Effexor Survivor

” I was taking Effexor into about my second week when I tried to commit suicide.”

My name is Amanda and I was taking Effexor into about my second week when I tried to commit suicide.

I firmly believe that this drug played a huge part in my doing so. I would never even entertain that idea under any depression that I had been through. I was the type of person who could not understand how a person could inflict pain upon themselves.

I have been tried on every drug that you can just about think of. Now I am labeled bipolar and take Seroquel at bedtime, and Wellbutrin in the day. High doses I might add, but the point I want to stick too is the fact that Effexor changed my whole personality my whole outlook on life and I didn’t even realize it. It was like I went crazy!

I believe that I have been used over and over as a guinea pig. I am 31 years old and I have been taking different meds since 1996. When tried on Effexor in 2001 I came very close to ending my life.

twnsmom2@aol.com

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Wellbutrin destroyed my soul

Wellbutrin destroyed my soul
Matt
I’d like to share my account of the complete and total destruction of my soul as a result of antidepressant withdrawal. I didn’t even think such a thing was possible, but I now know that it is.
I’d been on a high dosage of Wellbutrin (generic: Bupropion) for 5 years for depression. I decided to stop taking it because I felt it was losing its effect and I was becoming apathetic. In the months that followed my withdrawal, I gradually began losing my ability to feel emotions. When a close relative died and I could literally feel nothing towards this event, I knew something was wrong.
That is when I decided to reinstate the drug, as I thought I might have been better while taking it. Strangely, reinstating the drug for a month did not help, but instead made things worse. I felt like I kept losing more and more of myself inside. This confused me, and I didn’t know what to do. When I stopped the drug again and reinstated a second time, I experienced one tremendous day of improvement followed by a seizure while sleeping, and waking up in a confused state. After this I regressed and felt completely dead inside.
This waking up in a confused state happened 2 more times, once in May 2010 and once in September 2010. Both of these were preceded by sudden improvements. But upon waking I felt like I had lost a basic part of my self. Not just feelings, but the core of my being. What I felt to be the complete and final destruction of my inner being happened on September 7th, 2010, and there hasn’t been a change since (it has now been 6 months).
I’ve been in an extremely peculiar state for the past 6 months. I have literally lost everything inside of me and no longer have a sense of ”inner being”. My personality has been completely erased, along with the inner psyche I’ve spent a lifetime building. When I attempt to ”look inside”, it is impossible because there is literally nothing there. Everything that made up my specific sense of personal being is gone, including including my hopes, fears, dreams, goals, opinions, values, morals, likes/dislikes, and most strikingly, all emotions and feelings.
I have no feelings associated with past events, and no emotional connections with anything in the world. Specific emotions that defined my personal sense of being are no longer there. People, places, things and events that I thought were etched in my soul as having significance no longer mean a thing. Absolutely nothing, I can’t stress this enough.
I am unable to look backward or forward, have no sense of past accomplishments and no desire for future ones. The strangest thing is, I cannot feel anything toward being in this state, as that part of me is gone too. It’s like a recursive erasure of everything I ever was, am, and will be.
It doesn’t feel like life is a conscious experience that I am having anymore, as there is no inner construct within me to absorb an experience on any level. I see, hear, touch, and smell, yet each of these is so devoid of emotional content that they don’t coalesce into anything meaningful I can call a human consciousness. My sense of being has been replaced by a constant void of nothingness that is unchanging, 24/7, I feel nothing towards the nothingness. It is not like feeling empty inside, there is no inside to feel empty within.
Obviously, antidepressants affect neurotransmitters. Maybe my neurotransmitters were severely imbalanced by the manner in which I withdrew, along the seizure(s) (there is only one I am sure of). What I don’t understand is how a neurotransmitter imbalance could completely erase me as a human being. What I’m experiencing is not depression, anhedonia, or flat affect, but a permanent change in my consciousness that literally destroyed my humanity. All the parts that made up my being are literally gone. I don’t understand how this is even possible, or what (if anything) I can do to change it. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

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Wellbutrin (generic: Bupropion)

