3/30/2001 – LSD to Prozac and back to LSD?!

In the last half century we have witnessed Eli Lilly bring America LSD and
then Prozac. Now that the public has been brainwashed about the “benefits” of
Prozac and its clones, it is time to once again attempt to sell us on LSD.
After admitting in this article the truth of the argument I have made for ten
years against the SSRI antidepressants – they work like LSD in the brain (”
Nichols says there is some indication these drugs work on the serotonin
pathway in the brain, the same target of the selective serotonin reuptake
inhibitor drugs Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft, used to treat depression, anxiety
and obsessive compulsive disorder.”) they now work to sell us on the
“benefits” of LSD. After all, if we can as a society have given similar drugs
– the SSRIs – such a warm welcome, we must now be ready to accept LSD, the
CIA’s drug of choice for a mind control experimentation, with welcome arms as
well.

Has the world gone completely mad?! Obviously! We now have the National
Institute on Drug Abuse encouraging us to use a drug, already declared
dangerous and of no medical use, when they are suppose to educate us on the
dangers of it. Perhaps the name of the institute should be changed to the
National Institute for Production of Drug Abuse. At this point it would
certainly be more appropriate. Clearly they are counting on their lack of
educating the public about drugs to have produced enough public ignorance of
drugs and their effects so as to allow them to get away with this one. As I
have said repeatedly, the drug companies count on our memory loss. They
expect us to forget within a generation our experience with a drug and then
pull the same drug on us again. They generally give it a new name, or a new
twist, but the more you learn about drugs, the more you realize that the
drugs remain the same.

Obviously on this one they are counting on mass stupidity among the general
population for its acceptance. I would hope that everyone of you is working
as hard as you can to educate all around you to the dangers of these drugs.
Time is of the essence! If you have not yet figured out that we are in a
battle for our lives, you have missed something. Our society as we have known
it and our future is at stake. The Brave New World is here. And with them
feeling so confident as to take such a bold and blatant step as this all that
can be said at this point is, “God help us all!”

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition For Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/living/DailyNews/hallucinogen010322.html

A computer-generated model of the LSD molecule. (Heffter Institute)

MedicalHallucinogens?

Researchers Studying Possible Medical Use of LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin

By Robin Eisner

N E W Y O R K, March 22 Could shrooms or LSD help the mentally ill?

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Hallucinogens Among Oldest Drugs
Trials Must Be Rigorously Designed
Critics: Risks Outweigh Benefits

At Harvard, a psychiatrist is studying whether the hallucinogenic cactus
peyote creates any long-term memory or attention problems in the American
Indians who take the drug as part of religious rituals.

A University of Arizona psychiatrist is poised to begin researching whether
taking the hallucinogen psilocybin under controlled circumstances may help
people suffering with obsessive compulsive disorder.

And another Harvard psychiatrist is in the beginning phases of designing a
protocol that may employ LSD or another hallucinogen to see if it helps
terminally ill people suffering from depression and pain.

With some support from the private New Mexico-based Heffter Institute, these
researchers, along with others in the United States and abroad, represent a
small movement of scientists looking at the possible medical benefits of
hallucinogens for some psychiatric conditions.

Hallucinogens Among Oldest Drugs

Hallucinogens are among the oldest known group of drugs that have been used
for their ability to alter human perception and mood, according to the Drug
Enforcement Agency. They have been used for medical, social and religious
practices.

More recently, synthetic hallucinogens have been used recreationally, with
hippies from the ’60s, such as the now deceased ex-Harvard psychology
professor Timothy Leary, first promoting their use with the famous slogan,
Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out.

Today, hallucinogens are deemed drugs of abuse by the DEA, with no known
medical benefit. Approximately 8 percent to 10 percent of high school
seniors tried a hallucinogen in the past year according to a University of
Michigan study of drug use.

It remains unclear how these drugs exert their action in the brain, but
anecdotal evidence and some earlier studies indicate they may help a variety
of psychiatric conditions, says David E. Nichols, founder of the Heffter
Institute, in Santa Fe, and professor of medical chemistry and molecular
pharmacology at Purdue School of Pharmacy in West Lafayette, Ind.

Nichols says there is some indication these drugs work on the serotonin
pathway in the brain, the same target of the selective serotonin reuptake
inhibitor drugs Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft, used to treat depression, anxiety
and obsessive compulsive disorder.

He founded the institute in 1993 to help give scientific credibility to
medical research on hallucinogens. After years of fund-raising, the
institute now has enough money to help scientists do serious research.

Trials Must Be Rigorously Designed

Since opinions are so strongly held about hallucinogens, it is essential
that any studies in this area be performed with the most rigorous modern
methods and great care to have an impartial approach, says Dr. Harrison
Pope, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, who is leading the
four-year peyote study in American Indians.

Funded largely by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and Heffter, Popes
group will be comparing three populations of American Indians peyote users
in religious ceremonies, alcoholics, and local tribespeople to see if
peyote use is associated with cognitive problems.

Pope is also developing a trial to follow up on studies from the ’60s and
’70s suggesting that hallucinogens helped ease anxiety and depression in the
terminally ill and also reduced their need for pain medication.

The challenge is to design the study in such a way that if the drug shows
benefits, skeptics are convinced, and if it doesnt help, proponents of
hallucinogenic use dont challenge the research as inadequate, Pope says.

Psilocybin mushroom

These studies take time to develop to get that scientific imprimatur. They
also need to get review, by local medical institutions and governmental
regulatory authorities. The DEA and the FDA is still reviewing a protocol by
Dr. Francisco Moreno, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University
of Arizona in Tucson, hoping to study a chemically synthesized psilocybin
for obsessive-compulsives. His hospital gave him permission to start the
study.

A protocol of psilocybin and depression in Switzerland also is undergoing
revision before it is submitted to the government authorities there, Nichols
says.

Critics: Risks Outweigh Benefits

Some scientists, however, question the potential risks of these studies.

The problem with this kind of research is that when average people hear or
read about them in this preliminary stage they might think these drugs could
be good for them now, says Una McCann, associate professor of psychiatry at
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. But it remains unknown until the studies
are finished, McCann says.

Dr. Gregory Collins the director of the Alcohol and Drug Recovery program at
the Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio, believes the risks outweigh any
benefits.

Some of these drugs have been shown to have long-term consequences in
healthy people, Collins says. I would be reluctant to try them in the
mentally ill.

Nichols, however, defends the research. I think we will find some medical
benefit of these drugs, Nichols says. There is no other drug class that
doesnt have some medical utility.

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I am a Prozac Survivor

“I think this experience will haunt me for the rest of my life.”

