STUDY: 75% OF THOSE TAKING ANTIPSYCHOTIC MEDS SHOW LOSS OF BRAIN MATTER!

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Our most recent post was on the extreme increase in the use of antipsychotic medications – especially in children: Since 1993 use in children (who have no choice in the decision) skyrocketed by 800%, in teens by 500%, and in adults by 200%. Now a new study just out demonstrates brain damage in 75% of those who take these drugs!!

THE IMPACT UPON SOCIETY

Think it does not affect you because you are not on them? Better think again because we will all pay to care for those suffering brain damage from these drugs in higher taxes, higher insurance rates, disability payments, etc. and in reduced productivity & creativity via the contributions these people could have made to our society had their brains remained intact and functioning.

SEROTONIN-INDUCED OXYGEN DEPRIVATION

PRODUCING CELL DEATH

Of course my first question would be, “How many of those patients tested had previously been on antidepressants BEFORE they were given antipsychotics to treat their antidepressant-induced psychosis which antidepressants are so prone to produce?” Why would I want to know that? Because antidepressants ALSO decrease the blood flow to the brain as will any other drug that increases serotonin. The main function of serotonin is constriction of smooth muscle tissue such as the veins & arteries that carry oxygen to the brain.

CORKSCREW BRAIN CELLS FROM ANTIDEPRESSANTS

As early as a decade ago in February of 2000 Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia published research indicating that several serotonergic medications within only four days use caused a shriviling up of brain cells or taking on of abnormal corkscrew shapes. (What a nice technical way to express that these drugs literally screw up the brain!) The drugs featured in this research were all serotonergic – the antidepressants Prozac and Zoloft, and the diet drugs Redux and Meridia which have now been pulled from the market due to the brain damage produced by these drugs (see below for that explanation).

BRAIN CELL DEATH? PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY?

The lead researcher in this study concluded: “We don’t know if results with four days of drug treatment are clinically significant,” Dr. Kalia says. “We don’t know if the cells are dying. That’s the key question. We need to do more studies to prove cell death. These effects may be transient and reversible. Or they may be permanent.” (Please see my comments below on the question of permanent damage or temporary.)

POPULAR DIET PILLS PULLED DUE TO BRAIN DAMAGE

Another piece of information few have is the fact that Fen-Phen & Redux were pulled from the market due to the massive brain damage they caused, not the heart valve damage or PPHN that so many assumed was the reason they were pulled from the market. Just two weeks before the removal of those drugs  from the market the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had finished an extensive study on Redux & brain damage which the manufacturer, Wyeth, was suppose to have completed as part of the drug’s approval a full year before.

The NIH study results demonstrated some of the most massive brain damage you could imagine! JAMA published the study August 27 1997, titled, “Brain serotonin neurotoxicity and primary pulmonary hypertension from fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine. A systematic review of the evidence.”

BRAIN SEROTONIN NEUROTOXICITY?!!

PLEASE note that term in discussing ANY drug that increases serotonin! Make the connection between elevated serotonin and neurotoxicity – brain damage!

Within a couple of weeks after pubication that NIH study the drugs were off the market! But tragically that left MANY patients in horrific cold turkey withdrawal which naturally resulted in many suicides, murder/suicides, and deep depression which most had never suffered from before taking these serotonergic diet pills. These cases went mostly unnoticed or recognized as related to the drugs or the cold turkey withdrawal from these drugs. At that point many of those patients ended up on antidepressants which helped to stop the withdrawal, but of course should be expected to continue the damage to the brain via the excess serotonin they too produce. This is an example of a dangerous senario all those on antidepressants need to be aware of – the potential abrupt withdrawal of the drugs they are taking being pulled with little to no warning.

IS THERE HOPE AFTER SUCH DAMAGE?

I have long contended that this brain damage does not have to be permanent. I do believe there is hope for recovery, but I think you have to work at it. Just stopping the drugs producing the damage is not enough. Please go to www.drugawareness.org/alternatives to see just how many options there are to restoring one’s health and brain function after the use of these drugs. You can even see brain scans before and after some of the treatments showing recovery.

I would also refer all to our website link to alternatives we have found to help and also to a special done by Dr. Sanjay Gupta from CNN, who, after interviewing with him I have much respect for as a brilliant and open minded scientist and good human being. The link to information on that special is located here: http://www.drugawareness.org/cnn-teen-in-coma-from-severe-brain-injury-recovers-with-alternatives/

Read the study on antipsychotics & brain damage, along with references here: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014976341200125X

Read article from Jefferson Medical College on corkscrew shaped brain cells here: http://www.antidepressantsfacts.com/Thomas-Jefferson-University-Hospital.htm

Read NIH study on Fen-Phen & Redux, Brain serotonin neurotoxicity and primary pulmonary hypertension from fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine. A systematic review of the evidence, here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9272900

 

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,

International Coalition for Drug Awareness

www.drugawareness.org & www.SSRIstories.com

Author: “Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the FullImpact of Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World” & Safe Withdrawal CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!”

BOOK:  Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare! Anything you ever wanted to know about antidepressants is there along with everything drug companies hope you never find out about these drugs. Find the book & the CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!” on how to safely withdraw from antidepressants & most psychiatric medications. Available at www.drugawareness.org

BOOK TESTIMONIALS:

“VERY BOLD AND INFORMATIVE”

“PRICELESS INFORMATION THAT IS GIVING ME BACK TO ME”

“THE ABSOLUTE BEST REFERENCE FOR ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS”

“WELL DOCUMENTED & SCIENTIFICALLY RESEARCHED”

“I was stunned at the amount of research Ann Blake-Tracy has done on this subject. Few researchers go to as much trouble aggressively gathering information on the adverse reactions of Prozac, Zoloft and other SSRIs.”

