveway I had to pass her car, from a far distance all I could see was the color RED. My first thought was “here she goes again, She is trying to fool me again, and this time it looks like she used Ketchup!
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Well as I got closer, I saw my sister through the car window, she was on her side with her head on the armrest of the passenger side door. I could see her face clearly, Her eyes were closed, and there was blood dripping from her mouth, and bottom lip onto the seat. Still I was in total disbelief. Our other sister ran back into the house right away, and was calling me to come with her. I stayed by the car window, pounding on the glass waiting for her move, or waiting for her to laugh because she fooled me again! She did not move, or laugh.
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Our father came out of the house, and broke the driver side window, unlocked the door and got inside the car, reached across Lori’s body to unlock the passenger side door, ran around the car as fast as he could, got in and picked her up to hold her. Lori’s body lay across my fathers lap, and he just kept repeating WHY?

Our father came up to the house finally, hands and clothing full of blood, and said to me, your sister is gone. She had a open casket, I was not going to attend until a friend told me I should go say goodbye or I would regret it later. So I went. I finally went up to the casket where her body lay. All I could remember was the things she had said to me, and done those last weeks of her life. I was afraid, and confused to what had happened to her. It just never made sense! As I sat and looked across the room at her in the casket all I could think of was that this was not real. She was not Dead. She is pretending, etc. Even though In reality I did know she was gone. Just didn’t know why?!

*Lori did not drink,smoke, or do drugs- We had no answers. No clues so we thought. So for decades her sudden change, which followed to her sudden death remained “suspicious!”
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THE NOTE SHE LEFT BEHIND SAID:
“IT’S NOBODY’S FAULT, I JUST FLIPPED!”
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(WITH A SMILEY FACE AT THE BOTTOM.)
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Decades later the truth surfaced! Finally I was able to put it all together. In 2009 I was going through my sister’s box of things that I had packed away almost 28 years ago, off the top of her dresser. I came across many things I remembered from the time… one which included a medicine bottle. We knew Lori was put on a medicine to help her with the stress of her divorce, so it was not a surprise to me that I packed the bottle. Like I said we all knew she was taking something for anxiety. Back then it was similar to taking an advil. No big deal. As long as a doctor gave you something, it was ok to take. Safe.
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However..the shock came to me when I typed the name of the drug into the computer just months ago. Slowly it all started to come together, and I mean all of it! As I read the side effects of the medication she was on, it all suddenly linked! Including the things she said, the things she did, the rocking in the chair, the things she was seeing that were not there, and finally to the flu like symptoms that she was displaying shortly before she ended her life at the young age of 25.

-NOW..EVEN THE NOTE SHE LEFT BEHIND MAKES SENSE!….SHE DID FLIP, LOST HER MIND, HOWEVER, SHE DID NOT KNOW IT WAS DUE TO THE CONCEALED SIDE EFFECTS OF A PRESCRIPTION DRUG SHE TOOK FOR JUST A FEW SHORT WEEKS!!

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HERE IS THE WARNING ON THIS SAME DRUG TODAY (2013):
Imipramine and Suicides:
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Your healthcare provider should monitor you (or your child) carefully when you are first starting an antidepressant. You should also be watchful for any signs of suicidal behavior. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you (or your child) have any of the following:
*Thoughts about death or *committing suicide, Suicide attempts, *Depression or anxiety that is new or worse, *Agitation, restlessness, or panic attacks
*Trouble sleeping (insomnia), *Irritability that is new or worse, *Aggressive, angry, or violent behavior, *Acting on dangerous impulses, *Unusually increased talking or activity*Akathisia
An analysis of a large clinical trial published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2008 estimated that up to 35 percent of people taking antipsychotic drugs experience akathisia.
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Symptoms include: Fidgety movements*, Leg swinging while sitting*, Rocking from foot to foot or pacing*, Motor restlessness; inability to sit still*, Feelings of anxiety*, Insomnia*. The combination of these symptoms and depression and impulsiveness may also contribute to aggression and suicide in some patients. Other strange changes in mood or behavior. (* I put a star next to every side effect she had!)
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BLACK BOX WARNING (2004)
http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/psn/transcript.cfm?show=34 Today we have commercials warning of these dangers. We also have computers where we can do our own research. Back then, we had nothing! Some say maybe no-one knew back then… Not true! Facts below:
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Pharmacosis:
* The first descriptions of a drug causing suicide came in 1955. A few years later in 1958 and again in 1959 the problem was described with imipramine.* Treatment induced suicide became a prominent media issue in 1990 with a paper by Teicher and Cole. (MY SISTER DID NOT HAVE TO DIE!) *It was not until 2004 that regulators and companies conceded that these drugs can cause a problem.
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Closure.
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In 2009 I was able to give our parents some kind of closure to Lori’s death, however, this in no way made up for the three plus decades of pain and suffering they as parents had to endure. Our Mother said: You mean she died because people had to be greedy, and make money? Our Father said: It don’t matter now, because she is gone, and nobody will care! HAD WE KNOWN THE CONCEALED SIDE EFFECTS OF IMIPRAMINE, MY SISTER WOULD BE ALIVE TODAY!
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WELL MY STORY IS NOW ONLINE, AND PEOPLE DO CARE, AND HOPEFULLY LIVES CAN BE SAVED BY READING HER STORY! IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY SISTER… SHE MAY NOW, AFTER ALMOST THREE DECADES, REST IN PEACE.
I LOVE YOU.
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Zoloft SSRI Antidepressant Destroyed my Life

