ANTIDEPRESSANT: Psychiatrist Goes Nuts: Diagnosed Bipolar as They All Are!

Paragraphs 6 through 9 read: “Munn lost his license to practice psychiatry in Montana in 2003, after having an ongoing sexual relationship with one of his patients. His marriage dissolved around the same time. Already being treated for depression, Munn’s condition was rediagnosed, and with the help of counseling and medicine, he rebuilt his life into one where he’s succeeding while living with a mental illness.”

“Anti-depressants didn’t help the manic side of Munn’s bipolar disorder. At times his thoughts raced. He didn’t sleep. He had grandiose ideas ­ like how to fix the entire mental health system in the state of Montana.”

“And he believed he could do anything he wanted.”

“’I felt rules didn’t apply to me. That would be grandiosity,’ he said. ‘But they do. And that’s accepting that you have a mental illness’.”

Psychiatrist brings himself back from the brink of suicide

By JOHN HARRINGTON – Independent Record – 08/02/09

Eliza Wiley Independent Record – Nathan Munn has fought back from some very low places. Rather than ending his life, the psychiatrist chose to seek treatment for his bipolar disorder and began a new career teaching psychology courses and developing a mental health direct care program at University of Montana-Helena.
In 2003, with his career and home in very public shambles, Nathan Munn nearly committed suicide.

But rather than end his life, the psychiatrist chose not to pull the trigger one fateful night. He subsequently got treatment, including psychotherapy and medications, for his bipolar mood disorder.

Now, Munn is an instructor at the University of Montana-Helena, teaching psychology courses and developing a mental health direct care program that trains students how to be direct caregivers, counselors and other types of mental health professionals.

“I’m really thankful for my job at UM-Helena,” said Munn, 49, in a candid interview last week. “And I hope that my story can be of some inspiration along with my teaching. It’s my intention that I’m still helping in the community, but now with education as opposed to direct providing of psychiatric care.”

Munn admits somewhat nervously that his past is still “hard to talk about.” He chooses his words carefully, often pausing between sentences. He’s told his humbling story before, and maybe it’s getting a little easier ­ but not much. Remorse hangs deep in his eyes.

Munn lost his license to practice psychiatry in Montana in 2003, after having an ongoing sexual relationship with one of his patients. His marriage dissolved around the same time. Already being treated for depression, Munn’s condition was rediagnosed, and with the help of counseling and medicine, he rebuilt his life into one where he’s succeeding while living with a mental illness.

Anti-depressants didn’t help the manic side of Munn’s bipolar disorder. At times his thoughts raced. He didn’t sleep. He had grandiose ideas ­ like how to fix the entire mental health system in the state of Montana.

And he believed he could do anything he wanted.

“I felt rules didn’t apply to me. That would be grandiosity,” he said. “But they do. And that’s accepting that you have a mental illness.”

Mental illnesses are by no means limited to those on the fringes of society. Millions of Americans of all walks of life ­ blue collar and white, laborers and professionals ­ live daily with schizophrenia, depression, bipolar mood disorder and other diagnosable and treatable conditions.

Mike Larson of Dillon is director of the State Bar of Montana’s Lawyer Assistance Program, which was created in 2006 after several attorneys committed suicide in Missoula.

“Lawyers, from the first call in the morning to the last e-mail at night, are busy dealing with everyone else’s problems,” Larson said. “So what do they do when their own problems kick in?”

Larson said that from a population of 2,800 members of the bar in Montana, he takes calls from eight to 10 new clients a month, around a third of which are related to mental illness, with another third dealing with chemical dependency. He said many lawyers are reticent to call the program, either out of fear that others will learn of their treatment and their careers will suffer, or from simple denial.

“There are a lot of stereotypes out there about what mental illness is, and there’s that whole component of not wanting to be under the stigma of mental illness,” Larson said.

For Munn, day-to-day life means a regimen of a mood-stabilizing drug and an anti-depressant, acknowledgement of and taking responsibility for the mistakes he made and a resolve to move forward knowing the illness will likely be with him for the rest of his life.

“It’s not like there’s one day that you no longer have a mental illness,” he said. “On appropriate treatment, it can be in remission. And you stay on your meds and you do the psychological work necessary, and you move forward.

“I hate to say it because it sounds like it’s bragging, but it takes courage. You have to face this, you face what you did, you face having a mental illness, and you accept other aspects of your life.”

Munn doesn’t hide from his condition, and hopes that sharing his story will comfort others who find themselves in similar positions.

“One of the main things I want to say is when you have a mental illness, you have to acknowledge that that’s there, and that you have it,” he said. “I have a bipolar disorder, I am not bipolar. It is something that I have, it is not something that I am. A lot of people say, ‘I am bipolar.’ Well, what does that mean? You don’t say, ‘I am congestive heart failure. I am sinusitis.’ It’s not who you are, it’s what you have.”

Just as there are ways to characterize people living with mental illness, there are productive ways to discuss the illnesses themselves, Munn said.

“(People) talked about the dark recesses of the mind. That’s not the way to talk about it,” he said. “The term ‘dark recess’ has such a negative connotation, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, that’s not it. They’re not dark recesses. It’s neuropathology. It’s limbic system disregulation. And it’s the cognitions, the thinking that goes along with it.

“That’s a tough thing for people to get, but I think it’s crucial for people to get that as they’re recovering from a mental illness, that our brains and our minds are the same thing. So when I have negative cognitions, when I’m thinking that people would be better off without me, that’s the psychological part.

“And that’s a key point for people, is that what you’re thinking psychologically and what your brain is doing physically, we don’t know how it’s the same function, but it is the same function. The subjective psychology that you’re feeling as a person with a mental illness, is the psychological aspect of the biological process, and yes, it is a real illness. The idea that a psychological illness is somehow not real is just absurd. That’s crazy.”