WITHDRAWAL HELP CD TESTIMONIALS:

“Ann, I just wanted to let you know from the bottom of my heart how grateful I am God placed you in my life. I am now down to less than 2 mg on my Cymbalta and I have never felt better. I am finally getting my life back. I can feel again and colors have never been brighter. Thanks for all that you do!!” … Amber Weber

“Used your method of weaning off of SSRI’s and applied it to Ambian. Took 6 months but had been on 15 mg for years so what was another 6 months. I have been sleeping without it for 2 weeks and it is the first time I have been able to sleep drug free for 15 years. What a relief to be able to lay down and sleep when I need or want to. Ambien may be necessary for people at times but doctors giving a months worth of it at a time with unlimited refills is a prescription for disaster. It is so damn easy to become dependent on. Thanks for your council Ann.”… Mark Hill

“I’m so thankful for Ann Blake-Tracy and all her work. Also for taking the time out to talk to me and educate everyone! She has been a blessing to me during this awful time of antidepressant hell!

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STOP ANTIDEPRESSANT VIOLENCE from ESCALATING

Tonight I got a call from a close friend I have known for over 20 years. He called to let me know that his 32 year old niece committed suicide on antidepressants today leaving her husband & three children behind. Last week I got a call from another close friend whose son-in-law made several very impulsive serious suicide attempts after taking only one Zoloft. So why you ask do I do what I do in working so hard to educate others to the dangers of these drugs? Because … no matter who you are … antidepressants come through your back door when you are not looking & destroy lives of those you love!!!

This is the link to a site posted by an amazing young man who has been able to accomplish this much from inside a prison cell after he killed his father while on Prozac when he was just a teen: http://www.thesaveproject.com/ I do hope you click on Kurt’s site and watch the video that was a Primetime special we did a few years back. In the video you will see MANY of those I have worked with over the years that have come to be like family to me. I cry everytime I think of the precious lives that have been lost to us all because of these deadly drugs!!!!!

www.thesaveproject.com

TheSaveProject – S.A.V.E. – STOP ANTIDEPRESSANT VIOLENCE from ESCALATING

——

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zoloft

zoloft
George Mooney
I am the father of identical twin boys. The doctors that treated my sons when they were boys warned that if we ever decided to have them placed into care for the handicapped we should not agree to any physcotropic drugs. This is when I became aware of the danger of antidepressant drugs. My wife and I both agreed that this would be the case,
My wife passed away in 1984. I was diagnosed with a ”fatal” melanoma in 1986. My twins were admjtted to a ”care” agency and placed on Prozac for son David, and Zoloft for Douglas. They were placed in homes and ”supervised” which meant that they could not enjoy the freedom they enjoyed at home and were not allowed out of the sight of their caretakers for over twenty years. With the help of anti-drug people I visited a psychotherapist who asked why David was on Prozac, as he opined that David did not have a mental disorder. I then contacted a psychiatrist that asked the same question and agreed to withdraw the Prozac. David has been withdrawn from Prozac for about two years without any ill effects beyond what I precieve as side effect damage.
Douglas’ psychiatrist ignored my certified return reciept letters requesting as legal guardian that he be withdrawn from Zoloft. Douglas developed colon cancer and passed away after fourteen months of terrible suffering. Both my twins were gifted savants.

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prozac/fluoxetine

prozac/fluoxetine
paul pezzack
i started taking fluoxetine a generic form of prozac in january 2006 after being attacked and having my jaw broken.at first i felt ok,i was prescribed 40mg a day.i started to notice that when i went out drinking i could drink a lot more than usual.sometimes i would miss out a tablet or not take them for a bit.i thought it was smoking and or drinking.so i stopped them.i gave up everything but gradually got worse.i stopped taking the prozac in august 2007,i began to feel very dizzy,lethargic,anxious.i went to my doctor and he said i shouldnt have just stopped but it was ok because they have a long half life in the body and therefore taper out on their own.on 24th september 07 i woke with a terrible headache and the room wouldnt stop spinning.i had been getting muscle spasms and hot flushes for a while but just didnt know why.i went to my doctor.he said i had an ear infection and gave me antibiotics.i took it for 2 days and just couldnt believe how i was feeling my body was as heavy as a rock,my head everywhere ,i couldnt think straight at all.i decided it wasnt an ear infection and it must be the prozac and i would try and get off them.i stayed at my mums house and didnt take any for 12 weeks,i would have nightmares,shaking,hot flushes,muscle spasms,rigid muscle and stiffness.,headaches like you wouldnt believe ,a pain in my back like a hot poker had been pushed in there,shaking,shivering,visual impaiment,foggy,feelings of being outside myself or looking through a fisheye lens and incredible urges that i might hurt my mum or myself or anyone else,i cried all the time.it was the most horrific time ever in my life it was everyday allday ,24/7 of pain and anguish..eventually i gave in on december the 6th after reading on the internet that it could take 6 months to get off them.i have had side effects ever since,all the effects i had originally have continued,it has ruined my life and i feel trapped.no doctor ive spoken to believes me,i went the hospital on many ocassions and almost got laughed at because they couldnt find anything wrong.they all say you cant have problems with prozac.they just put it down to a mental health problem and treat you like an idiot.i have considered killing myself many times to get away from the pain.but something in me keeps fighting and i want to be free.i have cut down to one fifth of a tablet now and my side effects are much easier to cope with,but i really feel like i have had no help or advice at all.i have never had anyone advise on how to get off it.i have just taken the tablets apart and cut it down over the past 2 years.even my own family dont think im ill,if it wasnt for my one brother and my mum,who sadly died in november 2009 .i would be dead for definate.i would have been better off being a heroin addict and recieved help and advice.if anyone can give me advice i would be very grateful.im from wales in the uk and it seems totally ignorant to these terrible drugs.good luck to all of the people who try to stop taking them and please remember no matter how hard it gets dont ever give up and give in.together we can fight these evil drugs.