It’s now August of 2009, just past a year after being discharged from the psychiatric hospital.  I’ve been off Zoloft since March 2009 and am finally feeling like a human being again.  Fortunately, I don’t seem to have any neurological damage, memory impairment, concentration troubles or other lasting symptoms.

I’m 48 years old and my introduction to Zoloft began when I was 34. I’ve since learned that the symptoms of fatigue and difficulty sleeping and concentrating that I was having at that time were due to over-work and adrenal exhaustion. That doctor had me fill out a questionnaire and then spent maybe 10 minutes with me before giving me free samples of Zoloft.   Had I known then, what I know now?… And I must forgive the past and not dwell on it in order to heal.

In June of 2008, my nutritionist who was treating me with amino acid therapy took me off Zoloft abruptly.  This caused me to go into a manic state, which I had never experienced before.  It also brought up a lot of anger.  After about a ten days, my wife and I figured out it was the discontinuation of Zoloft that was causing all these problems, so I went back on it.

Because of all my weird behavior, I had left the house and was staying at a hotel.  My wife got my sister involved and she stayed with me for a couple of days but didn’t bring along her bi-polar medications.  I remember distinctly the night of July 13th:  I slept from about 9pm to 5am, went for a work out and did my meditation.  I was definitely stabilizing.

Then my sister took me into town, my wife and I had another fight and, in my anger and frustration, I broke the rear view mirror off my sister’s car.  This caused her to freak out.  We had picked up her meds and agreed to go back to the hotel and take a nap.  I later learned that she had already called the police.

When we arrived at the hotel, the cops came to my door (hands on their holstered guns) and ordered me out of the car.  They hand cuffed me, searched me and put me in the squad car.  Then, as I later learned, my sister and wife had a discussion about “wether or not to tell the police that I had threatened her.”  My sister told the police a lie, that I had threatened her with a gun and I was hauled off to the ER where I was doped up with an injection.

Later I was taken to the psychiatric hospital where I was asked to sign a bunch of forms and “releases.”  How absurd!  I was only semi-consicouss at the time.

At the hospital I was taken off the Zoloft and diagnosed as bi-polar.  Of course, this through me into another withdrawal episode and made me manic and aggressive again.

I want to point out that I have no history of violence, have never been in any sort of brawl, have never been arrested, have never before been put in handcuffs, no DUI tickets and even a clean driving record.

The hospital changed my drugs every few days.  Zyprexa, Lithium, Depakote, Abilify, etc.  After 20 days, I was discharged. The insurance and family money was expended, so I was well, right?

Far from it:  My wife filed for divorce.  I lost access to my home, which was also my office.  She cleaned out the company bank account, etc.

Eventually, I lost pretty much everything and got saddled with all our debt and received none of the assets due to a waiver of “appearance” I signed 3 days out of the hospital.  We had agreed on a negotiated, one lawyer divorce, but I ended up getting totally screwed.