 

My name is Charly, I am a Dutch man and I live in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. My age is 33 years, now on 8 august 2000. After 4 years I think it’s time now to tell about my Prozac experience that have changed my belief system and my total way of living. I think this experience will haunt me for the rest of my life and I think I’m ready to face that fact now. I’ve tried to “just forget it” in all kinds of ways, but for me it’s like once you’ve been there, there is no return. I have a few good friends who really try to understand me in this feeling, but I also know that’s too much asked from them. I arrived at the place were I really wish to meet and talk to other Prozac/SSRI Survivors and I hope this story will be the start of this.

In February 1994 I visited my family doctor and told him about my depression because of a stranded relationship. Because I had heard and read about the “magnificent new wonder-drug” Prozac and it’s far fewer side effects then other anti-depressants I asked him for a prescription. I didn’t needed any psychotherapy cause I knew very well the background of my depression and it wasn’t that bad. If I had only knew then, what I know now, I wasn’t depressed at all, I was feeling down and I just wanted to feel better, happy, not sad. -later I would find out what a real depression was after Prozac hitting me hard-

My family doctor prescribed me Prozac 20 mg daily. About 5 to 6 times I took a monthly cure of Prozac 20 mg daily with intervals of a few months. My first response on Prozac was pretty good, I became more active, but looking back on that period I also became more reckless and naive, less bright and focused on my environment (people and circumstances). I was completely convinced of the innocence of this product and believed that it could actually help me feeling better. The only side effects that it gave me at first were some flu-like symptoms (like shaky), some nerve twitching beneath my right eye and a dry mouth, nothing very serious. My dream recall increased tremendously and they were more rich and vivid then ever. I’ve ended the last cure of Prozac (30 days) in April 1996.

On Friday 2 august 1996 (about 4 months later) I went to my family doctor for another 30 day prescription of Prozac because I still felt somewhat down the last few months. I took one pill that afternoon and went out of town to pay a visit to my parents. While driving in my car for about a half a hour I suddenly felt a strange kind of dizziness in my head. I felt inconstant contractions to be followed by a very painful stitch at the right side on top of my head, then followed by a feeling as if a bloodstream went down on my forehead.

A milky mist came down upon my eye sight, although I still could see, thank God. From my neck an extremely burning sensation radiated throughout of my whole body, especially my spine, arms and legs. My whole body felt like burning inside. Then a stiffening of my body followed and I had a constant feeling of “electricity pain” in my whole body. My body felt electrified, constantly. It’s very hard to explain this feeling, but it’s like goose-flesh so much intensified that it hurts and keeps your body tensed…constantly ! (-It feels like you don’t have a body anymore, but only “wires” connected to high electricity-)

I drove my car upon the verge and came in a state of shock. I remember that my first thought was: “It’s over, this is a stroke and parts of my body will be paralyzed”. Then I realized that couldn’t be the case cause I could still move my body parts and I could still talk, but inside I was completely panic- stricken. What is happening to me ? My God what if this won’t go away ? “I must keep my head cool, stay calm and drive on” were my thoughts.

I only parked for a few seconds upon that verge to check out if I still could function and drove on in the direction of my parents house. The whole incident, from the start of feeling dizzy, till the drove on to my parents, lasted less then 1 or 2 minutes. It took one Prozac-attack to blew away my comfortable feeling of self, of me in my body ! The milky mist that came down upon my eye sight would stay for days. First thing I did when arriving at my parents house was immediately calling the family doctor who tried to convince me that this was just some side effects I was going through and I should keep on taking the Prozac, which I did not, because in the state I was in, this stuff just had to leave my system, immediately. I’ve contacted 5 other doctors who all said that if this was a Prozac induced side effect at all, it would pass away within a few days. It didn’t. I was so scared, I was so shocked and unknown of what happened to me, and the responding of the doctors knocked me out. Physically and mentally I became a wreck, fractured. All I could do was lay down and trying to sleep.

From that moment on I would stay and move into my parents house for about one year. I couldn’t work anymore, I couldn’t focus anymore, I had changed from a self-confident grown man into an extremely anxious pitiful man, locked up inside, not able to function anymore. I got more then terrified, I couldn’t rationalize anymore, I just couldn’t bring my thoughts to the right proportions, and believe me, you would be terrified too, cause you think you’re going crazy, out of your mind (of course Prozac/SSRI Survivors all know how that’s like). It was very difficult for my parents, but they’ve cared for me as good as possible in that period, not really understanding what happened to me and not able to communicate with me.

The first 14 days I went straight into hell, just pure and plain hell. My body, my nervous system, became extremely oversensitive and totally out of control. It’s difficult to explain but I wasn’t in control anymore but my brains were, sending signals of pain throughout of my whole body. It was the most frightening experience I ever had in my whole life. My body felt as if it was turned inside out. It scared me so much and I had no idea if there was coming any relief of this. I didn’t committed suicide, but I don’t know what I had done if that bit of a relief didn’t came after 14 days. My ego (what you think you are) blew away into pieces. Boundaries that belonged to my personality structure were far exceeded. It’s an intrusion of your integrity that is not easily to describe but I’ll try to explain: I had thoughts and emotions that were not mine (but artificially produced by my brain), thoughts and emotions that didn’t belong to my personality, my character, that which makes me the person I am. Thoughts that were racing in the middle of my fore head like “resonating clouds of gas”.

The thoughts were extremely immoral, offensive, negative and from a self-destructive kind. I was embarrassed by these thoughts and so afraid, not able to stop them. The thoughts were extremely clear and strong, I actually could “hear” the thoughts and it’s very difficult to explain how that’s like, but “resonating clouds of gas” fits the closest description. It’s through this experience that I can better understand now how a phenomenon like telepathy might work.

Next to it I experienced exaggerated feelings of compunction. I condemned myself for “sins” from my childhood, like molesting the cat. The emotions that came up were so horrible with thoughts like: “how do you think to live on with this ?”, again, I just couldn’t rationalize anymore, as responsible as “I” made myself for these “sins”. Also I “saw” in my minds eye (and you have to understand that I saw it so clearly, like in a very vivid dream experience) symbols that scared the shit out of me, spires (like in the dark ages), people with masks, etc., all kind of bizarre and scrappy. I got oversensitive for coffee, herbs, etc.. I was extremely oversensitive for light and sound, which caused me pain upon top of my head, symptoms you can best compare with meningitis. My neck was heavily contracted. I couldn’t watch any movie with more or less contained violence. It scared me, my nervous system just couldn’t bear it.

Nightmares that I experienced were horrible, violent, frightening and so realistic that after awakening it took me some time to realize that I was already awake, and that this was a nightmare, not happening in real-time. That was another symptom: the filter between my sense of reality and my dreams got blurred. I felt like I was in a dream-like state (locked up inside) and couldn’t woke up from it. I still have this symptom occasionally, after 4 years now. In one of the nightmares I was raped by a good friend of mine, it was so horrible. Can you imagine someone very close to you, you really know well, you care for this persons integrity and you have a realistic nightmare being raped by this person. Then you “wake up” from this nightmare not realizing that you are awake already. Sometimes at night I woke up with such pressure on my chest (it literally felt as if someone was pushing on my chest) that I had difficulty with breathing. A lot of nights I even didn’t dare to sleep alone. My heartbeats were heavy and up-speeded along with the excessive sweating of my body, especially at night. I really do not understand why I didn’t drove in panic to the hospital at some nights, but I didn’t. At some nights I didn’t dare to sleep at all, because of the realistic nightmares that gave me a feeling as if something evil did came over me. I was also afraid to wake up being totally paralyzed, and the feeling of this being possible was very strong. It felt like anything could happen, I wasn’t in control anymore.