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Medical News Today: Antidepressants Produce Long-Term Depression

We read in the article below the following statements about long-term use of antidepressants producing long-term depression & withdrawal. Now all these researchers had to do to learn this sooner was read the research in my book when the first edition came out almost 20 years ago. Once again I repeat that the hypothesis behind antidepressants is INCORRECT/BACKWARDS!! And if the hypothesis is backwards the drugs are going to CAUSE what we are being told that they cure!
“. . . there are reasons to believe that antidepressant treatment itself may contribute to a chronic depressive syndrome. . .
In other words, prolonged exposure to antidepressants can induce neuroplastic changes that result in the genesis of antidepressant-induced dysphoric symptoms. The investigators propose the term ‘tardive dysphoria’ to describe such a phenomenon and describe diagnostic criteria for it. Tapering or discontinuing the antidepressant might reverse the dysphoric state. Antidepressant discontinuation may not provide immediate relief. In fact, it is likely that transient symptoms of withdrawal will occur in the initial 2-4 weeks following antidepressant discontinuation or tapering. However, after a prolonged period of antidepressant abstinence, one may see a gradual return to the patient’s baseline.”
Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org & www.ssristories.drugawareness.orgAuthor: Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin
Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of
Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World & Help! I
Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!
 
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/218435.php
A New Troublesome Long-Term Effect Of Antidepressant Drugs; Tardive Dysphoria.
Editor’s Choice
Main Category: Depression
Also Included In: Psychology / Psychiatry
Article Date: 08 Mar 2011 – 0:00 PST

Treatment-resistantdepression (TRD) may be related to inadequate dosing of antidepressants or antidepressant tolerance. Alternatively, there are reasons to believe that antidepressant treatment itself may contribute to a chronic depressive syndrome. This study reports a case of antidepressant discontinuation in a TRD patient, a 67-year-old white man with onset of major depressive illness at the age of 45. He was homozygous for the short form of the serotonin transporter. He was treated off and on until the age of 59 and had been on an antidepressant continuously until the age of 67. Over the previous 2 years he had been depressed without any relief by medication or 2 electroconvulsive treatments. His medications at the time of evaluation included paroxetine 10 mg daily, venlafaxine 75 mg daily and clonazepam 3 mg daily. His 17-item Hamilton depression score was 22. Over the subsequent 6 months, he was started on bupropion and then tapered off all antidepressants, including the bupropion. His Hamilton depression score dropped to 18. The patient was not satisfied with his progress and sought another opinion to restart antidepressants. One year later, on duloxetine 60 mg daily, he continued to complain of unremitting depression.

A possible prodepressant effect of antidepressants has been previously proposed. Fava was the first to suggest that an antidepressant-related neurobiochemical mechanism of increasing vulnerability to depression might play a role in worsening the long-term outcome of the illness. Understanding of potential mechanisms of this phenomenon can be gleaned from observations regarding the short form of the serotonin transporter (5HTTR). Patients with the short form of the 5HTTR and prolonged antidepressant exposure, may be particularly vulnerable to antidepressant-related worsening. In other words, prolonged exposure to antidepressants can induce neuroplastic changes that result in the genesis of antidepressant-induced dysphoric symptoms. The investigators propose the term ‘tardive dysphoria’ to describe such a phenomenon and describe diagnostic criteria for it. Tapering or discontinuing the antidepressant might reverse the dysphoric state. Antidepressant discontinuation may not provide immediate relief. In fact, it is likely that transient symptoms of withdrawal will occur in the initial 2-4 weeks following antidepressant discontinuation or tapering. However, after a prolonged period of antidepressant abstinence, one may see a gradual return to the patient’s baseline.

Source: Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, AlphaGalileo Foundation.

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A Decade Later Additional Heightened Concerns About Pharmaceuticals in Water

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):

Would you like a little Prozac or Zoloft with your water???

A Decade Later Additional Heightened Concerns About Pharmaceuticals inWater

An absolutely EXCELLENT article on this issue!!!! This kind of concern was first raised a decade ago in 2000. We sent out the information far and wide then. Clearly few knew enough to be concerned. But now with further study the results are shockingly confirming all we warned of in 2000! Those results are especially telling when it comes to fish being given low doses of Prozac . . . the bizarre changes inbehavior, etc.

DO NOT sit around and say it is only fish, there is no need to worry. Our entire world is balanced with each species playing an extremely important role. We do not survive if they do not survive!

And be sure to note what is said about the chlorine/flouride additives to our water when combined with these drugs! Snyder, the Arizona expert, is stating that we as humans are exposed to more of these disinfecting chemicals in our water than anything while they are so “understudied.” The truth about chemicals is that we know SO LITTLEabout any of them that we have absolutely no idea what we are exposing ourselves and our posterity to and where it could lead us as a society. Tragically the mess inwhich we now find ourselves could be a warning of what is to come if we do not wake up soon to our own insane belief system of “Better Living Through Chemistry”! We are quickly learning that we are far from invincible!!

Find below some of the highlights of this article that need to be emphasized:

– Bryan Brooks has spent a lot of time wading in Pecan Creek, a small Denton stream, searching for mutant fish. For some time, Brooks and his colleagues from the University of North Texas were observing strange things in North Texas fish—males turning into females, for example—but were unable to blame them on traditional waterpollutants like metals. The environmental toxicologists thought the mutations might have something to do with other compounds like pharmaceuticals that were showing up in freshwater streams.

Over time, they collected a bunch of fish and tested their flesh in the lab. Sure enough, they found fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft) and their human metabolites in every catfish, crappie and bluegill they tested. It was the first time researchers had proved that these human drugs were showing up in wild fish.

– Toxicologists have just begun the difficult task of figuring out what effects these contaminants might have on human health. A single contaminant might do nothing. Butin combination with others, the effect could be enhanced, particularly for vulnerable groups like children or pregnant women. What sort of health effects arise from complex mixtures of chemicals in drinking water?

Bryan Brooksphoto courtesy Baylor University Bryan Brooks

Bryan Brooks has spent a lot of time wading in Pecan Creek, a small Denton stream, searching for mutant fish. For some time, Brooks and his colleagues from the University of North Texas were observing strange things in North Texas fish—males turning into females, for example—but were unable to blame them on traditional waterpollutants like metals. The environmental toxicologists thought the mutations might have something to do with other compounds like pharmaceuticals that were showing up in freshwater streams.