Over the past 12 months, I’ve lived in 5 states.  I’ve had a couple of “room and board” jobs and stayed with friends.  Fortunately, my mother has been able to give me some financial support, so I haven’t been without the basic necessities of life.  Through a friend, I found Ann Blake-Tracy and she helped me understand what happened to me and gave me phone support while I finished the detox from the Zoloft these past few months.

Now, I’m well enough that I’m looking for  a job again so I can restart my life.

I’m certainly not bipolar.  What a bunch of total bullshit.  All I’m taking right now is 0.5 mg of Klonopin (Clonazepam) twice a day to help with anxiety and sleep.

I used to have a pretty normal life.  I made a six figure income.  My wife (18 years of marriage) didn’t have to work. We had a nice house and the swimming pool I had wanted since I was a child.  Now, all that’s gone.  All because of a stupid little pill and all the people that don’t know what the hell their doing with all these powerful drugs.

During the 13 years I was on SSRI Antidepressants, I saw several different psychiatrists and doctors.  They experimented on me with many different drugs: Effexor, Celexa, Abilify, Alprazolam, Clonazepam (Klonopin), Depakote, Lunesta, Trazodone, Xanax, Zyprexa and of course Zoloft (Sertraline).

Of all the drugs, Lamictal was the worst.  Once the doctor increased the dose from 50 mg a day to 200 mg a day (I’ve since found out that is NOT an increase in accordance with the manufacturers instructions) I had horrible, disgusting nightmares every single night and became highly suicidal.  This happened in October of 2008, and freaked me out so much that I went back on Zoloft and some other drugs so that I could get my sleep.

During all these crazy times, I have survived because of my spiritual faith, the generosity of my mother and some good friends and Divine Grace.  Also, because of the various nutritionists I’ve had over the years, I’ve learned how to eat well and take the right supplements.  Cenitol by metagenics is magnesium supplement that has been especially helpful with relaxing me and helping me sleep.  I order that online at:  http://www.janethumphrey.meta-ehealth.com.

Lastly, I would like to mention that none of these doctors I saw gave me any sort of what I would call informed consent.  I was never informed about all the adverse reactions and side-effects that I’ve now learned were well known back then.  None of the doctors explained that, according to their view of brain chemical imbalance, I would need to stay on these SSRI Antidepressants for the rest of my life.  None of the doctors EVER explained discontinuation syndrome etc, etc, etc.

These drugs manufactures and the doctors that push these drugs are all involved in a horrible scam, the tragic consequences of which yet to become fully manifest.

My intense gratitude to Ann Blake-Tracy and the good work she is doing!

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One and One Half Months off Effexor

“The up side of leaving all these drugs, is feeling like a mental blanket has been removed from my mind.”

I’m 51, legally blind, have extremely negative/violent child abuse history and took Effexor, Depakote and Zyprexa (.5 mg anti-psychotic) to counter borderline psychotic symptoms. I’ve been on all these drugs for 8 years. Since the changes at my HMO, I dropped all medications over the past year. I want to catalogue my symptoms – they are varied and thankfully, not as severe as many other accounts I’ve read. What is different for me, is the rotation of symptoms, there is always something happening, differently, every day.

Zyprexa: After almost 6 weeks off the meds (cold turkey). I went into vomiting that was so severe, I wondered if I would need an ambulance. Having no extra money, canceled that possibility, so I just rode out about 3 hours of dry heaves. That was the one and only episode, I’ve had no symptoms of any kind – no losing myself in memories (not knowing what year it is), no feelings that my furniture is trying to kill me. I really believe, as I’ve taken responsibility/stock of my life, that the underlying anger driving a lot of the above has truly left my life.

Depakote: Had to dump this expensive drug for some liquid generic that caused me to eat over-the-counter antacids like candy. Had no problems getting off either of these drugs.

Effexor: Took 75mg Effexor XR. Dr. tapered me off over three weeks – and after reading “Prozac…” by Dr. Tracy, I waited to degenerate into a blithering idiot. I really got frightened over the possible permanent brain damage. Thankfully, my mind seems intact, but my body is very busy.

Remember the joy of getting on Effexor? The nausea/vomiting. I got to where I always had a ‘to-go’ cup from 7-11 with me for those charming moments with friends and family, when it was simply time to throw-up! I really liked not being actively suicidal and figured the side effects would pass. Thankfully, after about 5 months they did.