Many mental illnesses can be directly traced to chemical imbalances or other physical abnormalities in the brain. But having a mental illness can’t by itself be an excuse for any actions, good bad or otherwise.

“You don’t want to use it as an excuse to justify behaviors. You have to take accountability. Personal accountability is necessary for recovery, it just is,” he said. “It takes humility, it takes a lot of work, it takes compliance.

“I made huge mistakes. My choices were horrible. Despicable, really, is the term to use. I hurt a lot of people. I hurt patients that I had, the person herself and her family, and of course my family. I feel sorry and apologetic about that every day. Especially for my children, I feel horrible and always will.

“One of the points I would like to make is, yes, I have this bipolar disorder. To deny I do would be to deny I have a mental illness. But I also completely accept responsibility and accountability for my actions. And that’s a very important point: recovery requires personal accountability. Yes, I have a major mental illness, and yes, I am responsible for my actions. Those aren’t mutually exclusive.”

Treating a mental illness isn’t a guarantee of happiness. Life still presents challenges, and treatment gives those suffering from mental illness a better chance at facing those challenges head-on and coming out ahead.

“Life has struggles, with or without a mental illness,” Munn said. “Having your mental illness treated doesn’t mean your life is wonderful. You’re still going to have the struggles that everyone has. But you’ll also have wonderful things. I’m a grandfather. And that’s wonderful. If I had killed myself, I wouldn’t have known this joy of having a granddaughter.

“You have to accept mental health care of various types, and you need to know that it’s worth it, that treatments are available, the science is there, people do recover, illnesses do go into remission. Of all chronic illnesses to have, having a mental illness is not bad. Treatments are available, and you can live a long, good life having your mental illness treated.”

Larson of the Lawyer Assistance Program acknowledged that people need to want to treat their illnesses.

“There are a lot of people out there that still need the help that haven’t come forward or recognized they need the help,” Larson said. “Not only are they in denial that they have a problem, they’re in denial that everyone knows they have a problem.”

And even if the disease goes into remission or becomes manageable, a person must be diligent, even when things are going well.

“It’s not something you mess around with. And that’s OK,” Munn said. “Mental illnesses are chronic illnesses. People have the idea that, ‘Oh no, I’m going to be on medications for life.’ Well yeah, you are. And that’s all right, you have a chronic illness. There are a lot of chronic illnesses, not just psychiatric ones. And people who have those, like type 1 diabetes, will be on insulin. It’s accepted. So it’s a chronic illness, you accept that.”

And the more acceptance there is, across a broader swath of Montana at large, the easier it will be for people to summon the strength to get the help they need, to confront the illness, and to assume the places so many of them deserve as productive members of society.

To view the complete series on mental health care services in Montana, click here.

John Harrington: 447-4080 or

 2,173 total views

ZOLOFT, PROZAC, Adderall & Ritalin: 18 Year Old Shoots Deputy: Critcal …


Paragraphs 11 though 14 read: “To combat attention disorders and other conditions, the teen took Ritalin, Zoloft, Prozac and Adero, among other drugs, Bryce said, toting the various prescriptions with him in a pill sorter.”

“The medicine sedated Adrian for hours. He was often unresponsive and seemingly unaware of people talking to him while on the medication, Bryce said.”

“The assortment of pills ‘took a toll on him,’ he said.”

“Other times Adrian displayed anger he seemed unable to control, Bryce said. Some of it was typical teen behavior, but sometimes Adrian “blacked out” and later forgot about the episodes, Bryce said.” –

Dad says, ‘There’s something wrong with him’

Father grieves for son suspected of shooting deputy.
By Matthew Pleasant
Staff Writer

Published: Friday, July 31, 2009 at 12:24 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, July 31, 2009 at 12:24 p.m.

BOURG ­ To understand what happened, Bryce Broussard sifts through memories of his son.
Related Links:

He cries as he remembers an 18-year-old boy who struggled to read, who needed help filling out job applications and had an unpredictable and explosive temper, he said.

The same young man earned money by cutting Hope Street yards, who welded his own workout bench in school and sometimes fell asleep wearing headphones.

The teen, Adrian Broussard, is now charged with attempted first-degree murder, accused of shooting Terrebonne deputy David Bourg three times Tuesday and leaving him in critical condition.

Still reeling over the arrest, Bryce, 36, said he and his wife, Amy, plan to support his son. He finds it hard to comprehend Adrian committing the crime, he said, but recognizes the behavior problems that may have contributed to the shooting.

“He was a good kid, but there’s something wrong with him,” said Bryce, an offshore worker. “He would blow up over nothing.”

Adrian Broussard’s last steady home was 128 Hope St. in Bourg, where his father said Adrian lived for two years before moving to live with a relative in Montegut.

He struggled through school at South Terrebonne High to earn a technical-skill degree, Bryce said. Rusting in the yard is a workout bench and frames for four-wheelers ­ all of it Adrian’s work.

Often unable to concentrate, Adrian took a slew of medications, his father said. But he never seemed more focused or content than when welding or dissembling a motor.

“He wanted to make different things that nobody else had,” Bryce said.

To combat attention disorders and other conditions, the teen took Ritalin, Zoloft, Prozac and Adero, among other drugs, Bryce said, toting the various prescriptions with him in a pill sorter.

The medicine sedated Adrian for hours. He was often unresponsive and seemingly unaware of people talking to him while on the medication, Bryce said.

The assortment of pills “took a toll on him,” he said.