<“Recovery”> After 14 days I saw a little light at the end of the tunnel. After 40 days the burning “electricity pain” (electrified feeling) in my body had slightly changed in an all embracing itch feeling, which was a blessing compared with the hell of inner nerve pain. The “resonating clouds of gas” thoughts in my head, slightly changed into a feeling of a “stone” in my head. This “stone” is accompanied with contractions in my forehead and radiate behind my nose to my fore teeth.

After 4 years now, the “stone” and the contractions are still returning when I work behind a computer screen (indeed right now). After 4 years I still experience occasionally shivering of my body. After 4 years I still experience a kind of alienation from my emotions and my physical body. It feels like you’ve lost a part of yourself and some un-trustable stranger substitutes that part. I’m just glad that I can live a “normal” life right now. I’m still bitter, who’s gonna give me back what I’ve lost ? The battle I’m still fighting to win, is to win myself back again, and that means:

THE COMPLETE AND TRUSTED FEELING OF MYSELF I ONCE HAD.

I know I’m not alone, I’m just one of many, a Prozac Survivor, a SSRI Survivor. I do wish to meet a lot of others now who are SSRI Survivors. Here in the Netherlands I’ve had a tremendous support by Frank van Meerendonk, the director of the Prozac Survivors Support Group (PSSG) in The Netherlands. Frank van Meerendonk has gathered a lot of information concerning SSRI’s, horrible stories, trials and neuro research. His approach is very down to earth. It’s shocking to know that there are so many people on SSRI’s nowadays in 2000 – about 40.000.000 worldwide on Prozac, not to mention the other SSRI’s- after so many victims crying out to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Among those people on SSRI’s are many children. Many children are also on Ritalin and Dexedrine, a Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor, just like Cocaine or Speed (Amphetamine), and we all know the actions of these drugs very well.

There are NO excuses for these SSRI manufacturers, they just don’t care, they don’t listen, still going on producing copy-cat Prozac-clones, with a cute selling name, but with the SAME diabolical effect, working on the SAME serotonergic and related dopaminergic system in the brain, calling them: Prozac, Sarafem, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, Celexa, Anafranil, Redux, Fen- Phen, etc.. In the month of September 1997 the diet-drugs Redux and Fen-Phen had to be withdrawn by the FDA because of their serious life-threatening action’s, damaging the brain, heart and lungs. It’s obvious what is going on here ! It’s so very important to protect the (future) children against these products, these Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and the awful arrogance of their suppliers !

I don’t know exactly how to describe this, but I definitely know that SSRI’s influence your conscience and the center of your will. I am talking by first hand experience, and after this experience it’s so very difficult to gain control back over your life again. It’s so hard to believe again that YOU are in control over YOUR mind, that YOU determine YOUR thoughts and YOUR emotions. I was not only heavily (post)-traumatized by this experience but also parts of my personality have changed. For example: I have to avoid some social situations because of my increased anxiety. I never had this before Prozac. I also have become extreme sentimental. I used to be a very bright, inquisitive individual. Now I have to force myself to be with people and to learn new things. I feel mentally raped by Prozac and it nearly killed me, but it could not destroy my essence.

SSRI’s are without any doubt the most dangerous and underestimated drugs on this planet and for what I and many other individuals have experienced, the product of pure evilness. These SSRI’s are products of pure darkness disguised as “angels of light”. It’s striking to see how they rush their “blitzkrieg”, to deceive the world, how people on them, are defending their drugs to the bone, worshipping them. It’s striking to see how our doctors have blind faith in SSRI’s and invite them to come in, like they were descendents of the Gods. It is a very frightening development of OUR future ! It’s very frightening to see the power of the almighty pharmaceutical companies, who develop and push their SSRI’s to the world, using their power by influencing the health care system and the media. It’s very frightening to watch a world of individuals fall asleep, who ridicule the cause of increasing school- and workplace shooters by using the nickname of “the Prozac Defense”. I can only hope that these individuals wake up from their dream-states in the near future, to find themselves naked and that they may see how many human lives their deceivers have destroyed in their surroundings….

–Charly–

3/11/2001

This is Survivor Story number 7.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

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A Nurse Speaks out about Prozac, Effexor and Zyban

“I have discovered many, many horrifying things about these drugs.”

 

An online friend recommended Ann Blake-Tracy’s book, which I haven’t gotten or read yet, but definitely will within the next few days. I decided to look for info on Dr. Tracy on the web, and discovered the ICFDA site. I have just read several personal accounts of others’ SSRI nightmares, and now find myself in tears, and in need of sharing my story, which it is very painful to do and probably will be for life.

I and my wife are both registered nurses. In late 1997, I had gone through a bad bout with the flu and decided I should seek help to quit smoking. My doctor at the time prescribed Zyban. I had almost quit (down from 2-3 packs/day to a couple of cigarettes per day) when I developed erosive and infective esophagitis and duodenitis, along with other ulcers. At that time, I stopped taking the Zyban, although I can’t recall for sure why.

A few months later, my wife said that my moods seemed better when I was on the Zyban, so the doc wrote a scrip and put me on Wellbutrin. Unfortunately, he did not suggest, nor did we consider, more conventional treatments, such as therapy or counseling. I regret that he, or we, had considered such, because the esophagitis was the first (physical) problem, and the least of many problems, both physical and psychological, which lay ahead.

After a time, while seeing a new physician, a discussion over the fact that the Wellbutrin did not seem to be helping any more ensued. So, the new physician changed me to Prozac. It wasn’t very long after the Prozac that I woke up one morning, went into the kitchen to fix myself some coffee, and passed out right there in the kitchen for no known reason. Our oldest Daughter, nine years old at the time, came running to the kitchen, where she discovered me trying to climb up the island in the center of our kitchen.. I was totally disoriented for a few moments, had a splitting headache, and had managed to fracture a toe during the fall. Although I managed to get reoriented, I was left with a totally debilitating headache.

Over the next four weeks, during which I was unable to go to work, I was hospitalized twice, underwent some horrendous and totally useless treatments for a diagnosis of “intractable migraines,” and the only thing that relieved the headache at all was Demerol and Phenergan. Of course, this left me just as unable to work as the headache itself. Near the fourth week, my wife noticed a “knot” in my cervical area. She went to the neurologist’s office with me, where I told one of the two doctors treating me for the migraines about the knot. When the doctor seeing me that day told me there was no knot (???), I fired him on the spot and told the nurse I wanted to see his partner. The second physician not only located it, but administered a trigger-point injection that almost totally relieved the now four-week old headache completely within an hour or so.