Wellbutrin (generic: Bupropion)
Matt
I’d like to share my account of the complete and total destruction of my soul as a result of antidepressant withdrawal. I didn’t even think such a thing was possible, but I now know that it is.
I’d been on a high dosage of Wellbutrin (generic: Bupropion) for 5 years for depression. I decided to stop taking it because I felt it was losing its effect and I was becoming apathetic. In the months that followed my withdrawal, I gradually began losing my ability to feel emotions. When a close relative died and I could literally feel nothing towards this event, I knew something was wrong.
That is when I decided to reinstate the drug, as I thought I might have been better while taking it. Strangely, reinstating the drug for a month did not help, but instead made things worse. I felt like I kept losing more and more of myself inside. This confused me, and I didn’t know what to do. When I stopped the drug again and reinstated a second time, I experienced one tremendous day of improvement followed by a seizure while sleeping, and waking up in a confused state. After this I regressed and felt completely dead inside.
This waking up in a confused state happened 2 more times, once in May 2010 and once in September 2010. Both of these were preceded by sudden improvements. But upon waking I felt like I had lost a basic part of my self. Not just feelings, but the core of my being. What I felt to be the complete and final destruction of my inner being happened on September 7th, 2010, and there hasn’t been a change since (it has now been 6 months).
I’ve been in an extremely peculiar state for the past 6 months. I have literally lost everything inside of me and no longer have a sense of ”inner being”. My personality has been completely erased, along with the inner psyche I’ve spent a lifetime building. When I attempt to ”look inside”, it is impossible because there is literally nothing there. Everything that made up my specific sense of personal being is gone, including including my hopes, fears, dreams, goals, opinions, values, morals, likes/dislikes, and most strikingly, all emotions and feelings.
I have no feelings associated with past events, and no emotional connections with anything in the world. Specific emotions that defined my personal sense of being are no longer there. People, places, things and events that I thought were etched in my soul as having significance no longer mean a thing. Absolutely nothing, I can’t stress this enough.
I am unable to look backward or forward, have no sense of past accomplishments and no desire for future ones. The strangest thing is, I cannot feel anything toward being in this state, as that part of me is gone too. It’s like a recursive erasure of everything I ever was, am, and will be.
It doesn’t feel like life is a conscious experience that I am having anymore, as there is no inner construct within me to absorb an experience on any level. I see, hear, touch, and smell, yet each of these is so devoid of emotional content that they don’t coalesce into anything meaningful I can call a human consciousness. My sense of being has been replaced by a constant void of nothingness that is unchanging, 24/7, I feel nothing towards the nothingness. It is not like feeling empty inside, there is no inside to feel empty within.
Obviously, antidepressants affect neurotransmitters. Maybe my neurotransmitters were severely imbalanced by the manner in which I withdrew, along the seizure(s) (there is only one I am sure of). What I don’t understand is how a neurotransmitter imbalance could completely erase me as a human being. What I’m experiencing is not depression, anhedonia, or flat affect, but a permanent change in my consciousness that literally destroyed my humanity. All the parts that made up my being are literally gone. I don’t understand how this is even possible, or what (if anything) I can do to change it.
Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

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Psychiatric drugs – Long path of uncertainty.

“Through all the experiences with these drugs, I think they should be banned. I don’t believe a one of them helped me in the long run.”

I am 18 yrs old, since the age of 12 I have been on, Ativan, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Zyprexa, Lexapro, Klonopin, Prozac, probably more in fact, I’d say I took most of the popular ones on the market.

Through all the experiences with these drugs, I think they should be banned. I don’t believe a one of them helped me in the long run, temporarily it may have, because some of them were narcotics. But to this day, at 18 yrs old, I know I will never be me again, I know somehow, someway it altered my personality for life, which is the most frustrating feeling a person can have in my opinion, wanting to be what is rightfully yours, yourself.

At the moment, I am coming off Lexapro, and I was only on this drug for 3 weeks, a small dose also, 10MG. Yet, I am having the same withdrawal affects as I did on Paxil, and Zoloft that I took for many months, the ‘shocks’ I like to call them, some people explain them with dizzy spells, electricity racing through the body, as if it releases through the brain, through the rest of your body, It truly makes me sick to my stomach when I see commercials on these drugs saying, Zoloft is not habit forming, Paxil is not habit forming. Because if your body has such horrible symptoms from not having a substance, is that not classified as habit-forming? Not habit forming, but yet if I took one of my pills right now, those symptoms would suddenly cease to exist, if that’s not habit-forming to your body, then I have no idea what is.