The up side of leaving all these drugs, is feeling like a mental blanket has been removed from my mind. Joys/sorrows are right there for me to experience. I notice I have no ‘reserves,’ When I have a mental reaction – good/bad, I’m right out there with it. I’m gradually learning the self-control that is possible for me. There were generations of people that didn’t have to take pills to function – I claim that healing for myself.

On the down side, it is all physical for me. Within weeks of totally stopping the meds, after the ‘tapering-off’ period I ran into the worst muscle aches I’ve ever experienced. A feeling like when you over work a muscle – but all over the body. I do part-time house work and was almost in tears from the pain. I went to a local hotel that provided in-room hot tub and as long as I was physically in the hot water, I had no pain. Upon leaving the water, it all came rushing back. Due to high rent, I have a shower down the hall, and friends generously share their bathtubs with me, when I just can’t take it any more.

Some days I wake up with a free-floating suicidal attitude: “Yeah, nothing is worth anything, you aren’t worth anything…” I’ve learned to ignore this and treat myself like I did when I was battling short-term depression. Show and easy with patience and compassion. When the mind is troubled, the muscles don’t hurt at all.

Within the last two days I’m back to throwing-up all the time. I truly don’t know if this is going to continue, or if I might actually have the flu. I’m pretty sure this is drug withdrawal, it feels very familiar – not the flu. I also go through periods of being totally tired, sleeping for sixteen hours and than, for a day or so, I go back to aching body. It is kind of a circle.

I have decided that the cause of most of my really severe depression (after untangling being raised by a truly psychotic mother) was due to very unrealistic expectations about myself as a legally blind person and our society and how said culture deals with disability. Due to poor self-image, I compensated with terrible arrogance. The government gives me money because statistically 75-80% of the blind can’t find enough work to actually take care of themselves. Lots of reasons, but mainly having to do with not being able to interface with computer equipment (with adaptive, very expensive equip). I refused to deal with this reality and made myself very crazy. There is great wisdom in truly knowing what the ‘truth’ is. Now that I accept the reality of what my body can and can’t do, I can make intelligent decisions about work, staying/leaving government support, etc. I also had to accept the truth that our culture has a real problem with disability in general and blindness in particular. Choosing my battles makes it possible for me to do something valuable, without draining myself so totally, that, guess what?…I go into severe depression.

I hope this is helpful to someone. It is possible to recover and recover well, but it takes time, self-honesty and a willingness to be flexible. I’ve lived through the suicide of four friends, and if I feel like I’m heading in that direction, I’d be at my HMO so fast – thankfully, my psychiatrist is totally supportive of what I’m trying to do. He didn’t feel withdrawal from Effexor was a problem, but he said he’d had problems withdrawing people from Paxil.

Religion can be very helpful, but be careful not to fall into that co-dependent trap of letting someone else ‘think’ for you. THAT also leads to depression.

Jane Kohner
San Francisco Bay Area
jane_kohner@yahoo.com

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My Effexor Withdrawal Story

“There were times where it seemed like I could barely sort out how to walk or breath.”

I have been through a good number of meds for depression and mood stabilizers. Never have I experienced any withdrawal effects until now. In December of 2003 the Effexor “lost its efficacy.” Turns out that 6 months drug trials do not show that this antidepressant frequently just stops working. I was taking 75 mg Effexor (immediate release) in the morning and after work. Once I was stabilized on Wellbutrin XR my psychiatrist put me on a taper of 75 mg, 50 mg, 25 mg for one or two weeks each. In February of 2004 I was on the 25 mg when my dad died. We stopped the taper figuring there was enough going on.

I did not realize it at the time but I was experiencing withdrawal during the taper. I thought it was just something in me acting up. (I am one of the over 50% of folks with bipolar who are also addicts – toss of a coin I guess – clean since March 24, 2003.) I was real irritable, poor coordination, light headed/weird feeling in the back of my scull, hallucinations from the corner of my eye, extreme confusion. There were times where it seemed like I could barely sort out how to walk or breath. Not to mention I became acutely aware of the sexual side effects I had unknowingly been experiencing from the Effexor.