I returned to work within about a week, feeling relief from the headaches. But a friend suggested I quit the hospital where I had a good paying, although highly stressful job, and I did so, rather impulsively, without realizing the further financial devastation I was about to cause our family. Only part of the four weeks I had been out of work were covered by leave time, which had set into motion a serious financial crisis for our family.

Within months, I was out of a good paying, full-time job, the business proposition my friend had made turned out to be nothing but hollow promises, bill collectors were breathing down our necks, we were in danger of losing the home we had not long before purchased, and I was sinking into a bout of depression that most people could never imagine.

The next serious visit with my regular doctor included a discussion about the fact Prozac was not only not working, but that I was becoming extremely tired in the afternoons. So he suggested switching to Effexor, which he said “gives most patients sort of a boost.” I agreed, again, without any consideration or discussion of therapy or counseling. Looking back, depression was sort of logical. Within the last three years, I had been through a very bitter divorce, remarried, adopted the two stepdaughters that mean the world to me, purchased a house, gone through major health problems, walked away from a good job, had a promise of a great business partnership vanish into thin air, and was approaching total financial ruin. Perhaps I did have one or two reasons in all of that to be just a little depressed? But the story gets worse, much worse.

My sexual activity with my wife had begun to fall off considerably, and the activity we did engage in was plagued with strange problems I had never encountered before. I was having trouble functioning sexually. Ejaculation was becoming more difficult to achieve and I was experiencing painful sensations when aroused. My temper was getting more and more out of control — I developed a very short fuse, to say the least, resulting in all sorts of angry behavior that was totally new to me. Even worse, I began abusing my children. Even though I felt terrible after mistreating them, it was as though there was a second, horrible person inside of me, which I could not control, yet at the same time I kept thinking I could, or would at least be able to when the medications gained control over my depression once and for all. The medications never did. And it almost put an end to my life.

I was already having more frequent bouts of self-destructive behavior following episodes of losing my temper and in other ways losing control with the people I loved, most notably wife and our two daughters. I was oscillating between days of wanting to hide out from the world and days of mania, thinking I could do or achieve anything. Simple, everyday bumps in the road of life became mountains I felt unable to scale. This past December, our oldest daughter revealed to my wife the horrors of what I had become while my wife was away working at night as a nurse. In order to do what any loving mother would probably do, my wife told me the relationship was over and that I was never to return to our home again. Even worse, she told me that I would not see our daughters again until they were both grown and could decide on their own whether or not they wanted to see me again.. This was almost the fatal blow.

I started walking in the rain, with the temperature not much above freezing outside. It was then that I most seriously considered putting an end to my life physically — I was already dead emotionally. All that was left was an empty shell. The real me seemed lost forever, although I really had no idea where I had gone or why. I was walking along a major highway and saw an 18-wheeler coming downhill toward me. “Here is the perfect way to end it all and do it quickly,” I thought to myself. I stepped onto the pavement, into the path of the oncoming rig. He blew his horn and moved into the opposite lane of the highway where there was, fortunately for him, no oncoming traffic. Almost in disgust, I began to step forward a few more steps to once again place myself in the path of the truck. But something else suddenly crossed my mind: I actually had a mental image of our two daughters, screaming “I’m sorry, Daddy,” at my funeral. I knew this was not the way to end it. I began walking along the side of the road again, still hearing the air horn of the 18-wheeler blasting in my ears. I then thought of simply walking into the woods, sitting down by a tree, and actually allowing myself to die of hypothermia, which I was already beginning to experience in the almost freezing rain. My hands and feet had gone almost totally numb, with what had been intense pain now beginning to give way to oncoming frostbite.

A passing logger saw me on the side of the road and pulled over to offer me a ride. Two other vehicles had already done so, but I had waved them on saying “I’m fine, just leave me alone.” But something had changed. Perhaps the cold rain and intense pain I was feeling was jolting me back to reality. Unfortunately, the reality I was experiencing was neither hopeful nor acceptable to me at the time. I climbed into the truck and the driver took me to the nearest store, where I gave the attendant a dollar bill in exchange for dialing the long distance number where I could reach my wife. She agreed to my request to come and meet me. She took me to the home of my parents. Knowing that I did not want to live, yet not totally ready to just curl up and die, I asked them to take me to the hospital, where I had myself admitted for suicidal depression.

The next morning, I met with the psychiatrist and told her everything. I left nothing out. I wound up being transferred to an intensive treatment program for further help once the suicidal crisis was behind me. I was to the point I had nothing to hide any longer. I told her everything, as I did my therapists. This triggered notification of the authorities who immediately ordered me out of the home for good and set into motion an intense legal struggle that is still ongoing.

After being discharged from inpatient treatment, I told my psychiatrist that I did not think the Effexor was working right and might be causing me more problems. She seemed to think that dosage was just too low, so she increased the dosage from 75 mg per day to 150. I had to take it in the mornings because I had long before discovered that if I took Effexor in the evening hours, there was no possibility of getting any sleep. Within a few weeks, I was having daily, afternoon depression and anxiety attacks that were very intense and seemed not to be triggered by any particular thoughts or circumstances. One Friday afternoon, it hit me that my Effexor dose had been doubled. I was also now having panic attacks in public places and was becoming terrified of going anywhere. I called her office immediately and insisted on discontinuing the Effexor and on seeing her. I was told I could see her the following Tuesday afternoon. I agreed to that, and immediately began to taper myself off the Effexor. Since all I had was 150 mg capsules, my only choice, without getting a new prescription, was to space the doses out. I did so by skipping the next morning dose, and taking the following morning’s dose 12 hours late — around 8:30 p.m. An interesting but revealing thing occurred. Instead of severe afternoon panic attacks, the next really bad episode occurred during the early morning hours following that next dose, which I had taken in the evening instead of morning. I needed no further evidence to convince me that Effexor was in fact causing my depression and anxiety attacks.

When I saw the psychiatrist on Tuesday, I told her that the Effexor was worse than the Wellbutrin and Prozac had been. She looked at me and said “Wellbutrin and Prozac? I didn’t know you had ever taken those.” After discussing my history with those drugs, she agreed that I wasn’t tolerating antidepressants at all, and told me to taper myself off the Effexor as I saw fit and was comfortable with. I have not taken another dose of Effexor since that 8:30 PM dose two days prior to seeing her. Just as interesting is the fact that I have also had no need or desire to take Ativan, which she had wound up giving me in order for me to sleep and combat the increasing anxiety.

