Kerri’s Story – My Dark Place on Psychotropic Drugs and ECT

“I had the “electric jitz which feels literally like hot coals inside your back.”

 

An Introduction by Ann Blake-Tracy

I am so concerned at how many I continue to see go through ECT because of reactions they are having to the SSRIs that doctors refuse to see! There is absolutely no need for someone to go through the additional trauma and damage caused by forced seizure activity from an electrical current when what is needed is withdrawal from the offending medication. And why do these doctors remain ignorant of the fact that ECT contraindicated while on SSRI medication due to the risk of the life threatening reaction of “Serotonin Syndrome”? We continue to suffer from an abundance of ignorance about these meds.
———-
I wanted to share my story as a psychiatric drug survivor. I am a college student, I was a senior earlier but this year I had withdraw because of the above problem (i.e. psychiatric drugs) so next year I am to have my senior year.
In August I went to the doctor to refill my anxiety med, Xanax, and because I was concerned with my increasing number of panic attacks. The nurse practitioner refused to give me klonopin (my friend is on that for her anxiety) and instead thrust Paxil at me.

She told me I would “feel crummy for a week” but that after 6-8 weeks it would help my anxiety attacks and it would feel like I wasn’t on anything at all. Stupidly and to my detriment I believed her. I was put on 10 mg. I only lasted 6 days on the stuff! I lost 10 pounds in that period, was dry-heaving and horribly nauseated, I had the “electric jitz” which feels literally like hot coals inside your back (I swear that to God!), palpitations, WORSE anxiety that could not be diminished, I became detached, was unable to concentrate, was crying uncontrollably, had awful stomach gas so tight I couldn’t breathe, had breathing problems, my period lasted 11 days and was heavier than I could ever remember it being, I was constipated, then I had constant diarrhea. Then my thoughts started to race. I went back to the doctor and he just looked at me and asked me why didn’t I just take my Xanax for the anxiety! They told me I was fine, and that it was panic and that I’d be fine. But oh no, fine was the last thing I was. I tried to keep working at my job and had to quit, went back to school and they found me a psychiatrist, who told me that I’d get better and that there were lots of things out there to help me. So he tried me on Celexa.

I was now TERRIFIED of the SSRIs so I didn’t want to, but I tried it for 2 days and stopped it because it made my jitteriness much worse again. So then Dr. H gave me Desipramine. I tried to go to classes, but finally had to withdraw because the meds were making me sicker and sicker and more depressed. I was now down to 84 pounds. This was in early October. My parents took me home to GA, where we found a meds doctor, Dr. W. I slipped farther and farther into the abyss, and then suddenly the Desipramine lifted my mood. It worked like that for ten days, but all the while the racing thoughts were prominent, and my hands kept shaking, and I was well, “high.” Then it kicked out.

So Dr. W upped my dosage (I was at 150 mg) too 200mg, and overdosed me, so I wound up in the hospital because apparently I was threatening to throw myself over the railing of our house or something. (NOTE: not once during the whole ordeal did I ever attempt anything, I merely thought about it).

I saw a Dr. K, there, and he started me on Effexor. This med didn’t work, and it never did anything too bad to my body or mind. Finally, since that wasn’t working, Dr. K put me on this stuff called Risperdal and Depakote. He overdosed me again!! My parents tell me (I have no recollection of this and am thankful to God that I don’t) that I was literally running up and down the stairs because my body couldn’t keep still, the tremors were so bad.

Dr. K wound up going on vacation, and this great doctor, Dr. A. filled in for him. I knew one thing. Dr. A. did ECT. Dr. A. suggested I try Prozac (I was even more terrified after both Paxil, Celexa, and the other meds) but apparently I asked him if I could get ECT done since I knew it was the very last resort and I didn’t really think I’d like to stay like that for the rest of my life. So I got the ECT and within 3 treatments, I was COMPLETELY BACK TO NORMAL. I had all my feelings back, I was ME, I was peppy like usual, I felt terrific! I wish I could remember how it was to wake up that way. My mother told me that I went to sleep and woke up at 4 one afternoon, completely myself again. It was a true miracle. Apparently this is very unusual with ECT because it’s supposed to take many more treatments before you are anywhere near well. After I was done with he ECT the doctors still had me on Prozac.