Over time, they collected a bunch of fish and tested their flesh in the lab. Sure enough, they found fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft) and their human metabolites inevery catfish, crappie and bluegill they tested. It was the first time researchers had proved that these human drugs were showing up in wild fish.

Brooks (now at Baylor University) is part of a growing legion of scientists and regulators studying “emerging contaminants,” a loose definition of chemicals that include prescription and over-the-counter drugs, flame retardants, animal hormones, pesticides, plasticizers and cosmetics, to name a few. Many of these unregulated contaminants pass through wastewater treatment plants and end up in streams, exposing fish and other aquatic life to an exotic chemical cocktail.

More worrisome: The same chemical-infused water ends up in our drinking water.

Take Pecan Creek. During dry spells, Pecan Creek consists of effluent from Denton’s wastewater treatment plant. The stream then flows into Lake Lewisville, a drinkingwater supply for millions in Dallas-Fort Worth. The toilet-to-tap phenomenon is becoming more common as cities look to recycled wastewater to offset diminishing freshwater supplies.

Dallas, like dozens of other cities in Texas and around the nation, has detected trace amounts of emerging contaminants in its water supplies.

“You name the compound; somebody has probably found it in somebody’s watersource or the effluent coming out of the [treatment plant],” says Charles Stringer, an assistant director of Dallas Water Utilities.

The same holds for tap water. Unwittingly, Americans are drinking a cornucopia of chemicals—albeit in tiny amounts—that in many cases we know little about.

In the most comprehensive, peer-reviewed study to date, the Southern Nevada WaterAuthority tested the tap water of 15 utilities that collectively serve 28 million Americans. Thirteen had measurable levels of contaminants, including the anti-convulsant phenytoin, the pesticide atrazine and the insecticide DEET.

Such reports have roused public concern and convinced the federal government to take a tentative step. In October, the EPA announced it’s considering pharmaceuticalsfor regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

In Texas, water utilities and elected officials are only beginning to grapple with the problem. A task force created by the Texas Legislature in 2009 is looking into ways to keep pharmaceuticals out of landfills and wastewater systems. On the local level, cities are not required by federal law to test wastewater or drinking water plants for emerging contaminants. Many choose not to, partly out of fear that the results will be misinterpreted.

“If you say you’ve got aspirin in your water at one picogram per liter, somebody says, oh my god there’s aspirin in the water,” Stringer says. “The cities that are trying to be proactive and look at it are getting the hell beat out of them.”

Dallas is proactive, Stringer says. In November, the U.S. Geological Survey published the results of extensive sampling in the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, a drinking watersource for Dallas that is downstream from other cities’ discharges. The scientists also tested the water after it had been treated for people’s taps. The federal agency found that 38 of the 42 most frequently detected compounds in the river water—including the pesticide atrazine, the gasoline additive MTBE (banned in some states) and the toxic insecticide Diazinon, whose sale is illegal for non-agricultural purposes—made it into the tap water. While the concentrations didn’t exceed federal or state standards, the study notes that only half of the detected compounds have human-health benchmarksin those standards.

The city of San Marcos commissioned Texas State University toxicologist Glenn Longley and one of his students to test surface water there for 23 emerging contaminants—pharmaceuticals, fire retardants, fragrances, pesticides and others. While Longley found 18 chemicals in the water, only one—bisphenol A, or BPA, the controversial plasticizer found in Nalgene bottles—made it into the city’s tap water.

Most of these contaminants are not new. Some have been “emerging” in the environment for decades. But the development of ultrasensitive instruments has now enabled scientists to detect the compounds at concentrations down to parts per trillion. It’s as if a powerful new telescope suddenly picked up a galaxy in a previously dark part of the sky—the difference being that these chemicals hit uncomfortably close to home.

Toxicologists have just begun the difficult task of figuring out what effects these contaminants might have on human health. A single contaminant might do nothing. Butin combination with others, the effect could be enhanced, particularly for vulnerable groups like children or pregnant women. What sort of health effects arise from complex mixtures of chemicals in drinking water?

No one knows. One challenge, among many, is that it’s difficult to perform toxicity tests for humans. “It’s not like on the aquatic side,” says Dana Kolpin, head of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Project. “We’re doing experiments with biologists where we’re exposing minnows or other organisms to, say, effluent or spike levels. You just can’t do that with humans.”

Shane Snyder, a professor of environmental engineering at the University of Arizona and co-director of the Arizona Laboratory for Emerging Contaminants, says he’s been asked to brief a Congressional committee on this issue. It’s “very difficult” to do a risk assessment for mixtures, he says, especially when chemicals can simultaneously act on different pathways in the body. For example, one substance might damage the liver, while another present at the same time disrupts the endocrine system.

“You could get a more profound effect [collectively] than from each one separately,” says Snyder.

Snyder says there’s far more to learn—and perhaps fear—from what happens when emerging contaminants go through the treatment process. Some seem to disappear, but they could be subtly transformed into something more toxic by widely used disinfectants like chlorine.

“In my mind there is no question that humans are exposed to more disinfection byproducts than any other contaminants through their drinking water,” Snyder says. “Itconcerns me as a scientist and a toxicologist that those classes of compounds are understudied.”

About 20 percent of disinfection byproducts are regulated, Snyder says. Sixty percent haven’t even been identified.

While the effects on humans remain mysterious, the ecological effects of water-borne chemicals—even at extremely low levels—is becoming well established. And those effects can be downright bizarre.

Toxicologists and biologists have linked low concentrations of pharmaceuticals and other emerging contaminants to a host of developmental, reproductive and behavioral problems in aquatic species including algae, mussels, minnows and game fish. Astudy published in 2008 by researchers at Clemson University exposed hybrid striped bass to relatively low levels of Prozac.