Despite the legal battle my wife and I are now facing, not only for the possibility of putting our family back together again, but very possibly for my own freedom from being cast into prison and out of society, my love for my wife, children, and life has returned. Once I got my head cleared enough to do so, I decided I wanted to learn more about the three drugs — Wellbutrin, Prozac, and Effexor, to try and figure out why they weren’t working right for me. Instead of just finding out how they were NOT working, I have discovered many, many horrifying things about these drugs. Not only are they all in the same class (SSRI’s), but there is more than significant information that leads me to believe that all of the psychological problems that emerged — none of which I had experienced prior to being started on all these drugs — were very likely triggered by the drugs.

So, in order to stop smoking, which I still have not done, my doctor put me on Zyban… the next 3-1/2 years or so of my life became a living hell for me and my family. What they have been through hurts as bad as thinking about my own plight. I would gladly spend the rest of my days in prison, or in hell, if that were necessary for them to be safe. But I am not a monster. In fact, life has become simpler and clearer to me than it has been in years. Not because of the tragedy, but because I am free of the serious and devastating effects of these drugs.

As I have said to others, with complete honesty, I would not wish what has happened to us on my worst enemy. Mentally, I have a totally new lease on life. But it was not until I took control of it and stopped the SSRI’s that I was able to obtain it. Sadly, there is a chance that the legal system is going to prevent me from ever being with my family again, which I am not totally sure I will survive. They mean everything in world to me. And in a society where marriages and families are routinely thrown out like household garbage, I feel no remorse whatsoever about my family taking precedence over my own individual needs, career needs, or anything else. I would rather die fighting for the chance to be with me family, to simply love them, support them, and share everyday life with them, including the tough parts, than to give up on them. They ARE my life, who, and what I am.

If only one of those doctors had ever said “Before we prescribe this (new) drug, why don’t you talk with a counselor or therapist?” it is very likely none of these tragic events would have ever occurred. Now I am stuck in a legal system that will probably never show any leniency or compassion, not understanding that these drugs can do these sorts of horrible things to ordinary people. Unable to afford a high-profile attorney (having to go with a public defender) who most likely has little real interest in fighting for me or my family, I am likely to lose my freedom, my family, and in turn my life. The latter is more truthful than I can convey, because if I lose my wife and daughters, the most meaningful part of me will be gone. I would never commit suicide — I promised my wife that for her and the girls — but I would die a slow, horrible death, withering away into a dark eternity, having no will live to live. Suicidal ideations and having no will to live are two very different things, yet they both lead to the same thing.

I pray that I will not be cast out of society like a disgusting, horrible, uncontrollable demon. I am not a threat to anyone. But the drugs that caused all of this are a very serious threat.

3/11/2001

This is Survivor Story number 5.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

674 total views, no views today

Hope through alternatives even after long-term use of Prozac

 

“The doctors said that I needed the drugs to pull through. I finally said, ‘No more drugs!'”

 

My name is Tammy.

I was diagnosed with bipolar depression about seven years ago. I have been in and out of the mental ward three times in the seven years.

This may be kind of long, but I feel that it is very important for those who have this condition. I would like to let you know that there is away to heal from this, other than the use of drugs.

I was under doctors’ care with the use of drugs — lithium, Prozac etc. These drugs did nothing for me. I still sheltered myself from life outside the home. Was afraid to speak to anyone about what I was going through. I slept all the time, had nothing that interested me at all, just sat and watched TV. If I slept, then nothing could go wrong and I would not have to face reality.

I had to give my children to the state foster care system. This was the hardest thing I ever had to do. My children where very young and did not understand why we where not together. We told them what I was going through, but at the age they where they did not understand. I still managed to visit with them when I was allowed to. I cried when I left them, for they were in different homes. This made me feel even more alone.

I would cry sometimes all day and for no reason. I had no control. Was unable to do my job at work so they let me go. Now, no job no children. I had to move back to my parents’ home. A home of nothing but abuse.

The doctors said that I needed the drugs to pull through. I finally said, “No more drugs! They are not doing me any good.” So I took myself off all drugs. The doctor said that she would not recommend me doing that but she could not make me take them. I have managed to deal with this for years. No friends, no family, no fun.

Till I met Bev. I met her at a very tiring time in my life. My mother was diagnosed with (cholangio Carcinowa), Bio-duct cancer. Grandfather had died a month before my mother. I was a mess. Went to work and all anyone had to say was “Hi, how are you?” and I would fall all apart.

This gal Bev saw that I was not alright, so she began giving me some of the Young Living Essential Oil supplements (mentioned in Dr. Tracy’s book and tape on withdrawal and rebuilding). I took them and she would come around later and asked me how I felt. I did feel better but was not sure if the supplements were the reason why I could work.

Bev took me to a massage therapist and I had an emotional release done. Boy, after that was done I did not think that it worked. As we left I told Bev get me home — I really needed to get home. Not sure why I had to get there but just get me home. I had a business appointment right when I got home. I called and canceled it, felt that I could not do it right then.

A few hours passed and I was at home when I started to have a large crying spell. I cried so hard that I had dry heaves. I could not keep anything down and could not sleep. Could not sit still, this went on all day and night. Called Bev to tell her I was afraid and what I was going through. The next day I felt as though nothing at all happened to me. I was better than fine, I was happy and could not wait to go somewhere. My concentration improved, I got out doing things again.

Bev helped me with my diet, supplements, the essential oils, etc. This is what I feel saved my life. This was my last chance, for I had tried everything and nothing worked. But the Young Living Essential Oils products worked!

I have a ways to go but feel that Young living will see me through all the changes. I hope that this will help other people to believe that there is something out there that will work and without drugs. I am stronger than I ever have been and I owe it all to Young Living Essential Oils.

Thank you, Bev and Young Living, from the bottom of my heart! You saved me!!!!!!!!

Tammy

2/18/2001

This is Survivor Story number 1.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

397 total views, no views today

Prozac Killed My Son

“I want to join others who are trying to remove Prozac from the hands of doctors who hand these pills out like ‘candy to kids’.”

 

I am in the seventh month of mourning the loss of my 14 year old son. During those months I have been reading everything I can find on suicide, survivors of suicide, etc., trying to make sense of my son’s death.

He was a good boy, an honor student, attending the Accelerated Learning Lab (for the gifted & talented), at Lakeridge Jr. High. He was maturing rapidly, and for reasons unknown to us, was showing signs of depression. Because I had read so many things about depression having a “genetic link”, and as my husband has suffered severe periods of depression all his life, I wanted to help my son from falling into the life long pattern of depressed episodes that my husband still struggles with. We took him to our family doctor and was promptly prescribed Prozac.

As I look back on everything that has transpired from that time until his death, I now understand that the changes in his behavior were a direct result of the drug. I want to join others who are trying to remove Prozac from the hands of doctors who hand these pills out like “candy to kids”. As a result of my searching for answers, I was led to the book “Prozac Backlash”. What an eye opener! If my doctor had known of the serious side effects that could occur, I’m sure he wouldn’t have prescribed it. If I had known, there is no way that I would have even contemplated giving it to my son. His depression was certainly a concern, but he wasn’t suicidal. I know that I’ll never be able to “prove” that Prozac killed my son, but I believe this with every fibre of my being.