While I will ill, all I ever said were 3 things: 1) “I’m never going to get better” 2) It’s permanent brain damage” and 3) I want to die. So the idiot doctors diagnosed me as OCD. So I’m fine by February, but all of a sudden my body starts rejecting the Prozac. My vision started blurring out (this was also because of the ECT medication), my anxiety level was rising (I was popping an anxiety pill every 2 days at this point), my limbs were twitching and jumping, I was getting more of that awful stomach gas, and I was starting to get scared. So I made my doctor get me off it and he let me stop it abruptly (since doing that with the other SSRIs is hazardous to your health!!!) and now I am only on 7 mg of Remeron which I am getting off of late this month.

I wanted to sue because of all the losses I suffered this year including: my mental and physical health; my dumping my boyfriend while I was stoned on tranquilizers, the loss of my senior year of college with friends that I have been with for the last 4 years, all the trouble getting reinstated at my college, the nightmares, my fear of even taking ibuprofen for a headache, or even a vitamin, my hatred of psychiatric medicines, therapists, and the drug companies, my fear of going back to that dark place, all that lost time!!!! But I can’t sue because I’m not in the mood to wait a few years for any decision.

So I am just going to file with the FDA. Thank you for reading this, if I sent this wrong, please post it up on this site for me.

God bless you for your intelligence on these matters.

Kerri

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 50.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

 

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10/19/1999 – Paxil Lawsuit Filed

This article just ran in the Salt Lake Tribune about a lawsuit filed
against the makers of Paxil. Two years ago this young woman and her
boyfriend found my members.aol.com/atracyphd web site. They called me
for help as they came to the realization that what they thought was
“helping” her was actually the problem – her medication. She was very
sensitive to medications. While on the SSRI antidepressants, she became
so suicidal that her boyfriend, a brain chemist, had to handcuff her to
him in order to keep her from hurting herself! Their story will give
you some insight as to what a nightmare these medications can cause for
some people.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
———

Instead of making her well, woman says drug sent her …
Spinning Out of Control

Monday, October 18, 1999

BY SHAWN FOSTER
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

Natalia Victorovna Sevastianenko, a Utah college student from the
former Soviet republic of Belarus, had severe stomach pains. But a
doctor and nurse practitioner thought the discomfort might be a symptom
of depression.

After all, their patient was thousands of miles from home and alone in
a foreign country.

The medical staff recommended she take the anti-depressant Prozac.
After a series of phobic episodes and fainting, the staff changed the
prescription to a related drug, Paxil. That was when Sevastianenko said
she began to think about suicide. She made five attempts on her life
and was haunted by obsessive, irrational thoughts about hurting her
boyfriend and others.

Now, Sevastianenko is suing the pharmaceutical company that produces
Paxil for failing to provide “proper, honest [and] candid warnings.”

More at…..

http://www.sltrib.com/1999/oct/10181999/utah/39162.htm

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Severe Reaction to Z-Pak

“I hope this story will help remind people of the serious nature of medication…”

 

In May of this year (1999), I went to a minor emergency clinic for a sore throat. The Nurse-Practitioner gave me a Rx for a Z-Pak which I filled at the nearest pharmacy. At the time I was taking 400mg of Lamictal per day. It may have been the combination, but the day after I took the first dose of the Z-Pak, I was taken to the hospital with a Stephen-Johnson’s reaction. I was having problems breathing and swallowing, so I could take nothing by mouth for the first two days (not even water). I was, also ordered to complete bed rest. I did manage to talk them into a potty chair so I didn’t have to use a bed pan, but complete bed rest is the pits.

I had severe burns, like chemical burns over much of my body. My face and neck were so bad I was hard to recognize. I looked like a photo negative almost.

The burns attacked the linings in my lungs which did not help my Asthma, but the breathing treatments helped. The insides of my mouth and throat were burned as well. I was in the hospital for 7 days, and lost 40 lbs. I was on IVs but could not eat for a while.

My eyes came out OK except I must take eyedrops for diminished tear production.

I have a residual light rash, and some discoloration in places. The dark spots will probably be permanent. But I am still alive.

I hope this story will help remind people of the serious nature of medication, even for common items like antibiotics. If you need more information, please contact me. Thank you.

Ron Cole
RSCole1@prodigy.net

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 93.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

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