The results were depressing—the more Prozac in the water, the longer it took the bass to nail their prey. The fish acted strangely, too, hovering near the surface of the aquarium, sometimes with their dorsal fins poking out of the water. Others floated vertically, tails down and mouths above the water level, like a kid dog-paddling in apool.

Antidepressants like Zoloft and Prozac work in humans by increasing serotonin, anatural chemical that helps regulate brain activity and is linked to feelings of well-being.In bass, among other functions, serotonin plays a pivotal role in feeding behavior. Changes in serotonin levels can tilt the predator-prey balance and affect not just the individual, but potentially the whole ecosystem.

It’s not just antidepressants that can make aquatic life go haywire. Even infinitesimally small amounts of the synthetic estrogen in birth control drugs can induce sex reversalsin male fish and disrupt reproduction. Canadian scientists brought an entire ecosystem to the brink of collapse by introducing estrogen—at levels frequently found inmunicipal wastewater—to an experimental lake in northern Ontario.

In 2008, a researcher for Johnson & Johnson calculated that toxic effects on fish from estrogenic substances could be expected at concentrations as low as 350 parts per quadrillion.

“If you can imagine 350 parts per quadrillion,” Snyder says, “it’s unimaginably small, but yet it can have a measurable impact on fish.”

Snyder points out that well-documented impacts on wildlife are often misinterpreted to mean humans are at risk from the same levels.

“The part where people get a little bit confused is they say, well if it can impact a fish, then certainly it could impact a human,” Snyder says. “That’s just not true. You’re comparing apples to oranges.”

Consider pharmaceuticals. Drug developers are required to submit reams of pharmacological information to the Food and Drug Administration proving their drugs are safe and work as intended. They’re tested on people. The levels found in game fish and drinking water supplies, so far, are thousands of times below therapeutic levels.

Brooks provides an illustration. In a national pilot survey of five effluent-dominated rivers, the highest level of antidepressant he and the EPA found in fish tissue wasabout 19 nanograms of Zoloft per liter in a fish outside Philadelphia.

“It would take me 3,500 meals of that fish to reach one daily dose of sertraline,” Brooks says. Likewise, someone would have to drink millions of liters of tap water to reach a single dose of Zoloft.

“From what I’ve seen in the developed world, I’m just not as concerned about human health right now. I think the highest relative risk is to aquatic life,” he says.

Utility managers are sticking to that point. “What we’ve been told to tell people is that these minute traces of organics are below any known health effects,” Stringer says.

Regardless, Dallas is planning to upgrade its drinking water plants to include ozonation and biological filtration, advanced but costly processes. The utility isn’t doing it primarily to deal with emerging contaminants, but that will be an added benefit.

“What we’re hoping to see is very little organic material coming out and going into the distribution system for consumption,” Stringer says.

If a city wants to eliminate virtually all contaminants, it would need to install advanced systems like reverse osmosis, which is extraordinarily expensive.
That’s not feasible, Snyder says.

“We just can’t put the whole world’s water supply through reverse osmosis because we’re worried about emerging contaminants,” he says. “It’s going to fail. Just on the energy alone, it will fail.”

With 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the United States and new ones coming to market every year, the key could be keeping the most dangerous ones out of the environment in the first place. For thousands of chemicals, there are “zero data” on their toxicity, Brooks says.

The European Union has implemented a sweeping system called Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals, or REACH. The system requires testing thousands of old and new chemicals for human and environmental toxicity, and could lead to bans on high-risk chemicals that aren’t regulated in the United States.

Given the power of the pharmaceutical and chemical industries in this country, such asystem seems like a far-off goal. Jacobs, the environmental activist on the Texas pharmaceutical task force, says his group is advocating for something far more modest: manufacturer take-back programs in which consumers could return unused or expired drugs to pharmacies for proper disposal. He says the pharmaceutical interests on the task force are doing their best to discredit the idea.

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PROZAC: Man Engaged in Massive Self-Mutilation: Lawsuit: Illinois

Paragraph five reads: “Gay wants to go back on Busper, though,
as he says Prozac sexually frustrates him and causes his
stomach to hurt. In addition, during the 11 months that Gay took Prozac,
he cut his testicles, arms, thighs and neck, all of which required
sutures,
the complaint says.”

http://www.madisonrecord.com/news/226207-plaintiff-wants-psychiatrist-to-prescribe-medicine-to-stop-selfmutilation

Plaintiff wants psychiatrist to prescribe medicine to stop self
mutilation
4/21/2010 12:00 PM By Kelly Holleran

A man claims he has cut numerous parts of his body, including his
testicles, because his former psychiatrist refused to prescribe him the correct
medication.

Anthony Gay filed a lawsuit April 12 in Madison County
Circuit Court against Claudia Kachigian.

Gay claims he self mutilates
himself because of anxiety problems. The only medication that prevents Gay from
cutting himself is Busper, according to the complaint. Gay claims he explained
the scenario to his psychiatrist, Kachigian.

However, Kachigian allegedly
refused to prescribe the medication to Gay because it’s a nonformulary
medication, according to the complaint. Instead, she prescribed him Prozac on
April 26, 2009, the suit states.

Gay wants to go back on Busper, though,
as he says Prozac sexually frustrates him and causes his stomach to hurt. In

addition, during the 11 months that Gay took Prozac, he cut his testicles, arms,
thighs and neck, all of which required sutures, the complaint
says.

Finally, on March 8, Kachigian discontinued Gay’s Prozac and on
March 29, she discontinued his psychiatric services, which has caused Gay
additional emotional distress, he claims.

Gay, who will be representing
himself, wants the court to order an independent psychiatrist to examine his
needs. He seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Madison County
Circuit Court case number: 10-L-416.

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PROZAC: Worsening Depression & Panic Attacks: England

Paragraph twelve reads: “The next day was a Friday and I started taking
the Prozac extremely reluctantly. The side effects listed on the pack
included headaches, dizziness, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains, dry
mouth, loss of appetite, anxiety, sleeplessness, nervousness. If I am
anxious now, I thought, how anxious will I be on Prozac? If I wake at four each
morning now, and toss and turn for many of the hours that follow, will I get
any sleep on Prozac?”