These drugs have made me high, they have made me low, they’ve made me hallucinate, paranoid, delusional, scared to death, crazy, suicidal, apathetic, detached, and most of all, they’ve made me not me. Which angers me more than anything. I look at the these drug industries, just like I look at a corporations like Phillip Morris. Who distribute harmful habit-forming substances to the ignorant. For the simple purpose of making handfuls of money, cause I believe that is the root of all evil. I am sympathetic to people who suffer with any form of mental illness, cause in the long run, it gets very hopeless if these drugs don’t work for you, cause you know there is something wrong, you take these drugs, they may work, they may not. If they don’t, then what? Do you continue looking for a simple-answer locked up inside a small pill.

That you really don’t understand what place they play in your body. Or do you stay with your natural self, and still feel terrible, That’s where the hopelessness comes from to many, although, I believe there is other possibilities,

For each individual out there, this will differ, some can cope simply by talking, others reading, some people take the destructive route, which I have, and many others continue to, drugs, alcohol. But even as I did take these various routes, there was/is something missing, but people must look, and continue to look. Although it’s a difficult way to live, there is still hope, I don’t think the answer lies inside a man-made pill. But that’s me, I am reluctant to recommend these drugs to people finding out they have a form of mental illness and are recommended medication, for the simple reason of uncertainty.

So many things can go wrong on them, At this point in history I truly don’t know if man-kind is ready to start messing with what makes up everything we are, the brain. It seems as if humans likes to start messing with things before they fully understand them, which I think is very dangerous. That seems logical to me, But when I ask doctors, why am I having these symptoms, from this drug, that is supposed to be so safe, I get, “I don’t know.”

As for me I will stop taking all these drugs, There is a few of them on my list above that I would do about anything to get off the market. So, ask questions, do research, don’t jump onto the long road of experimenting with this uncertain branch of drugs, for your son, daughter, yourself, or any loved one for that matter.

Joe
buffer@uncompiled.com

Joe
buffer@uncompiled.com

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Prozac Nearly Ruined My Life at 13

“I frequently wandered around in a daze, or ran around at all hours of the day and night. I became intensely suicidal.”

 

I was put on Prozac by my GP at 13 for depression. Before going on the drug, I was a happy, normal child. Within two weeks of being on Prozac, I was hypomanic. I realize that with hindsight. I started getting into trouble with the police, I was extremely aggressive towards anyone who dared come near me, and I started self-harming. I frequently wandered around in a daze, or ran around at all hours of the day and night. I became intensely suicidal, taking a total of 15 overdoses while on this evil drug. I inserted pins into my arms, started drinking, and physically assaulting people. I was arrested numerous times, once for throwing knives at the police, and nearly got charged with attempted murder (no one was hurt). My mother realized that Prozac had completely changed my personality, and took me off it. About three weeks later, I awoke one morning, not knowing what I’d done during the time on Prozac, and having a memory gap of the whole time I was on the drug. I could not remember a thing. 5 yrs later, I am back to my usual self, but I still suffer from the time I spent on Prozac. I started getting flashbacks of things that occurred whilst on the drug, flashbacks to events my mother verified, because I could not believe them. I am very wary of going on any psychiatric drugs, because of the damage Prozac caused. If you are reading this, please remember, you are taking your life (and others, possibly) in your hands.

 

2/2/2002

This is Survivor Story number 45.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

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My Reaction to Zyban and Wellbutrin

“When my husband came home from work, he found me on the bathroom floor unable to move my left side, babbling and drooling, having difficult breathing.”

 

I would like to relate my experiences with Zyban (Wellbutrin). In December, 1997 I decided to quit smoking. My doctor prescribed Zyban. Within 3 days of taking the drug, I began to notice changes in my personality. I became more agitated, anxious, angry, and nervous. At first I attributed it to the holiday season, my husband being away for work reasons, and the stressful job of renovating our home and other reasons. By day 6 I was violent, crying continuously, unable to concentrate, shaking violently, rocking, unable to remember a thing. Fortunately (how sad to say this), I had a friend who had had an allergic reaction to medication several years before and recognized what was happening to me. She stayed with me until all hours of the night and suggested my doctor put me on an anti-anxiety drug (Xanax). It took about 3 months, but the medication did help lessen most of the side effects. However, my memory and concentration never returned to what it was.