Other times Adrian displayed anger he seemed unable to control, Bryce said. Some of it was typical teen behavior, but sometimes Adrian “blacked out” and later forgot about the episodes, Bryce said.

His unwieldy behavior and penchant for mechanic work followed the family to Disney World last summer, where the teen preferred to stay at the hotel rather than visit the parks, they said. When the family truck broke down, he worked on it without hesitation.

The father and son bought parts and repaired the truck in the hotel parking lot, he said.

“He helped me piece by piece, tearing it down,” he said.

Bryce said the family tried to help him find a job after graduation. The family ate at Golden Corral during one trip into Houma, and Adrian’s temper flared at servers who told him the restaurant wasn’t serving steak.

He berated the kitchen staff, telling them none knew how to cook, Bryce said. He also threw his cup in the dining room, sending drink all over surrounding tables.

“It was nothing nice,” he said.

Neighbors said the Broussard family seemed to have a troubled home life, citing fights and police visits to the trailer. Bryce and Amy Broussard said they were close despite the incidents.

“We’re not saying we’re perfect,” Amy Broussard said.

Adrian Broussard left the Hope Street trailer several months ago to stay with cousins in Montegut and only occasionally spent time with his father after that, Bryce said.

Just before midnight Tuesday, Adrian allegedly gunned down a deputy investigating reports of a suspicious person outside the Montegut Post Office.

By 1 a.m. Wednesday, deputies were at the Broussard’s trailer demanding to know where Adrian was, Bryce said. He said he spent much of the morning handcuffed inside a police cruiser that drove through Montegut in search of the teen.

The elder Broussard was charged that day with simple criminal damage to property and theft of goods over $500, according to jail records. Broussard said the arrest stemmed from outstanding warrants.

Adrian was arrested about 12 hours after the shooting when a resident found him inside an abandoned home, police have said. He is being held at the Terrebonne Parish jail in lieu of a $2 million bond on the attempted first-degree-murder charge. He is also charged with simple burglary, trespassing, possession of marijuana and illegal carrying a weapon, deputies said.

Deputies had searched for Adrian Broussard earlier Tuesday to arrest him on warrants for felony theft and criminal damage. His bond for the warrant charges is $20,000.

Deputy Bourg, a five-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office who is married with children, remains in stable condition in the critical care unit at Terrebonne General Medical Center.

While Bryce is hoping for the best outcome for his son, he says he also hopes Bourg is able to heal.

“We are praying for a full recovery,” Bryce said. “We apologize to the family, and we’re very sorry for what happened.”

Staff Writer Matthew Pleasant can be reached at 857-2202 or

 1,713 total views

TOO EERY!!!!!! Re: Boy’s meds might give clinician pause today

Tuesday, 19 August 2008
This is ALL TOO
EERY!!!!! Just yesterday I was at Von Maur in Omaha with Mark and
Donna Taylor as we stopped while driving from Salt Lake City to Des Moines!
What sent chills down my spine, even though I was too tired to feel much
after driving for about 12 hours straight with only a couple hours break, was
what I learned when I dropped Mark and Donna off at Whole Foods to pick up a few
groceries while I played on the lawn with my puppy. And as I played with
him I looked up and saw Von Maur. I caught my breath and thought “But it
does not look like a mall from here, maybe it is just another Von Maur store,
not the one where all those people died last year.”
So when the next person stopped to play with my little dog I asked
them if that happened to be the mall where the shooting was last year.
When they said yes I thought I would fall over from the shock of it all!!
Because last December 4th when I last drove through Omaha I stopped across
the street (right where I was yesterday) from Von Maur at the Omaha Whole Foods
Market and asked if we could arrange for me to come and speak to warn
people in the Omaha area about the dangers of antidepressants. I then left
waiting for them to call me.
But it was the following day that Robbie walked into that mall shooting. It
resulted in NINE deaths due to his long-term use of antidepressants. Yesterday,
almost a year later I realized how closely tied all of this was as I
stood there just across the street with the first boy shot at Columbine High
School knowing I personally left warning just the day before the shooting.
The most sickening statement about this never ending nightmare comes
from the question Mark asked me as we stood there yesterday. He wanted to
know whether the Whole Foods had ever called back wanting to schedule
a lecture. I had to tell him they had not.
And now today this article comes out talking about Robbie’s long-term use
of antidepressants? I noticed they did not even explain the withdrawal he was in
at the time which causes the REM Sleep Behavior Disorder at an even higher rate
than being on one does.
The whole combination of these experiences  . . .  these things
never stop taking my breath away!!!
When we look at the info in this article we realize that I was years too
late anyway even though I made an attempt to stop this one just the
day before it happened. What is being done now to babies in the wombs of the
moms who take these drugs is CRIMINAL!!! And the same holds true for all those
in their youth who are given these drugs!! How very terrible! And if they
continue to attempt to push the Mother’s Act to get more pregnant and
nursing moms on these drugs . . . . WATCH OUT!
But in saying that, let me add that I do believe there is hope to turn
those effects around if you know enough about alternative treatments.
Ann Blake-Tracy
In a message dated 8/17/2008 9:36:49 P.M. Central America Standard T, writes:

One of the Journal Articles on SSRI Stories
states:  “Sentence 5 of the Abstract reads:  “Experimental
studies in rodents show that administration of SSRIs during a key
developmental window creates changes in brain circuitry and maladaptive
behaviors that persist into adulthood.”

Developmental effects of SSRIs: lessons learned
from animal studies

Xenia Boruea, b, John Chena, b and Barry G.

aUniversity of Virginia Medical Scientist
Training Program and University of Virginia Neuroscience Graduate Program,
Charlottesville, VA 22904, United States

bUniversity of Virginia, Department of
Biology, Charlottesville, VA 22904, United States

Received 1 June
2007;  accepted 19 June 2007.  Available online 7 July 2007.