Paragraph fourteen reads: “By Monday I could not move. I felt sick, heavy
as a rock, everything ached, and my head swam. I had the pains and sort of
breathlessness associated with heart attacks and I was, of course, crying.
I rang work to say I had some sort of bug and that I hoped to be right the
next day. Speaking was an effort. It was hard convincing myself that the
advantages to leaving the house and seeing the doctor outweighed those of
staying inside where I wanted, desperately, to be, but I knew I needed to
seek advice. Dr Fahey offered, again, to sign me off work; my response, again,
was an adamant no. I was going into work as soon as I could.”

Paragraph 20 reads: “After the second visit to Dr Fahey everything
changed. She made me realise that whatever self-deceptions I had entered into,
the reality was that I had not been into work for several days, nor was I
currently fit to go in. She signed me off for two weeks and gave me
tranquillisers to moderate the increasingly severe panic attacks. She advised me
strongly to leave London. The idea of being on my own without work for two weeks
was unthinkable, unbearable. Amanda was off to visit our parents in the
country and taking the children with her. My brother-in-law Neil was staying
at home an extra night then would join her there. Amanda’s suggestion was
that I drive to be with Neil and then the following day he would drive us
both to Suffolk to be with the whole family.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/apr/18/depression-and-recovery-c
amilla-nicholls

Woman on the verge
She was a media executive at the top of her game. But a debilitating
midlife crisis forced Camilla Nicholls to hit rock bottom. In a searingly honest
account, she details her nervous breakdown – and her tentative steps back
to recovery

It all started slipping away from me in July 2000. Depression had been
part of my life for a long time, but that summer it ceased to be under
control. It was shortly after a married friend’s party that I had the first
significant “What is the point?” conversation.

Every guest had brought with them a child, or a swelling stomach. Hardly a
conversation was had at head height; we were all dipping and bending or
squatting to catch half a sentence with someone too heavy to stand for long.
There was no chance of eating as little hands pawed at the snacks, and
pregnant women, picking through the non-pasteurised, took precedence around the
table. Sentences were left hanging in the air as parents attended to
toddlers’ or babies’ urgent needs.

My friends will bear testimony that I am very fond of children. But I was
bitter because, aged 39, I had no partner, no prospect of a partner and,
more significantly, no prospect of motherhood. Maybe the party felt harder to
cope with that day because my hopes had just taken a severe knock. I had
been told by an unsentimental doctor’s receptionist that I was
peri-menopausal (ie approaching the menopause) and the possibility of my bearing
children was lodged somewhere between zero and infinitesimal.

The “what is the point?” conversation is the one for friends and family to
look out for as a first clue to depression. This is not the “what is the
point?” response of a child to doing homework or cleaning a bedroom; it is,
rather, “what is the point of my being alive?” For depressives the feeling
is often heightened when the reasons for depression are not obvious to
themselves or, more importantly, to others. This leads to the cajoling (or
worse, hectoring) question: “What have you got to be depressed about – you have
a great job/partner/house/body?”

I come from a small, loving, middle-class family. I was not brought up to
follow a particular religion, although as a child my grandmothers took me,
and my only sister Amanda, to Sunday services at the local church in the
Surrey town where we spent all our youth. What my parents did adhere to with
near religious fervour was the observation of good manners. A framework of
politeness in all situations was my firmest mould. Now, grown up,
approaching a milestone of middle age, it was safe to say on paper I had more than
most: a well-paid, challenging job in the media, to which I was virtually
married, a lovely house without an enormous mortgage, often exciting
relationships, great friends and I remained close to my stable family. And yet by
August 2000 my predominant talent was for crying.

I wish when I had first asked “What is the point?” I had been advised to
seek medical help urgently. I was talking to my friend Amy, who was no
stranger to depression herself, so I may have acted had she done so. Instead,
Amy told me a story of finding love herself, unexpectedly, and how it could
happen to me. She may even have taken the phrase “You often find someone
when you are not looking” for another turn. What I do vividly remember is
putting my feet up against the cool marble side of my fireplace, saying “I just
cannot see the point any more”, and crying.

A strong feeling of sadness about my childlessness had persuaded me to
seek the help of a psychotherapist, Judy, in the autumn of 1999 and I had been
visiting her regularly since. Judy, like the majority of therapists, took
the month of August as holiday, leaving me and a whole host of other therapy
regulars in a limbo land of summer anxiety. I looked to herbal drugs – St
John’s wort and others – to boost my spirits and, as ever, I threw myself
into the full responsibilities of my job.

What I was far from realising was that none of these tactics were enough.
Therapy alone cannot conquer a depressive illness, and neither can herbal
drugs. Making work the focus of your life is certainly not the answer. I
felt under-appreciated in my job, believed that my contribution counted for
nothing. I felt my body had let me down, and that I was useless physically as
well as professionally. The feeling was exacerbated when the last person
with whom I had had a physical relationship (and with whom I was still
involved) took up with someone more than 10 years younger. I found out,
painfully, through a third party. This was when my emotional strength started to
give out.

The crying got worse. At work, tears would inconveniently start to fall
down my face in the middle of writing an email or at the point of making a
phone call. In the past many had taken refuge in my office seeking privacy, a
shoulder, advice, a place to scream, and now the adjustable blinds became
an essential masking tool for my own distress. I frequently took time out to
weep in a neighbouring colleague’s office. She began to beg me to seek
help, but because I was in professional mode, I assured her I was really
working hard in therapy and a day didn’t go by without my taking the St John’s
wort. All would be fine.