Throughout this, my doctor insisted that I had anxiety disorder and that there was no way the Zyban could continue to affect me months later. This diagnosis was due in part to Glaxo Wellcome’s insistence that the drug would be out of my system after 30 days with no remaining side effects. It was also decided that I stop my birth control (depopreva) in order to balance my system again. Besides a hormone test and complete blood work up, no other tests were ever done. The strain of my body trying to regulate itself was too much. In March, 1999 I had a complete relapse again. (Note: It takes 12-18 months for the body to re-adjust itself after depopreva shots end.) I contacted Glaxo and was told by the person on the other end of the phone, that they did not know how hormones would affect the use of the drug and that no tests were ever run concerning this. I have tried to find out if this was correct, but I find nothing but dead ends.

By this time I had a new doctor. Gratefully, he realized that something was wrong and sent me to a brain neurologist/psychiatrist. He, too, contacted Glaxo. Now since it was well over a year since I had stopped the Zyban, he was told the same thing as my first doctor. It couldn’t be the Zyban, it was something else. I had a blood test and he relied on hormone tests over 1 year old – taken the month I quit the shots. Since all tests showed nothing, I quote: “Since the symptoms are so much like manic depressiveness, let’s treat the symptoms and worry about the cause later.” I was placed on Depakote and nothing else was ever done. Depakote did not seem to work well, especially at times of ovulation and menstruation. He kept upping my dose. At 150 mg I had a reaction. I became extremely “high” by 10 am. When my husband came home from work, he found me on the bathroom floor unable to move my left side, babbling and drooling, having difficult breathing. I had been there nearly 45 minutes alone. He rushed me to the hospital. The emergency room doctor claimed I had a seizure, the neurologist (who never came to see me) said it was a manic high and to stay on the Depakote, just at a lower dosage. Needless to say, I fought that and stopped taking it.

My husband and I were never given a final diagnosis – I am waiting for the papers from the hospital to see what the final decision was. Since then, my problems have worsened. I now stammer quite often, am losing mobility in my left arm and hand. The doctor has even had to give me a shot of Valium to stop uncontrollable shaking and spasms of my entire body. I am continuously tired and weak, shake a lot, my memory is worse, my ability to form sentences at times impossible, my anxiety and anger heightened. There is fear now that the compounding of the drug reactions may have caused permanent neurological damage. Unfortunately it will be almost 4 months before I can seen at major medical university for testing. I have been given lorazepam to control any further shakes and spasms. The idea of being on a drug the rest of my life so I can walk and talk is not a pleasant one.

During my struggle, I have become co-spokesperson/organizer for a growing group of people experiencing long-term side effects from either Wellbutrin or Zyban. Though the problems and their severity vary, we have found that we do share common lasting effects, mainly shakes, memory, and word-finding difficulties. We number over 30 with letters being received almost weekly. With so little information available to doctors, most cases are being misdiagnosed, if diagnosed at all, a few of us are working together to find our own answers. Though it is a slow process, occasionally we doing have encouraging findings.

For example, the patient information from a Walgreen Pharmacy in South Bend, Indiana says that the side effects MAY go away after stopping the drug. We hope that this is a partial admittance from the company that our problems are real and may be soon there will be answers to our problems. In the meantime, the search goes on. Though my experience is with Zyban, possibly compounded by my use of Depakote, many others are experiencing the similar problems with other medications. We are the guinea pigs for these =93new generation=94 drugs that seem to be put out on the market too quickly. The product information for doctors list 180+ side effects possible from Wellbutrin/Zyban, with many of these recognized AFTER the drug=92s release to the general public.

If the patient does not get this product information along with the drug, they are possibly aware of only 10 side effects. I know that many of the newer drugs are helpful, but too many are not. We need to bind together to stop the money-making machines that are jeopardizing our health, the health of our children, and possibly the health of the next generation. We need assurance of proper testing and results and that long-term problems are recognized prior to the drug=92s release, not after. Or, for that matter, that long-term problems even exist. If long-term problems have been discovered, follow-ups and treatment need to be available to those suffering them, no matter how small the percentage. With hopes, groups such as yours will bring more awareness to the general public and will make sure that future drugs will be released with more care and information.

I thank you for the opportunity to share my experience.

Debby Gincig Painter

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 95.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

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