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are
utilized in the treatment of depression in pregnant and lactating women. SSRIs
may be passed to the fetus through the placenta and the neonate through
breastfeeding, potentially exposing them to SSRIs during peri- and postnatal
development. However, the long-term effects of this SSRI exposure are still
largely unknown. The simplicity and genetic amenability of model organisms
provides a critical experimental advantage compared to studies with humans.
This review will assess the current research done in animals that sheds light
on the role of serotonin during development and the possible effects of SSRIs.
Experimental studies in rodents show that administration of SSRIs during a key
developmental window creates changes in brain circuitry and maladaptive
behaviors that persist into adulthood. Similar changes result from the
inhibition of the serotonin transporter or monoamine oxidase, implicating
these two regulators of serotonin signaling in developmental changes.
Understanding the role of serotonin in brain development is critical to
identifying the possible effects of SSRI exposure.

Serotonin; Neurotransmitter; CNS development
Corresponding author at:
University of Virginia, Department of Biology, Gilmer Hall
071, Box 400328, Charlottesville, VA 22904, United States. Tel.: +1 434 243
6794; fax: +1 434 243 5315.

At 08:06
AM 8/17/2008, jay baadsgaard wrote:

Sunday    August 17, 2008

Boy’s meds might give
clinician pause today



Robbie Hawkins was prescribed medications to combat anxiety
disorders, hyperactivity and depression for roughly half of his 19

In 1992, when Robbie was 4, a psychiatrist prescribed
Ritalin, a stimulant used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder,
and Mellaril, an antipsychotic.

When Robbie was hospitalized that
December, those medications were discontinued in favor of the
antidepressant Pamelor, which he took for at least 10

Although all three medications still are prescribed,
research has shown limitations or flaws in each that would give a clinician
today greater pause before prescribing them to a


Ritalin: A well-regarded trial
study published last year involving preschoolers showed that
while some children benefit from Ritalin, younger children may be
more sensitive to its side effects. Those can include decreased appetite,
sleep loss, irritability and emotionality, said Dr. Mary Margaret Gleason,
the lead author of psychiatric medication treatment guidelines for
preschoolers published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child &
Adolescent Psychiatry.

Mellaril: This antipsychotic is
typically prescribed for schizophrenia. Robbie took a low dose to help him
settle down and fall asleep. Tests have found that Mellaril causes
some patients serious heart problems, such as changing the rhythm and
electrical conduction of the heart, Gleason said. The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration recommends prescribing it only to schizophrenic
patients who have not responded to other antipsychotic drugs.

Pamelor: Newer antidepressants have fewer side effects and a wider
tolerance, said Dr. Graham Emslie, the chief of child and adolescent
psychiatry at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. Research also has shown
that Pamelor isn’t as effective in young children, Gleason said, although it
can help some children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or loss
of urinary control.

When Robbie was 15, he was treated with the
antidepressant Effexor XR. Two years later, he was prescribed the
antidepressant Zoloft after attempting suicide.

He refused both
medications after taking each for less than two months, according to
juvenile court records.

Nearly all antidepressants, including the
three prescribed to Robbie, now carry a required “black box”
warning on their labels. The FDA began ordering such warnings three
years ago, after clinical trials suggested that some drugs increased the
risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children and teens, particularly
when first given or when the dosage changed.

No research has
been conducted to determine whether antidepressants taken
by children or teens have long-term effects, Gleason

Robbie wasn’t taking antidepressants last
December when he killed eight people, severely wounded others and
committed suicide at Von Maur, although an autopsy detected therapeutic
amounts of the prescription drug diazepam, a tranquilizer known by the trade
name Valium.

The drug had not been prescribed to him.

has approved only one antidepressant — Prozac — for use in children, but
psychiatrists can use their discretion to prescribe

Gleason called the decision to prescribe psychiatric
medication to children “a complicated balancing act” that pits the risk of
continuing illness against the risks associated with

“By the time (parents) seek mental health care, they’re
really in a lot of distress, the child’s in a lot of distress (and) the
impact of the illness is pervading the child’s life,” she said.
Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom

©2008 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose
without permission from the Omaha

 1,395 total views

5/2/2002 – Is Ritalin Overprescribed?

Okay, this is fast and easy….
Do you think Ritalin is overprescribed?
Click on this link and then click on ‘live vote’ button.
Hurry, this may only be up for a short time.

 2,193 total views,  1 views today





“They want to see how much these children can tolerate,” said Vera Hassner Sharav, who heads the New York-based Alliance for Human Research Protection. “The research is absolutely child abuse.”



“They want to see how much these children can tolerate,” said Vera Hassner Sharav, who heads the New York-based Alliance for Human Research Protection. “The research is absolutely child abuse.”

THE federally funded abuse of children, some as young as 3, has begun in New York City, critics charge. The alleged torture chambers are located at two city locations where doctors will conduct Ritalin experiments on more than 80 city kids between the ages of 3 and 8.

Advocates, handcuffed by the lack of money, are waging a battle to stop the nationwide $6 million, 72-week study at the six institutions, which include NYU Medical Center and the New York Psychiatric Institute.

Two-thirds of the 264 kids will be under 5. Researchers want kids with symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who have never been medicated.

Advocates who have seen the protocol describing the study say the experiment will subject kids to a “horrific” psychological hellride.

The kids will start getting Ritalin at small daily dosages, which will gradually increase to 7.5 mg and 10 mg three times a day, depending on how the drug affects them.

The side effects that, in part, determine dosage limits are headaches, abdominal pain, difficulty sleeping, fever, nausea, dizziness, chest pain and, in some rare cases, Tourette’s disorder, depression and psychosis.