Then I was led to Edward Havass, an attorney in SLC. I was told that he had been investigating Prozac related suicides. He consulted with an attorney in Houston about my son’s case. I received a letter this week informing me that my son’s suicide wasn’t consistent with other cases they were investigating because he committed suicide after having been on the drug for a couple of years, rather than within the first few weeks. He also said that it was unusual that my son took his life after stopping the Prozac. Mr. Havas also told me that a history of depression in the family also clouded the issue.

From what I have read, the effects of Prozac can stay in your system, sometimes months after having stopped the drug. I have also read that their is no scientific evidence to genetically link depression in family members. From my personal research I have found that even the experts don’t exactly know what is a “normal” serotonin level. How can they, in good conscience, prescribe a drug to correct a serotonin imbalance, when they don’t even know if there is a serotonin imbalance? From what I’ve read, there is no “consistent” pattern. And finally, who is to know when my son first started thinking suicidal thoughts? He felt uncomfortable taking the drug; he didn’t want anyone to know he “had” to take them. I tried telling him that it was no different than a diabetic taking insulin. If he had a serotonin imbalance, it was no different than a diabetic who had a different kind of imbalance. I told him these things because that is what our doctor had told us.

A couple of times I discovered that he hadn’t been taking his pills consistently, and asked him if he would need my help to remember to take them. On one occasion, he said sometimes he just simply forgot, but on another occasion he said he just wanted to handle his “own problems”. He wanted to be a man, and not have to depend on “some stupid drug”. I consulted with my doctor about this internal struggle he was having, and my doctor told me that Prozac was a long acting drug. It stayed in the system for awhile, but that my son should try to be more consistent.

We dealt with three separate incidences involving my son that were completely out of character for him. I am not going to detail them here, but suffice it to say, all three were extremely upsetting events, and with each occurrence, I remember thinking “Is Prozac playing a part in this?” And then I’d remind myself that our doctor had expressed his complete confidence in the safety of this drug, and eventually I brushed it off on the “teenage hormonal imbalances”, and wondered to myself if gifted kids like him just saw things and handled things in ways different than average kids.

After two years on the drug, (He was first prescribed Prozac a few months after his 12th birthday), he made a self determination to wean himself off of the drug. I hadn’t known about this decision until one day I was thinking that it had been awhile since I had filled his prescription, and when I examined the date on the pill bottle, I found that his prescription should have been refilled a couple of weeks before, but the bottle was still about half full. I talked with him about my discovery, and that’s when he confessed that he was trying to “go off of them by himself”. I had heard a few controversial things about Prozac, but I didn’t know that there might be withdrawal problems with them. Still, I quietly observed him, and he seemed to be doing really well.

His best friend had come to stay with us for the summer break between my son’s eighth and ninth grade, and my son was happier than I had seen him in a long time. They were planning all kinds of things together – biking the trail that led from the lake to Bridal Veil Falls, trips to the mall, 4-Wheeling with dad, hours and hours of Nintendo and Sega game competitions – maybe even joining up for summer football together. The night before he died, they were up in his room playing something on his Sega set, laughing and whooping it up. I remember my daughter pounding on the bedroom wall and yelling at them to “shut up because she was trying to sleep”. I thought about putting an end to their self made entertainment myself, but then thought, “Oh let them be boys… it’s only for the summer”, and besides, my son was a good kid. He didn’t ask for much. The next morning he got up, removed a small handgun from my husband’s safe, walked out into the orchard, and shot himself in the head. It had been roughly two or three weeks since he had taken his last pill. His best friend was devastated. Our hearts have been ripped open. I don’t know if we’ll ever feel normal again.

I am looking for others who may know of suicides that occurred within weeks or months of “quitting” the drug. I realize that Prozac has helped many people. I have a couple of close friends that claim that Prozac really helped with their depression. Well tampons are great too, but even tampons have caused toxic shock syndrome in a few people. But the manufacturers of tampons didn’t try to hide that fact. There are warnings on every box of tampons. Or what about the small percentage of people who have severe reactions to nuts? Food products have to be very specific about the ingredients contained in their products for the protection of those few who might have an adverse reaction. Why did Eli Lilly refuse to put warnings on the drug insert labels? They have known all along about the reports of increased agitation and suicidal thoughts that were produced in some of their test studies.

My plea is for Eli Lilly to be responsible. My hope is that these drugs will only be dispensed under the careful supervision of a highly trained professional who understands all the risks! If it causes Eli Lilly’s profits to drop in half, so be it. My hope is that no family will have to go through the pain that we are day by day enduring. The only thing that sustains me is my belief in a just God. If justice is not meted out here, it certainly will be in the life to come. If there is anyone out there willing to help me in my desire to bring suit against Eli Lilly, please contact me as soon as possible. I want Eli Lilly to handle this drug responsibly or NOT AT ALL! I have read how this drug king has been shutting people up with money. Money will not shut me up! Money will not bring my baby back!

My name is Dawn Rider. You can e-mail me at drider@kotm.org. Or call me at (801) 221-9930 ext. 112 or ext. 138. I can also be reached at (801) 225-7459.

P.S. If you read my story, please share it with others.

Dawn Rider
drider@kotm.org
(801) 221-9930 ext. 112

 

2/16/2001

This is Survivor Story number 12.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

423 total views, no views today

Prozac (Heaven + Hell)

“In a period of nine months while taking Prozac I had 11 extremely violent attacks on people.”

 

While suffering a major breakdown following a failed suicide attempt I was committed to a psychiatric hospital where I was first introduced to “Prozac The Wonder Drug” well so I heard. At first it was an evolution to my life, It was like seeing the world in colour for the first time my senses were working over time for the first time in my life I noticed things that I never bothered to take notice of before. I could smell flowers and see butterflies and I didn’t need to know the answers to the universe anymore? I was content, fulfilled, I was just happy to be alive……….so I thought!!!! I

was starting to become fine tuned and focused, a sponge for information. I didn’t need to sleep anymore, things started to become too easy. I was living on 2 to 3 hours of sleep a night than working a 10 to 11 hour day and yet I was producing my best work ever. Next come the dark side the mood swings, the paranoia, the agitation, the uncalculated risks, the violence, the superman syndrome. I couldn’t sit still. To this day I tap my foot constantly like some sort of drug addict. I can’t stand still I become agitated and begin to pace. My moods changes like the wind, “Roses and Thorns”.

I became paranoid, everybody’s watching me, ploys plots and conspiracies which led to embarrassing confrontations. I feared nothing. Before Prozac I had never had a physical fight. In a period of nine months while taking Prozac I had 11 extremely violent attacks on people who had been unpleasant to me or tried to intimidate me including my best friend which I hospitalized. Never before have I displayed such behavior. I was becoming impulsive, thoughts were becoming reality, reality was becoming thoughts. I could no longer differentiate between the constant nightmares, reality and my thoughts, what is real? Did I just dream that? Remember how we were talking about that yesterday? I haven’t seen you since last week and we have never talked about that???? Are you okay????