So now it is May of 2004 and we decided to finish the taper. I was on 12.5 mg for a week and now I have been on 0 mg for 2 days. This is hell. I had withdrawal on the 12.5 mg but it was OK. I was real irritable with everyone, emotional, all the symptoms that I experienced before. Within 3 days things were OK and then by the 4 everything seemed back to normal. But the withdrawal from 0 mg is the worst. Added to the list of symptoms are intense flu like stomach sensations, and sobbing jags. Usually they are 5-10 second jags and happen for no reason. It happened 4 times while watching “Where the heart is.” This is not a movie that should make a person cry 4 times. Now that it is the second day with no Effexor the crying jags have gotten longer and more intense. Now there are tears whereas before there were none. I do feel like the crying is helping to mourn my father’s death some more.

I feel like the first day I put down dope. Part of the reason I stay clean is because I never want the feeling of having 1 day clean. I see people come in with a few days clean and the misery and pain is so clear. They help to remind me how much it sucks to get clean. That it is so much easier to stay clean than to get clean. I have not used but here I am feeling like I just walked into the rooms.

I don’t know if I am looking to get into a lawsuit but I do not understand why Effexor is still prescribed. I know that the reason it is still on the market is because it is still bought. Drug companies are in the business of making money so I do not really blame them. If the med stops selling the company will take it off the market. However doctors are in the business of making people well. It is the doctor I hold responsible more than the drug company. Is Effexor being prescribed out of ignorance or is there a unique benefit that outweighs the risks of withdrawal symptoms? I don’t know. I do know that I need to talk to my psychiatrist about it. I also know that I have heard a bunch of people saying they are Effexor and I have been telling! them to get off as soon as possible.

Thanks for letting me share.

Jon Faber
bankytoo@yahoo.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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Bad Effexor Trip Almost Killed Me

“I strongly believe Effexor should be yanked off the market IMMEDIATELY.”

Hi. I wanted to share my nightmarish experience with Effexor XR. I was put on Effexor XR in the year 2000 for what was believed to be major depression. This med is highly dangerous and I am pretty sure it can cause permanent brain damage, just like its illegal cousins.

When I was a rebel teenager, I used strong LSD, Speed, X-tasy and PCP, unfortunately. So I knew what those drugs did and felt like. Of course I quit a long time ago – it was just a teenage phase. Little did I know that I would “trip” again years later, but this time on a legal medication…

After a week on Effexor at 150mg a day, I started to feel unusually “high”. Felt like I was on some sort of stimulant or speed. I couldn’t sleep, I felt stoned, my thoughts raced and anxiety went up. I was told it was all normal. But as days passed, I began to feel like if I had used a potent hallucinogenic drug! I saw tracers (trails), doors bent and moved, walls gently caved in and out, colours were funny and I had a weird field of vision very similar to LSD but it didn’t feel cool or good at all. I was sweating profusely, had the shakes, was agitated and my pupils were dilated. My heart raced, my legs felt like Jello, I had a terrible headache, very weird thoughts and digestion problems. I knew that this was definitely not normal!

I began to become paranoid and started freaking out. My experience was nothing else than a full-blown chemical drug bad trip. And god knows those are extremely dangerous – some people don’t come back… I knew, I instinctively knew Effexor was the cause so I quit abruptly, refusing my treatment in the hospital. I accepted the other meds such as tranquilizers though. This is when it got really ugly.

A few hours after skipping my dose, I began to get electric shocks in my head and urges to move about. My head felt like it was in a huge vice, my vision was blurred and cloudy, my hearing was altered, I saw spots. I felt I was stuck in between dream and reality, on another planet. Physically, I was just exhausted but couldn’t sleep even on strong tranquilizers. And my stomach felt like I had eaten a slab of lead! But I bit wood and told myself that I would rather die than take another dose.

I got really scared – did a month of Effexor use fry my brain FOREVER? I tried to imagine what my brain would have felt like if I had used LSD or PCP for a month every single day… It would be gone, burnt, finished, deep fried! I came to the conclusion that Effexor destroyed my neurons for good and that I would be a vegetable for the rest of my life. This is when I tried to commit suicide to escape the pain that was just too horrible to describe in words.

After a nearly successful attempt (real close one), I was hospitalized again and put on Depakote. I told the doc that if they put me back on antidepressants like Effexor, I would kill myself with the first sharp thing I’d find. So I got things my way.