The kids who cope with 10 mg will get a dosage of 15 mg – so researchers can see what happens.

“They want to see how much these children can tolerate,” said Vera Hassner Sharav, who heads the New York-based Alliance for Human Research Protection. “The research is absolutely child abuse.”

Once a dosage amount is established, researchers will spend five weeks alternating amounts and sometimes giving placebo sugar pills to see how the kids react. Parents and teachers who record the reaction won’t be told about the dosage change.

Fake classrooms with two-way mirrors will be set up to study the kids like lab rats when researchers wean them off Ritalin. The “child’s behavior could get worse,” the protocol states.

The protocol says kids will be referred by schools, clinics and hospitals. The authors apparently didn’t know recruiting for such experiments in schools violates city laws. In any case, parents can pull their kids out at any time.

An official at the Psychiatric Institute, who didn’t want to be identified, said more than a quarter-million pediatricians already prescribe Ritalin to children under 6, and the study will help doctors “make intelligent decisions.”

Advocates question why nearly 70 percent of the kids in the Psychiatric Institute study are black and Latino. A racial breakdown for the NYU study was unavailable because its researcher, Dr. Howard Abikoff, didn’t return messages left at his office.

Dr. Ellen Isaacs, a member of an advocacy group in Washington Heights, where the Psychiatric Institute is located, plans to meet with the local community board to complain.

“They want poor minority kids because their parents are more easily coerced to sign up,” she said.
Copyright 2001 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Salvaging What’s Left after Paxil, then Zoloft, then Ritalin.



Hi. I’m so glad somebody with substantial medical credentials is putting forth this information. I’ve been resisting these drugs for years, despite “Doctors” attempts to cram them down my throat at every opportunity. I will briefly relate part of my story, then I have an observation about your website I’d like to address.

My first experience with these so – called “medications began with Paxil. I took one half of one pill and an hour and a half later I was hallucinating much like when I used to use psychedelics many lifetimes ago. I know what a psychedelic experience is. I knew then something was really wrong. I was in another universe altogether. Add to that the shakes and a horrible feeling I had taken an awful poison. Several years later, I tried Zoloft.

I could never take more than a tiny chip off of a pill, and could never stand more than a few days at a time. I was thoroughly stoned, drugged, and useless for just about everything. When I questioned my “Doctor” he would sort of mumble something under his breath and it became clear he didn’t want me as a patient. I was a troublemaker.

I had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, by the way. I got myself into recovery from alcohol addiction, and was clean for six years. But I was seriously fatigued, and sick, so I went to a new “Doctor” who gave me Ritalin to combat that and depression. Not understanding the ramifications, I began taking it. Three months later I was in narcotic addiction hell, weak and jaundiced, malnutrioned, psychotic, and well on the way to dying.

I didn’t go back to that doctor, as I knew it was his intention to switch me to another drug and I knew in my desperation I might take it. I did some research and discovered that Methylphenidate is directly Hepatatoxic, and suppresses the immune system to boot, aside from all the other harmful effects. The “Doctor” has simply shuffled me off to die, me being one of society’s throwaways. It was hell to get off that drug, but I did. The “Doctor” was fully aware of my sobriety at the time. He didn’t care. I know a drug pusher when I meet one, and the only difference between him and the guy on the street is he does it legal.

I bring this up because it is becoming popular for Doctors to prescribe drugs for Hep C patients. I did research on my disease, discovered nutrition, herbs. I went to new “Doctors” and tried to share my information. How naive I was. They didn’t want to know, didn’t want to have anything to do with it, or what I now knew. Now, I am on my own, salvaging what’s left and hopefully getting better. I take from this one positive outcome. I know now that you have to take the responsibility into your own hands.

But I want to say one thing. I haven’t read everything on the website, but it seems taken for granted that it’s aimed at those who have a choice. That’s not always the case. I have to relate a story on behalf of someone very dear to me. I have a very close long time friend, my spiritual advisor and a nun, who has always had poor health. She was prescribed Xanax some years ago. One night, she went to the emergency room to get a hospital bed because of physical pain. She made a comment concerning Christ’s pain and her pain. They declared she was a “dangerous” individual, and involuntarily committed her to the state insane asylum for some months and forced drug injections into her. I visited this place, and what a hell hole it is. She is out now, but must involuntarily continue the injections against her will under threat of further incarceration. I am trying to figure a way to get her out of this situation, as I see the damage being done. It’s disgusting.
If they can do this to a nun, for God’s sake, they can do it to anybody. DON’T THINK IT CAN’T HAPPEN TO YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE. IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. There is no help, no recourse for these poor people. They’ve been forgotten.

I have learned to be very careful and guarded when in contact with “health care professionals.” I get the impression a lot of them are on these drugs. What insanity it has all become and where will it end. Thank you Dr. Tracy and associates for giving a voice to all this that can’t easily be dismissed.



This is Survivor Story number 22.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

 2,121 total views,  2 views today

4/9/2001 – Back-to-back documentaries tonight and tomorrow.

Back-to-back documentaries on children and psychotropic
medications, tonight and tomorrow night, on A&E and PBS.
Here’s a review from the NEW YORK TIMES.


April 9, 2001

Television Review: Ifs, Ands or Buts of Drugs for Restless U.S.


By pure coincidence, two documentaries on two different
channels are arriving back to back tonight and tomorrow to
examine the same issue: the widening and sometimes
harrowing use of psychoactive drugs in America to modify
children’s behavior. Suffice it to say that the programs ˜ the first
on A&E, the other on PBS ˜ are in many ways redundant.