Finally, I began to realise that taking pride in hiding the fact that I
was on the emotional skids was not a good end in itself. I rang my GP, Dr
Fahey, a plain-speaking, wise Irish woman. I was brave, then sniffled, then
howled, and she said there would be a prescription for me at the surgery that
night for Prozac. She assured me I could ring if I felt I needed to talk
before our appointment in a week’s time, and then she asked if I wanted time
off work. My response was an emphatic no. “I have to keep going into work.
Work is what I do.”

The next day was a Friday and I started taking the Prozac extremely
reluctantly. The side effects listed on the pack included headaches, dizziness,
diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains, dry mouth, loss of appetite,
anxiety, sleeplessness, nervousness. If I am anxious now, I thought, how
anxious will I be on Prozac? If I wake at four each morning now, and toss and
turn for many of the hours that follow, will I get any sleep on Prozac?

The first night, I was lucky – friends invited me to stay, friends who
understood. But on Saturday, as I prepared to leave, I began to sink at the
thought of being alone. My friend was pregnant and to make more demands on
her and her partner felt wrong. We stood on her doorstep and she held me
close, hugging me and asking if I would be OK. “Yes,” I lied, then, more
truthfully: “I have to be.” But I cried all weekend.

By Monday I could not move. I felt sick, heavy as a rock, everything
ached, and my head swam. I had the pains and sort of breathlessness associated
with heart attacks and I was, of course, crying. I rang work to say I had
some sort of bug and that I hoped to be right the next day. Speaking was an
effort. It was hard convincing myself that the advantages to leaving the
house and seeing the doctor outweighed those of staying inside where I wanted,
desperately, to be, but I knew I needed to seek advice. Dr Fahey offered,
again, to sign me off work; my response, again, was an adamant no. I was
going into work as soon as I could.

Everyone has different experiences of how they interact with family while
in the grip of a depressive illness: some gain no support, some seek no
support, some have in mind that individual members of their family are largely
or totally responsible for their illness. Despite our lifestyles being
completely different, my sister, Amanda, was the one I could turn to at any
time.

I was struck by an inability to talk to my parents. I simply could not
pick up the phone, or see them. I keenly felt the weight of their love, and
therefore the weight of their disappointment that I was childless,
partnerless. I saw my own confusion and grief reflected back at me. Eventually I
began emailing them messages telling them a little – oh, such a little – of
what I was experiencing. I am sure it was partly a result of the good manners
they themselves had instilled in me that I made this faint but direct
contact. My preferred position was really to remain silent. What child wants to
tell the parents that gave them life that they want it ended?

By the time I returned to Dr Fahey three days later Amanda knew that
something was really wrong. I had told her that I found eating difficult and
that I was afraid to leave the house. I was ringing work each day to say I
still had not improved enough to go in. Mornings are the worst time for
depression and I was piling on the agony by setting myself the unrealistic target
of going to work and then feeling a failure when I was unable to meet it.
Dr Fahey advised that I cancel the regular appointment with Judy, my
therapist, for that week. At first I suspected professional competitiveness
(“I’ll save you” – “No, I’ll save you!”), but she was trying to prevent any
further introspection on my part. I could not see how I was going to get the
few miles across north London that the visit required anyway.

So for three days my sister and Judy coaxed me, by telephone, out of the
house. A 20-yard trip to the newsagent was fine, a trip to M&S was less
successful. I made it to the shop, but halfway round I froze. All that food,
all those people. I loaded up a basket then had to leave it mid-store and
struggle out of the shop to lean against the wall and gasp. I clutched at my
chest, I thought something might rupture.

All this time I kept thinking I would be back at work any minute. That I
had to be back at work. It was essential that people did not know there was
anything wrong. And, really, there was not anything wrong. I was barely
eating, I could barely leave the house, but I was surely fit for work. Surely.

After the second visit to Dr Fahey everything changed. She made me realise
that whatever self-deceptions I had entered into, the reality was that I
had not been into work for several days, nor was I currently fit to go in.
She signed me off for two weeks and gave me tranquillisers to moderate the
increasingly severe panic attacks. She advised me strongly to leave London.
The idea of being on my own without work for two weeks was unthinkable,
unbearable. Amanda was off to visit our parents in the country and taking the
children with her. My brother-in-law Neil was staying at home an extra
night then would join her there. Amanda’s suggestion was that I drive to be
with Neil and then the following day he would drive us both to Suffolk to be
with the whole family.

At their house that evening I crept into my nephew’s room, in his narrow
bunk bed and under his Star Wars duvet. I gasped and sweated through the
night. In the morning, Neil appeared with some tea and suggested we have
breakfast. Fine, I said, yes. Then I realised I might split in two if he left
the room. I gestured that I could do with a hug – and then I started the real
drop to the bottom. It was as if my chest was going to be rent in two.

As Neil pulled gently away I kept up appearances and said I would be down
for breakfast in a minute. I got as far as the bottom of the stairs and
realised I could not breathe, was going to faint, and sat there bleating for
Neil like some injured animal. You need to eat, he asserted. You need some
sugar, something. It had been so long since I had eaten properly my throat
was constricted; my head, heart, lungs felt squeezed. And the panic was
rising: what if I never eat again? What if I have to stay in this state? What
if? What if? I began to hyperventilate. Neil collected me up and calmly set
me on the sofa. He found some dextrose tablets and crammed them into my
mouth, he lifted my feet above my head and he repeated over and over again that
this was the worst, it would get better. But when I could speak I just
begged him tearfully to ring my doctor, to get me to hospital, to put me out
of my misery. To stop everything, to make it stop.

When Neil felt the panic attack had subsided enough he did go to the
phone. He did not ring my doctor, nor the hospital, but Amanda, who got in the
car and came back to be with me. In the following days I frequently asked if
I could be taken to hospital. I wanted, demanded, a lobotomy. I wanted
something to stop the pain, the panic, the screaming, the crying, the
darkness. I wanted some peace.