I started to think everybody was trying to confuse me and make me feel like I was going crazy. I was having memory flash backs which were emotionally overwhelming as if I just lived it over again. Project Prozac was terminated after I found myself holding a kitchen knife walking towards my ex-girlfriend ready to stab her (during an argument). I stopped and realized that it was just a thought passing through my mind one millionth of a second ago and here I am acting out my thoughts on impulse without time for evaluation. This scared the hell out of me. I was losing touch with reality. As a result I no longer took Prozac.

Since Prozac I have been on Cipramil, Arapax and Fluoxetine to name a few. What originally caused my breakdown is nothing in comparison to the impact of these antidepressants on my life. These drugs have totally trashed my life and I will never fully recover.

 

2/4/2001

This is Survivor Story number 11.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

346 total views, no views today

Humiliated and Worse on Prozac

“Frankly I think Eli Lilly is 100% responsible for the hell I have been through…”

 

I am a 46 year old man who has suffered a major disruption in his life because of Prozac. I heard of the web site and though I was not planning to write about my experience I realize there is need to do so. I wish to just outline them and perhaps later write a more detailed account at a later date.

1. I was taking Prozac for about 7 days
2. I sensed agitation and impatience growing as I took the drug.
3. I stopped taking the Prozac on the 8th day
4. I became filled with rage and remorse and wild fictions of what my life was all about and my marriage. I went to the store and bought beer. I do not drink, I bought the beer because years ago when I drank some it put me to sleep.
5. On the 8th day I was rage full and threatened my wife. I asked her to call 911 in one of my more lucid moments.
6. I had the distinct feeling that I wanted to frighten her and hurt her emotionally and physically. Then a moment later I did not think or feel that way.
7. I did not understand my own behavior or feelings.
8. I burned a sheet in the sink to make smoke to frighten her, and I threw a neck vibrator across the room.
9. The police came and arrested me, I spent 4 days in jail.
10. I paid huge fines and attorney fees.
11. I was charged with assault and reckless burning.
12. I was placed on probation for 2 years. 13. I was placed in a domestic violence program.

I am a nice guy. I have a wonderful family, a loving wife. I love my family. I have never been arrested in my life nor have I been in any trouble with the police. I am a business man who operates restaurants with over 90 employees. I am a college graduate. I have always been non violent, preferring to avoid fights and potentially dangerous situations. I had a very good life and was prescribed Prozac for mild depression and fatigue.

I have been humiliated, treated like a common criminal and am now a man with a criminal record. On the positive side I have been able to participate in a domestic violence group and learn some interesting things about violent behavior. However it is an academic exercise which if I had had an interest in I would have taken college courses on the topic. I have learned how a polygraph machine works since part of the program requires I take polygraph tests, and I have learned how to pee in a cup on demand for drug detection since I am now on probation. I do not take illegal drugs, and probably will not ever take prescription drugs because I am afraid of them, the consequences are too steep.

Frankly I think Eli Lilly is 100% responsible for the hell I have been through and if there is ever a class action suit I want to be there!

Ray Schaeffer

 

1/23/2001

This is Survivor Story number 6.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

377 total views, no views today

My Family's Struggles on Prozac

“Thank you for having your site so that people can have the information to do something about this overmedication going on.”

 

Just about everyone in my family has been on or is still on an antidepressant. My twin sister and I went on Prozac at the same time and I quit taking shortly after she quit. The side effects were not worth the increase in overall happiness. I have found exercise is my miracle. My twin and my little sister have been on Paxil for sometime to control panic attacks, and no matter what they are told, that one can control panic attacks without drugs, they won’t quit taking Paxil. My little sister has this unpleasant trembling as a side effect, I don’t even like looking at her, she can’t stop shaking.

My mother has been wanting to get off the Prozac but can’t, she was once at 90mg, her doctor said it was fine to be on that dosage. She was so forgetful she would go to the store and leave the keys in the ignition. She has since lowered the dosage but has been unable to quit. The only ones in my family, myself and my older sister, who has OCD and several other problems, have successfully not been medicated and are living happily. We both exercise almost everyday, her more so than me (she has OCD, remember!)

My mother agrees she doesn’t like the prospect of being dependent on a pill for the rest of her life, but says she can’t face life without Prozac. I went to the official website for the drug and it is just about impossible to find any information about the long term effects of the drug. I am so worried about my mother, her doctor doesn’t care, she’s now on other drugs to control her blood pressure and who knows what else she’s hiding from me. Thank you for having your site so that people can have the information to do something about this overmedication going on. I will give the information to my mother and my sisters so they can see what their doctors do not tell them.

Lynn Prikkel
lstevenson@ajc.com

 

1/23/2001

This is Survivor Story number 3.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

453 total views, no views today

A Real Life SSRI Laboratory–Notes from a Group Home

“Too many doctors receive little or no feedback following prescriptions to patients.”

 

While in Utah our daughter worked with residents at a group home; most of these are living proof of your warning. Their problems after medication were far often worse. I thought you’d enjoy her remarks to your e-mail message.A simple fact for all medications: too many doctors receive little or no feedback following prescriptions to patients. We somehow need to stress this too to both the medical profession and the public in general. There are some things we can’t afford to be the crash-test-dummy for!

Thanks for your alert. I hope those it reached pay attention!
_____________________

Considering there are more anti-depressants(Prozac, Paxil,Zoloft, etc) prescribed per capita in the state of Utah than any other state in the nation, maybe the Boys in Blue should be more concerned with that fact than with my zip code problems.

Utah also has the highest percentage of children on anti-depressants, Ritalin, MAO inhibitors, and the like for ADD, ADHD and related diagnoses. There is also major concern over the fact that children in Utah are prescribed to at an earlier age, sometimes while basic physical and mental growth is still underway.

NONE of these drugs are easy to get off of! Drugs of this kind create a detox rivaling heroin in mental and physical aspects causing problems usually worse than the original symptoms.

There is also the running joke in medical circles re: a family discount. There is a large percentage of Mother/Child(ren) prescribed AD’s simultaneously. Just some things to think about.

J. M.

D.M.

 

1/1/2001

This is Survivor Story number 4.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

493 total views, no views today

12/29/2000 – Boston shooting – involvement of Prozac & other antidepressants

As so many of you have been asking since Tuesday, here is
the official data from the Boston Globe on the Prozac use and
use of other antidepressants in the shooting that took place
the day after Christmas in the Boston area. It is very rare that the
information about the drug use comes out to the public so quickly. Generally
it is kept quiet until the case goes to court. We must
commend the Boston Globe for continuing to have the courage
to educate the public about this group of very dangerous drugs.