They even largely look alike: both of these well-made
presentations are structured around intimate portraits of people
caught up in this anguishing phenomenon.

Thus, over two nights, we encounter seven boys and girls, some
illustrating the drugs’ benefits, others telling of depression,
malnourishment, even psychosis after being put on
medications. We’re also introduced to Adderall, Zoloft,
Wellbutrin, Cylert, Dexedrine and, most prevalent of all, Ritalin ˜
drugs administered to help troubled children sit still in school,
concentrate, get along with others (including the teacher) and
have fruitful lives.

Given the programs’ similarities, the obvious question is, which
is the one to watch: “Generation Rx: Reading, Writing and
Ritalin,” one of Bill Kurtis’s “Investigative Reports,” to be shown
on A&E tonight, or “Medicating Kids,” a Frontline special
appearing on PBS tomorrow?

The answer is not so cut and dried. Both hourlong
documentaries are serious, sometimes startling contributions to
an important discussion over the increasing ˜ and some say
spurious ˜ diagnosis of attention deficit disorder and attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder in children (up to four million cases,
by one estimate). And for all the parallels, each program
contains an angle or two that the other doesn’t.

The A&E program, for instance, looks at the alternative of
long-term drug-free behavior therapy. The Frontline
documentary, more aggressively, suggests that drug
manufacturers and certain pliable doctors may have entered into
unholy alliances to promote the use of the drugs among

What’s more, watching both programs affords an illuminating
opportunity to see how two of the lamentably few investigative
bodies still standing in television journalism can differ so
markedly in tone even when plowing the same ground.

The Kurtis production wastes no time in establishing a darkly
dramatic approach, not to mention tipping its hand to its
sympathies. “It’s scary: we’re polluting our best resource,” says
an anonymous, unchallenged voice in the opening. “Putting our
kids on these drugs when they really don’t need it.” Mr. Kurtis, the
host, asserts that use of the drugs may challenge “the very
essence of childhood itself.”

Frontline takes a more measured tack, which ultimately gives it
the edge, declaring at the outset its more open-minded
intentions: “We wanted to know why kids are being prescribed
these drugs and whether or not they help.”
All sides get a fair hearing in both reports: those who say the
drugs have rescued many children from calamitous lives, and
those who say the drugs have been wildly overprescribed,
leading in one case, recalled on Frontline, to a 12-year-old boy’s
classroom suicide attempt using a pencil.

Both presentations also acknowledge that it is too early to know
the drugs’ long-term effects. But only Frontline seems willing to
end on an honestly inconclusive note. On A&E, Mr. Kurtis can’t
resist a loaded sign- off about Einstein and the scientist’s own
apparent attention deficit as a child. Where might we be, Mr.
Kurtis seems to ask, if the father of relativity had been a child of

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9/17/2000 – Two new lawsuits seek to halt the use of Ritalin

Thursday, 14 September 2000

2 new lawsuits seek to halt the use of Ritalin


Lawyers involved in class-action lawsuits against the tobacco
industry, gun makers and health maintenance organizations yesterday filed
two lawsuits against another target, the widely used drug Ritalin.

The lawsuits, filed in federal courts in California and New Jersey,
charge that Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., the drug’s manufacturer, and the
American Psychiatric Association, a professional group, conspired to create
a market for Ritalin and expand its use.

For more than a decade, Ritalin has been increasingly prescribed for
children who have been given a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder or
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. That trend has prompted debate
over the medicine, its dosage and the diagnoses.

Representatives of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, a unit of Novartis AG,
and the American Psychiatric Association said the accusations sound similar
to those in a class-action suit brought this year in Texas.

Then, Novartis said that Ritalin had been used safely and effectively
in thousands of children for more than 40 years and that it was the
most-studied drug used for attention deficit hyperactive disorder.

The new lawsuits seek to halt what they call unlawful practices and
ask that profits from the sales be returned to consumers.

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My Son’s Experience on Ritalin

“So many times doctors are drugging our children when they could be helped with proper nutrition, discipline and/or counseling.”


Your story so touched my heart (Matthew’s Story). I too have a son who by the grace of god is doing fine. He sounds much like your son, animals and kids always love him. He has such a kind and gentle spirit and a really great sense of humor. But unnecessary prescribed drugs almost ruined his life and ours.

He was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in the 6th grade. But prior to that starting around 4th grade we were told (by his so called school psychologist) that he was emotionally disturbed and would end up on drugs and in prison if things did not change. We, of course, were devastated and immediately got into family counseling. Two years later he was diagnosed with ADD. The doctor in charge of his case prescribed Ritalin and things changed almost immediately. He became very compliant with not trouble at school. The doctor saw us every three months just to weigh him, see how he was feeling and give us another prescription. As time went on we had to keep increasing the dose to make sure of the proper results. My son’s behavior improved (always temporarily) but he was still failing all subjects. His self esteem was terrible, he was not growing, he hardly ate and had constant stomach cramps. I was always silently worried about suicide. Finally through self curiosity and research found out that they were giving my son medication that the FDA classed with LSD and Cocaine! And that ADD is in many cases successfully treated through the diet. They were drugging him and we were letting them! This was when I immediately took my son off Ritalin cold turkey. Probably not the best way to handle it but I lost all trust in his doctor and just panicked. We started giving him all natural dietary supplements and watched what he was eating. He went through some withdrawals but grew 6 inches in one summer. He is now 18 years old and 6 feet tall. He is doing very well in Job Corp. (couldn’t deal with school because of being so far behind) and will probably be self a sufficient adult.

So many times doctors are drugging our children when they could be helped with proper nutrition, discipline and/or counseling. Since I discovered the nutrition aspect of a lot of this I realize too that our very food is also harming us. So much is processed to the extreme and most of the nutrients are sucked out of them. Even fresh produce is affected. The only way to get everything we need is our diets is to eat as best we can and take supplements.