Gradually I got better as my brain VERY SLOWLY recovered. All in all, I was on Effexor a month and it took me 3-4 months for my brain to BEGIN functioning normally. A few years have past since then and I’d say my brain almost fully recovered. I was lucky. Some people say their brain stayed fried.

I strongly believe Effexor should be yanked off the market IMMEDIATELY. I have no idea how this got passed the FDA. Makes you wonder who works for who. It should be like totally illegal because way too dangerous! If your doctor wants to put you on Effexor because you are depressed, tell him you’d rather be depressed than risk killing your brain cells with an evil drug!

I now take Depakote, Seroquel and some Trazadone for my condition (Bipolar II) at medium-low doses and it works fine with no serious side effects. Not all meds are bad, some really help. Others can be deadly though. Psychiatry is not an accurate science, its about doctors too often acting like the sorcerer’s apprentice.

Martin M. (25 yo male with Bipolar disorder type II)
martin1789@yahoo.com

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Homicidal and Suicidal on Zoloft and Paxil

“1 week on the Paxil and I was nuts!”

 

Recently experiencing a mind-altering homicidal/suicidal Zoloft induced event in my own life, I wondered if any studies have been done to determine how many of these men had been taking an SSRI.

My personal experience, thank God, did not end in a completed homicide or suicide. If it not for your website and links I know I would not be here to testify to the dangers of SSRI’s.

I am currently withdrawing from Zoloft for the 4th time in 10 years. It saddens me even to admit this. Why I again took the drug that had led me to suicidal ideation when withdrawing from it in the past is beyond me.

I want to share with you my recent frightening experience.

I successfully withdrew from 8 years of taking Zoloft last year. By April, 2002 I was medication free. I also stopped receiving depo-provera injections. In Aug. I experienced depression (I now think was PMS) and was very adverse to any treatment with an SSRI. My depression lingered and my Dr. insisted I go back on an SSRI ”because I was just one of those people that will always need an SSRI to live a normal life”. She suggested that since I had effectively gone off Zoloft that Paxil would be a better alternative. 1 week on the Paxil and I was nuts! 2 weeks on the Paxil and I developed severe heart palpitations, increased anxiety and a total inability to concentrate. I titrated myself to shavings of Paxil and went back to the Dr. She was unhappy that I had decreased the Paxil dosage, and thought I should have increased it to “get past that”. We agreed Zoloft had worked before, and I immediately quit the Paxil and started back on a 50 mgm Zoloft dose with a psychiatric consult in 2 weeks. My Dr. felt that “my psychiatric problems were beyond her scope” and suggested my meds be evaluated by a shrink.

After taking the Zoloft 50 mgm for 1 week, I developed a homicidal and suicidal obsession. I was functioning in a somewhat normal fashion, but could not avoid thinking about suicide almost 24 hours a day. I felt it was the only answer to my problems. On the day of my psych consult, I was in despair over the anxiety attacks I was experiencing at night, waking me out of my sleep. I also was in despair over the invasion of suicidal thoughts and feeling the need to kill my child (to protect her) that were overwhelming me. I told this to the intake nurse during my initial psych interview.

She escorted me to the psychiatrist, who gave me some diagnostic fill in the blank tests. He increased the Zoloft to 100mgm a day, gave me a 2 week sample of Wellbutrin to start bid and gave me a sample bottle of Zyprexa to take prn -”for when you are really losing it”. I scheduled a follow up appt. for 2 weeks and left. I went home, picked up my daughter and took her to her gymnastics class. While waiting for her, I read the inserts in the drug sample boxes. Oh, My God! This information scared me out of my wits! I determined that the shrink really thought I was nuts without telling me! I immediately went to the bathroom and flushed the samples away. I thought, if I get any more suicidal, I’ll be over-dosing on my samples in a flash. While watching my daughter work so hard at her gymnastics, I decided I could not bare any more thoughts of killing her or myself. I needed to get home, get to your site and start researching what was wrong with me!