Amanda and Neil withstood my pleas and I am glad they did. I am not sure I
would have survived hospital. And I could not give up with my niece,
Jessica, and her brother, Alexander, around. “What is actually wrong with you?”
12-year-old Alexander asked repeatedly in the first few days, until my
sister took him to one side and gave him an explanation in her determined and
straightforward way. I was relieved. I did not know how to answer him, I did
not want to scare him and I did not want to lie. But apart from this one
small challenge the children were nothing but help to me. They would appear
in the morning and scramble on or into my bed and tell me what lay ahead
for them that day. And when there is someone so trusting asking you questions
as if your opinion still mattered and telling you stories as if it was
still important to impress you it is hard to plot and plan death, or much
harder anyway.

Amanda brought me breakfast in bed before she left for her teaching job.
Breakfast was a small glass of orange juice placed in the centre of a plate
with toast fingers arranged around the glass to look like a flower or a sun
– something hopeful. I did not feel worthy of such treatment and it would
make me cry. Neil worked from home so I was never alone, and Amanda would
ring me when she got to work, in her break and at lunchtime.

If my illness put a strain on Amanda and Neil’s marriage or their family
life as a whole they did not say. To help the days pass I did my best to
read carefully selected books – nothing with relationships in, nothing about
family love. I met Neil for lunch in the kitchen. I had become, as my mother
was to remark unforgettably, “a vegetable”. Most evenings were spent
inert, watching the family life go on around me. I listened to the children’s
music practice and I made occasional attempts to help with homework. I should
have known that a night of fractions with Jessica was unlikely to be good
for either of us. I had to leave her with her homework book pages rubbed raw
and almost transparent to howl in the bathroom. She clearly felt this was
a topsy-turvy world of role reversal. Wasn’t the child supposed to be in
tears of frustration not the adult?

While the family watched TV I tended to lie behind it as it continued to
induce a state of panic. I tried to hold on to vestiges of my own lifestyle.
Neil recorded The Sopranos for me, but I managed no more than a few
minutes. It did not induce panic, but anguish. Mine was no longer the life of a
sharp, media-savvy woman with sophisticated tastes – after all Amanda had to
gently chivvy me to wash my hair. I found that Alan Titchmarsh and other
toilers on the land and in the kitchen posed no threat. Being so far removed
from my former life made them oddly bearable to view.

Outside scared me. I felt flimsy and exposed. I did not want to be seen or
heard. When Amanda was home I followed her round like a shadow, always
keen to be in the same room, always keen to be held. I ate a little more food
and gained some substance, I had a few more hours’ sleep a night. Armed
with a mobile phone and a huge send off from Neil one day I left the house to
buy a paper. It is several hundred yards to the paper shop from their home,
but it felt like a major adventure, and as I paid for the paper I felt a
surge of spirit, a lightheartedness I had not experienced for some time.

And then my mobile rang. It was one of my friends, and I was able to share
my achievement with her: I had made it to the paper shop on my own. She
was so delighted she asked if I had planted a flag there. It was great. But
the next day I wept over our celebration. How pathetic. I was a 39-year-old
woman, a senior executive at a national newspaper, someone who at the
office made hundreds of decisions a day, a woman with a reputation for being
scary, and the biggest achievement of that week was leaving the house and
handing over loose change to buy the newspaper for which I was still officially
the spokesperson.

When the next visit to Dr Fahey loomed I decided I should venture back to
London a day or so earlier, the logic being that if I could not be on my
own in the house then I should not be going back to work. And going back to
work was my goal, and what I expected my doctor to be helping me to do. It
was a disaster. The appetite which had been coaxed into some sort of life in
the bosom of my sister’s family disappeared. There was no room in the
house that I could settle in. I could not sleep. I used the time to make my
will to plan which friends of mine struggling with infertility I would endow
with financial gifts when I was gone.

Dr Fahey was prepared to give me a very, very limited supply of sleeping
tablets but “not enough to kill yourself with”. I think I smiled at that.
“Do you ever think of killing yourself?” she asked quickly. “I rarely think
of anything else,” was my response. “And how would you feel about seeing a
psychiatrist?” Fine, I said, fine. They would make a home visit. Fine. On
returning home I panicked. Was I going to be sectioned?

I immediately rang my friend Roger who had had a hand in sectioning
someone in the past. His advice was that it takes two to section. If I saw two
through the fish-eye in the door then I should not let them in.

A short time later my doctor rang and told me that there would probably be
two people who would visit me, a psychiatrist and a psychoanalyst. Two? I
started to shake. “Will they take me anywhere?” I asked coyly. “I do not
know,” my doctor replied. “Only if they think it is necessary.” As soon as I
put down the receiver there was an incoming call from Siobhain, a lawyer as
well as a friend, who, alerted by Roger, was offering to come and be in
loco parentis to prevent a sectioning. And then Martin, the psychiatrist,
rang. “I will be with you in half an hour.”

Perhaps I could convince them that I was not mad. The lethargy which
almost permanently overwhelmed me was temporarily thrown off as I set about
making my house look sane. I made piles of paper, I cleaned the tea mugs, I
folded the rug under which I spent most time. Then I had an inspiration.
Recycling. If I put some paper in the recycling bin it would look as if I was
investing in the future.

When Martin arrived on the doorstep he appeared to be on his own. I made
tea for us in a scene straight from a badly acted kitchen drama; the spoons
and china clattered as I tried, unsuccessfully, to keep the shaking under
control. We sat in my living room. I questioned him. “Are you really on your
own?” and “Are you going to take me anywhere?” He stated reassuringly that
there was no one waiting outside.

Things got better after that. He gave a name to what I was suffering – a
serious depressive illness – which at its worst was a killer. He identified
a singular problem and spoke it out loud. “So you feel you are incapable of
doing anything, of being good at your job, of holding down a relationship,
of being a mother, and now you cannot even kill yourself, is that right?”
So right, so right, I could not speak. This was a jam I could not see my
way out of – and I was not at all sure that Martin, or any other well meaning
person, could help me out of it either.

It was months into my illness before any of the professionals ventured to
use the term breakdown. It was several more before I learnt that this was
not a cause to feel ashamed.

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