I am so sorry things turned out the way they did for you and your family. I don’t pretend to understand how god works in these areas. I just know that he is in charge and must know what he is doing. We have to believe that. What else do we have?

My prayers are with you. I really appreciate and share your passion in telling others to be aware of what we are taking and giving to our children. I question every thing now. Even to the point of insulting the so called experts. Who cares! If I don’t question and research than who will.

Again, my prayers are with you and your family. Thank you again for listening to god and sharing your story. I am sure many will be helped and even saved by your heart felt words.

Cala Klapstein,
Sumner, WA

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 75.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

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Unprepared for the Horrendous Withdrawal from Effexor (update 4 months later)

“Sometimes it felt as if my brain was shuddering in my skull…”


I realize that this is what most would consider a long letter. However, it is only a brief summation of my own personal experience. Please, especially those of you who are parents or grandparents, teachers or counselors, just take the two minutes it takes to read it, then just put it in the back of your mind. Or pass it on.

Anti-depressants are quite often being cavalierly dispensed to the population in general. Also, they are prescribed to help kids who’ve been on Ritalin for years get through the difficult process of the cessation of that drug. And now the manufacturers of these drugs are planning to produce it in smaller doses for their next target population: pre and elementary school aged children! These drugs have a very high percentage rate of undesirable and sometimes dangerous side effects.

Several years ago I broke my wrist, which caused me to develop a rare condition known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. One of the medications I was given to try to control the pain was Effexor. Effexor is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or an SSRI. These drugs are commonly known as anti-depressants. Prozac is probably the most commonly known drug in this class. I was on this drug for less than 6 months when, for reasons of my own, I decided I wanted to get off. That’s when my nightmare began.

One cannot just stop taking these drugs. There is a tapering off process which must be followed. This is because there are very often serious and debilitating withdrawal symptoms. However, I was not told of these symptoms, and I now know that the doctor did not know about them, either. He told me only that nightmares were a common occurrence during this process, and that I might also experience “mild, flu-like” symptoms and “slight confusion.” During this initial, original prescribed tapering off process, which was supposed to take about 2 weeks, I experienced vivid and terrifying nightmares. I could not shake these off for hours after I had wakened. Since I was extremely tired, I napped a lot. Each time I napped, there would be a nightmare, and the process would repeat itself several times daily. I really was unprepared for their intensity and lasting after-images.

Then came the day I was to stop taking it. To make a long story short, these were some of my symptoms: A weird visual thing would happen for about a second, about 4 times a minute. I can only compare it to what it feels like to try to track the arrow of the mouse across the page. But I knew it was not my eyes that were doing this, I could feel it was my brain. (October, 2000: I’ve just found out that the term for this is “staccato vision”). I also experienced what people who have this call a sensation “like electric shocks” or “jolts” to my whole body which also occurred for a split second every 15 seconds or so. When these occurred at night, in the dark, they were accompanied by a flash of white light. It’s as if I were “whiting out” (instead of “blacking out”) for just a split second every 15 seconds or so. These incidents began to increase in intensity and began to be accompanied by panic and/or paranoia flashes. Eventually, just moving caused such dizziness and disorientation that I had to hold onto whatever was around me to walk. Sometimes it felt as if there were a magnet to one side of me, pulling me that way. The “slight confusion” I experienced is something I can only imagine is what beginning Alzheimer’s patients must feel like during the initial stages of their eventually terminal mental decline during the time when they are still aware that something is really going wrong. Sometimes it felt as if my brain was shuddering in my skull a sensation that has come to be called “Brain Shivers” or “Brain Flips” by many. Numerous other things were happening as well, but I don’t want to get too long-winded here. I just want to give you all some idea of some of the kinds of things that were happening.

So, I made an appointment with the prescribing doctor, and a friend was kind enough to take me there. But the doctor did not believe me! He said that it couldn’t be the Effexor, that I probably had some neurological problems and that if the symptoms persisted, I should see a neurologist. But I KNEW it was the Effexor, so I went home, took another pill, and felt fine within the hour. Then I got on the ‘net. What I found there was astounding! Tons of people, all with the same things happening to them, reaching out to anonymous others and saying, “Help! What is happening to me?” These I found on bulletin boards, NOT on product information sites put up by the people who are selling the stuff.

I tried calling the Drug Company to find out what was happening to me and how to stop it. I never did reach them. Fortunately for me, my primary care physician had heard of these symptoms and knew how to deal with them. She advised a long, slow tapering off process, telling me that it could take one to two months for me to be able to get off. Also fortunately for me, she told me to take as long as I needed.

It took me 10 MONTHS! During that time, the symptoms mentioned above continued, although diminished enough for me to be able to function almost normally. But other things began to happen. I saw things out of the corners of my eyes, which were not there. We all do that, but this was pretty constant. One thing I saw which I never told anyone about until it had stopped was a big, hairy rat about 1 foot long, scurrying around corners. Keep in mind that I was not on this drug because I was in any way mentally unbalanced, it was merely to help with the pain. I saw, and still see occasionally, a pinpoint of violet shimmering light. Also, things would seem to be moving out of the corners of my eyes. A spot on the wall, for example, I would think was a spider crawling until I looked directly at it, when I would realize it was just a spot on the wall. These things did not scare me, but they were frequent and startling and bothersome.

I took my last little crumbs of Effexor in September of 1999. End of story?