In the highlighted paragraphs 12 and 13, Kevin Reddington, the
attorney, states that he will ask experts to consider whether
McDermott’s medication (Prozac & other antidepressants)
contributed to the rampage.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition For Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/364/metro/Questions_and_grief+.shtml

Questions and grief

Police seeking clues to what set off rampage in Wakefield

By Brian MacQuarrie, Globe Staff and Ralph Ranalli Globe Correspondent,
12/29/2000

Three minutes before the shooting rampage that killed seven of his
co-workers, Michael McDermott received a brief telephone call in his work
cubicle at Edgewater Technology Inc.

A Chrysler Financial supervisor informed McDermott that his 1994 Plymouth
Acclaim would be repossessed, according to a source familiar with the call.

”I won’t be needing it; come pick it up,” answered McDermott, seemingly so
unconcerned that the supervisor made a note in her log.

It was 11:07 a.m. Tuesday. Three minutes later, the carnage began. Within 15
minutes, authorities say, McDermott had murdered seven people.

A law enforcement source said yesterday that State Police have heard of the
telephone call and are investigating its connection to the slayings.

The call may have been the final insult for a man squeezed by a tightening
vise of financial worries.

Already informed that the Internal Revenue Service would seize a large
portion of his pay for back taxes, McDermott had a tense confrontation last
week with an Edgewater accountant who rebuffed his plea for a cash advance
and pay raise. The accountant, Rose Manfredi, told McDermott to take his
concerns about money to Edgewater’s president.

Manfredi’s mother said yesterday that her daughter, who handled much of the
company’s billing and payroll, had been so unnerved by McDermott that she
shared her concerns with the family.

”She told me last week, `Mummy, he was kind of nervous,”’ Carmella Manfredi
said. ”She was scared of him.”

On Tuesday, McDermott heard that his car, with a book value of only $5,930,
would be seized for nonpayment of a 1997 loan.

Haverhill police told the Globe they checked McDermott’s Bartlett Street
apartment several times on Christmas Eve and early Christmas morning after
his car had been spotted close to a wooded area where gunshots were reported.

Police said two spent shotgun shells were found on the ground near where
McDermott’s car – with the distinctive license plate MUCKO – had been seen. A
young woman said she also saw a man closing the trunk of the car.

”It sort of sends shivers down my spine,” said Haverhill Police Sergeant
Stephen Brighi, who reported that police did not find McDermott at his
apartment that night.

Yesterday, McDermott’s lawyer said he will consider an insanity defense. The
attorney, Kevin J. Reddington, said he will ask experts to determine whether
McDermott’s medication, which sources have said includes Prozac and other
antidepressants, contributed to the rampage.

”The medication is an issue,” Reddington said. ”It will be explored in
this case.”

McDermott, 42, pleaded not guilty to seven counts of first-degree murder at
his arraignment Wednesday in Malden District Court. He is being held without
bail in Middlesex County Jail in Cambridge, pending a Jan. 31 court
appearance.

Last night, opposite the converted 19th-century mill that houses Edgewater
and other companies, about 800 people filled St. Joseph Catholic Church for
an ecumenical memorial service.

The methodical slaying of seven people at the Internet consulting company
ranks as one of the worst mass murders in Massachusetts history.

After allegedly shooting two people in the reception area and three employees
in Human Resources, McDermott reportedly reloaded and shot open the locked
door to the accounting office, authorities say.

There, he allegedly shot Paul Marceau, 36, of Melrose, three times in the
chest, as Marceau tried to scurry away on his back. Manfredi, 48, was hit
twice in the legs before a shotgun blast to the head ended her life. Another
woman in the room may have survived only because she hid underneath her desk
and behind a coat on her chair.

The other victims were Jennifer Bragg Capobianco, 29, of Brighton; Janice
Hagerty, 46, of Stoneham; Louis Javelle, 58, of Nashua; Cheryl Troy, 50, of
Beverly; and Craig Wood, 29, of Haverhill.

Manfredi, a Lexington resident who handed out paychecks every two weeks,
appears to have been a prime target. Investigators said McDermott allegedly
used both an AK-47 assault rifle and a shotgun to shoot her. A rare Spanish
handgun made in 1914 was tucked in his pants, authorities say.

Manfredi’s mother and one of her three sisters, Florence Holleran, said
McDermott and Manfredi ”had words.” Neither woman knew further details of
McDermott’s request.

”Rose said [McDermott] was perturbed at a lot of people when he heard the
IRS was after him,” according to Nat Manfredi, one of four brothers.
”Naturally, he would have gone to the accounting office Tuesday.”

At the arraignment, Assistant District Attorney Thomas F. O’Reilly said
Edgewater was preparing to garnishee McDermott’s wages at the direction of
the Internal Revenue Service. Under that plan, McDermott said, he would have
been left with only $275 in pay every two weeks, according to Middlesex
District Attorney Martha Coakley.

IRS officials said that they cannot comment on McDermott’s tax situation, but
that he should not have been surprised by the decision to take part of his
salary. They said McDermott should have received at least two notices, by
mail or in person, informing him that a portion of his wages would be seized,
according to IRS policy.

However, the IRS ensures that debtors are left with enough of their salary to
live on, said Peggy E. Riley, an IRS spokeswoman in Boston. Under IRS
regulations, McDermott also should have been offered an installment plan or
another way to pay off the debt.

Edgewater Technology began grief counseling sessions yesterday for its
employees, about 80 of whom were at work Tuesday. The company plans to
renovate the office and move the accounting department out of the area of the
shooting.

Shirley Singleton, the president and chief executive officer, said Edgewater
has donated $70,000 to create a foundation at Fleet Bank for the victims’
families. The company also has given each family an additional $5,000 for
immediate costs, a source said.

Outside the brick building yesterday, a makeshift memorial with flowers and a
teddy bear had been set up by co-workers and other mourners.

The concern also extended to Beacon Hill, where a spokesman for Governor Paul
Cellucci predicted that the state’s strict gun restrictions would be
tightened even more.

”We’re in general agreement and general support of strengthening our gun
laws,” said John Birtwell, the governor’s spokesman, who added that
solutions also should be sought on a national level.

Yesterday, the future seemed far away for the Edgewater worker who escaped
death by hiding under her desk. Her nightmare this week, however, was still
too close.

When approached at her home, where flowers and friends were trying to ease
the recent trauma, the woman greeted a reporter with a sad, slow shake of her
head.

”I’m not ready to talk about it,” she said. ”I don’t think I’ll ever talk
about it.”

Patrick Healy, Stephen Kurkjian, Farah Stockman, Rick Klein, Adam Pertman,
and Jamal Watson of the Globe Staff and Globe correspondent Regina Montague
contributed to this report.

This story ran on page A01 of the Boston Globe on 12/29/2000.
© Copyright 2000 Globe Newspaper Company.

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