After her class, when we arrived home, the police were in my drive-way. I was fearing some tragedy had happened to my sons or husband. When my daughter and I entered our home, I found I was the tragedy!! The police had been waiting for me for 1/2 hour. They had been dispatched to my home, by the intake nurse at the clinic. She had called the police and told them I was going to kill my daughter and myself. The police had spent the time before I got home questioning my family, searching our home, and removing my husband’s gun collection from the house. All this was done with my husband’s permission as he and my boys were totally unaware of my problems. The police interviewed me for a 1/2 hour and 2 more police came to our home. After another 1/2 hour they decided I was o.k. and left. I had a lot of explaining to do to my family. They were as alarmed as I . For lack of insight and desperation I started taking 100mgm of Zoloft that evening.

About a week later after developing extreme heart palpitations and increased anxiety (which my m.d. gave me Xanax for). I went to your website and found a link re: Zoloft side effects; I found that suicidal and homicidal ideation within the first few weeks of use was a known side effect.

It would have been very beneficial if the psychiatrist and other professionals I came in contact with would have known this. As soon as I read this I went to another link for more help and decided to taper off the Zoloft. The anxiety, depression, and especially the heart palpitations have subsided.

I had an echocardiogram and holter monitor which showed I was fine. I haven’t got all the Zoloft out of my system yet, but am hopeful that I will use ANY alternative to SSRI medication should/when the depression returns.

After careful evaluation of my situation, and having had successful use of Zoloft for many years, I had come to the conclusion that I needed more Zoloft because I was SO depressed about the suicidal ideation. I spoke directly to a phone counselor from another link. He was very helpful in explaining that THE SAME MEDICATION (ESPECIALLY SSRI’S) CAN CAUSE NEW SIDE EFFECTS WHEN THEY ARE TAKEN AGAIN AFTER BEING DISCONTINUED. It was a logical explanation to what had gone wrong!

If it weren’t for your website and links I doubt I would be able to write this. Thank-you Dr. Tracy for saving my life.

Thank you, again.

Laura Kandl

 

11/26/2002

This is Survivor Story number 7.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

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Dysonia was already in my body and the Celexa just kick started it

“They said I was having a bad reaction to the Celexa.”

 

I took 1 pill of Celexa. Within an hour I was shaking badly. I called the doctor. They told me to go to the hospital. I don’t remeber much after that. My husband told me he had to carry me to get me to the car. We arrived at the hospital & they took me right away. I remember the doctor touching my face telling me I was going to be OK. They said I was having a bad reaction to the Celexa. They said I seisured and had a Dystonic reaction. This went on for 5 days and nights. My husband he could stop the reaction from happening with the medication they gave him (Benydrl)he had to take me back to the hospital to put me on iv. My daughter was 2 and had to experience mommy almost dyeing in front of her. I now have generalized Dystonia. I had to learn how to walk again and go through years of therapy just so I can walk w/my cane. i have to get injections of Botox in my neck back and face. Without it I would not be able to speak or swallow. The list of health problems go on and on. The list of meds. I take is long, when I didn’t have to take any medication before I took Celexa. They are tellingt me that the Dysonia was already in my body and the Celexa just kick started it. I could use some ansewers. My life was destroyed, but I’m not giving up the fight! Angie

Angie
angiebarry@dejazzd.com

Location: PA

 

2002

This is Survivor Story number 43.
Total number of stories in current database is 49

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10/28/1999 – STUDY QUESTIONS TREATMENT OF VERY YOUNG WITH PSYCHOTROPIC MEDS

YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN A NEW STUDY WHICH APPEARS IN THIS MONTH’S
JAMA, QUESTIONING THE TREATMENT OF VERY YOUNG CHILDREN (3 AND UNDER)
WITH PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS. HERE’S A SUMMARY AND A LINK.

Diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Use of
Psychotropic Medication in Very Young Children

Marsha D. Rappley, MD; Patricia B. Mullan, PhD; Francisco J. Alvarez;
Ihouma U. Eneli, MD; Jenny Wang, PhD; Joseph C. Gardiner, PhD

Conclusions

Children aged 3 years or younger had ADHD diagnosed and received
markedly variable psychotropic medication regimens. Little information
is available to guide these practices. The presence of comorbid
conditions and injuries attests to these children’s vulnerability.
Resources must be identified that will enable physicians to better
respond to the compelling needs of these children and their families.

Editor’s Note: The authors point out a pressing need to define better
diagnostic criteria and effective treatment in very young children.
There seems to be a real deficit in attention to this
problem.—Catherine D. DeAngelis, MD

http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/issues/v153n10/full/poa8497.html

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