Unfortunately, no. It is now the end of July, 2000, and I still experience some of the same symptoms, although they are manageable. I also have experienced monstrous headaches. The first one, back in September, lasted 4 days. I thought I was going to die. I even told my son that I might die. I debated about that for a while, but did not want him to wake up and find me dead one morning. Fortunately, I’m still here. My headaches began to decrease in length, and now they seem to last only 2 hours or so. They go away within one minute. Sometimes I’m just achy all over. I guess that experience is the “mild, flu-like” symptoms I’d been warned about. I still have days I call “my stupid days”, and they usually signal the beginning of episodes lasting several days, involving vertigo, dizziness, short anxiety attacks, some euphoria occasionally, the “brain shivers”, and numerous other weird symptoms, and culminating in a headache. Then I’m fine for however long it lasts. Sometimes I feel whole body tremors, not enough to make me twitch, and they are not unpleasant, but they’re there and they shouldn’t be.

I am concerned about this. I want to know why, after not taking this drug for so long, I am experiencing this “discontinuation syndrome”, and when will it stop? I have not yet found the answer.

I finally did get in touch with the Drug Company to ask them these questions and they took down all my information. They have never explained why, and they have never followed up. They would not talk to me about my symptoms, they would only talk with my doctor. And this was not OK because the doctor did not believe me! (This was not the prescribing doctor who hadn’t believed me when I first tried to get off, this was the doctor who’d prescribed the tapering off process.) But I told her to call them and talk to them, and it was pretty easy for them to shine her on, since she didn’t believe me anyway. And they sent her a letter advising a slow tapering off of the drug, which I’d already done, of course, AND a “report” from a closed symposium on SSRIs sponsored by the a drug company ‘way back in 1996! (Which, of course, did not address the issue.)

The more research I’ve done on these things, the angrier I become. Because the drug companies have known about these things for years. Many people and their families have gone through much, much worse than I have. Some people have never been able to get off the drugs.

Now, what would YOU do if you were manufacturing these things? You’d probably say’ “Whoa! We need to stop selling these things until we can find out what’s causing this. We’d better get in touch with each and every one of those people who are having these extreme reactions, do whatever we can to help them, and to identify what it IS about them that makes them react differently than those who have no problems with the medication.” Well, not only are these companies not doing this, they are manufacturing the drugs in smaller doses so that CHILDREN can take them! Yes, Prozac is currently being tested on pre-school aged children! And although these drugs have not YET been approved for use in children, the numbers of children aged 6-12 being prescribed Prozac has risen from 41,000 in 1995 to 203,000 in 1996. Currently, in 2000, 2.3 million children in the U.S. are on anti-depressants. The official literature on these drugs says that they are safe for pregnant women to take! And there are documented cases of newborns being born with the more evident withdrawal symptoms (which the drug companies are ignoring because nobody can prove it. Isn’t that horrible?!). The companies that manufacture these things are re-naming Prozac “Seraphim” or something and doctors are prescribing it for PMS!

Are these drugs harmful to absolutely anyone who takes them? Of course not. And for many, these drugs have proven to be beneficial. However, they are NOT only being prescribed for major, long-term depressions, but for such things as the Holiday Blues and teenage angst! But the percentage risk for horrible and even deadly side effects is extremely high. (See the 3rd link below.)

Please, unless you are chronically depressed or have something really, really severe, stay away from this class of drugs. And please, NEVER EVER put a child on these things! I am an intelligent, articulate, resourceful middle-aged woman. When a wave of panic starts to wash over me, or any other of these weird things start to happen, I can tell myself to just hold on, it’s just the after-effects of the drug, it will go away, I should take a deep breath and relax, etc. Do you think a child or a newborn could do the same? I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a child in school and to suffer the kind of confusion I’ve been through and manage to learn anything, let alone be involved in a physical activity or sport! This has been going on for nearly 2 years with me, and I don’t know when it will end!

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. This has been a BRIEF synopsis of what my life has been like for the past two years. And it’s nothing compared to what others have been through.

Update, October, 2000:

In the few months since I wrote this, I found that these continued withdrawal effects after not haven taken the drug for a long time is a phenomena which has not one but two names: PANES (Persistent Adverse Neurological Effects) and “Intractable Withdrawal”. This phenomenon was noted as early as 1996, before I began taking Effexor. How can the pharmaceutical companies deny the existence of something that has occurred enough to even have a name?

Several months ago I was driving with my son on the freeway at night and I felt fine. Out of the blue, a wave of disorientation and that peculiar form of dizziness I associate with my “Effexor Episodes” came upon me. I found myself in the middle of two lanes with no remembrance of which one I had come from. I was too scared to look in the rear view mirror to see what was behind me. I heard my son yell, “What are you doing?” A car was breaking to the left of me. I asked my son which lane I should go into and he told me to go right. Fortunately the freeway was not crowded. I was dizzy and scared and felt as if I was going to pass out. Soon there was an exit and I took that off the freeway and my son continued the drive home. I have not driven at night since.

I am a 50 year old woman with an excellent driving record. I made it. I feel sure that if there had been more cars on the freeway there would’ve been a terrible accident. Children from the ages of 6 up are being prescribed these drugs. They are getting their learners permits and at age 16 are given driver’s licenses after passing very easy tests. Maybe you or a loved one will be in a car next to one someday. Maybe you’ll be in an airplane piloted by a pilot who’s missed a dose, directed by an air traffic controller who’s trying to get off this stuff. Maybe you’ll be next to a taxicab driver or a bus driver or a commuter who is suddenly euphoric or has a momentary panic attack. I won’t drive at night, and am careful about where and when I drive in the daytime. But I really don’t think that many can afford to do that. I think they’ll just drive and hope for the best. And that is really, really scary to me.

Louise Mangan


This is Survivor Story number 19.

Total number of stories in current database is 96

 1,303 total views