CELEXA: Murder-Suicide: Two Doctors Say Celexa Caused Tragedy: Ireland

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):
Always keep in mind that 7% – 10% of the population lack the liver enzyme system necessary to metabolize the SSRI & SNRI antidepressants. Because of this 7% – 10% of the population will reach toxic levels quickly due to this inability to break the medications down. Although there is a simple test that would reveal who those 7% – 10% are BEFORE they are prescribed one of these drugs it is never given to patients. Anyway in 20 years of working with thousands, I have yet to find one who reports ever having one of these P450 2D6 liver enzyme tests run before a prescription is written for an antidepressant.
___________________________________
Paragraphs four through seven read:  “The jury refused to bring in a verdict of suicide on account of the evidence given both by Professor of Psychiatry David Healy of the University of Cardiff and assistant state pathologist Dr Declan Gilsenan, who underlined the dangers of suicidal and homicidal acts arising from the use of SSRIs.”

“Professor Healy stated clearly that in a small but significant minority of patients using SSRIs can give rise to violent behavior including self-harm, suicide and violence to others, even up to killing them. He said that this was independent of any condition the patient might have, as the same symptomatology had been observed in healthy volunteers.”

“Dr Healy criticized the existing warnings for patients, as they give the impression that such feelings and behaviours are part of the patient’s complaint, and because they are not strong enough. ”The risk arises entirely from the treatment,” he said.

“The jury was obviously strongly influenced by his evidence and that of Dr Gilsenan, who testified to “toxic” levels of citalopram [Celexa] in Clancy’s blood, the active ingredient in the antidepressant Cipramil [Celexa] which he had been taking in the period leading up to the night of horrific violence in Bray in which he and Seb Creane died and Seb Creane’s brother, Dylan, and the latter’s girlfriend were lucky to escape with their lives.

http://psychiatricnews.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/irish-jury-implicates-ssri-antidepressants-in-deaths/

The Wellbeing Foundation

NEWSLETTER­ 15 April 2010

Foundation demands action from Minister after verdict of ‘not suicide’ by jury in Shane Clancy inquest

THE WELLBEING FOUNDATION has demanded that Mental Health Minister John Moloney act immediately to put in place proper protections for patients, their families, relatives and friends following the ‘not suicide’ verdict in the Shane Clancy SSRI-inspired double death case. The Irish Medicines Board is still funded by the drug companies, still remains one body despite the recommendations of an Oireachtas committee, and still issues weak and ineffective patient information leaflets with inadequate warnings of the dangers of the SSRI antidepressants which drove Shane Clancy to kill a college friend and then stab himself to death.

Please help our campaign to get effective protection for patients: write or email Mr Moloney supporting the three demands we set out in the press release.

Mr John Moloney, TD | Minister of State  Department of Health and Children, Hawkins House, Dublin 2 email

minister_moloney@health.gov.ie

**************************

Verdict in Shane Clancy inquest is a call to action by Minister John Moloney

THE OPEN VERDICT returned by the jury at the inquest into the death of Shane Clancy is| a call to action on the part of Government, and particularly the Minister for Mental Health, John Moloney, to strengthen both the patient and doctor warnings relating to SSRI anti-depressants.

The jury refused to bring in a verdict of suicide on account of the evidence given both by Professor of Psychiatry David Healy of the University of Cardiff and assistant state pathologist Dr Declan Gilsenan, who underlined the dangers of suicidal and homicidal acts arising from the use of SSRIs.

Professor Healy stated clearly that in a small but significant minority of patients using SSRIs can give rise to violent behaviour including self-harm, suicide and violence to others, even up to killing them. He said that this was independent of any condition the patient might have, as the same symptomatology had been observed in healthy volunteers.

Dr Healy criticised the existing warnings for patients, as they give the impression that such feelings and behaviours are part of the patient’s complaint, and because they are not strong enough. ”The risk arises entirely from the treatment,” he said.

The jury was obviously strongly influenced by his evidence and that of Dr Gilsenan, who testified to “toxic” levels of citalopram in Clancy’s blood, the active ingredient in the antidepressant Cipramil which he had been taking in the period leading up to the night of horrific violence in Bray in which he and Seb Creane died and Seb Creane’s brother, Dylan, and the latter’s girlfriend were lucky to escape with their lives.

Both doctors also stressed that the high levels of the drug were not necessarily due to an overdose, but could have resulted from a build-up of citalopram resulting from it being slower to metabolise in Shane Clancy. Prof Healy recommended that the warnings in respect of this class of drugs be strengthened to emphasise that the drug can cause the problem, and that feelings such as suicidal ideation, agitation, restlessness, hostility and others are caused by the drug rather than by  the patient’s diagnosed condition. He stated that there should be compulsory monitoring of patients prescribed SSRIs at the starting period of their treatment, as the danger period is generally within the first two weeks and usually within the first days of taking the drug.

The Wellbeing Foundation supports Prof Healy’s recommendations. We wish to point out, yet again, that while in the USA and other countries the warning about possible suicidal and violent bahaviour is compulsorily displayed at the top of the patient information leaflet, in large, bold type and enclosed in a black box with a heavy bold rule all round, in Ireland the Irish medicines Board allows a mild warning of suicidal ideation to be included far down the text of the patient information leaflet and without any form of emphasis.

Dr Michael Corry, our founder, was hounded by the psychiatric establishment for stating last October that if Shane Clancy had not been taking SSRIs, this appalling tragedy, which has deeply affected two families and wide circles of friends and relations, would not have happened. A jury has now accepted that these drugs were implicated in these deaths and injuries which occurred during an outburst of insane violence.

We call on Minister John Moloney to move instantly on this matter in order to protect other young people and their families, and indeed anyone who may be prescribed SSRIs, from the possible consequences of taking these drugs. We call on Minister Moloney to do the following right away:

1. Instruct the Irish Medicines Board immediately to introduce a strong Black Box warning, similar to those in the USA and Canada, on the patient information leaflets for all SSRIs, SNRIs, and similar antidepressants; and also to strengthen the prescribing information for doctors to include a similar warning and to stress the need for close monitoring.

2. Make it obligatory for all prescribing doctors to carefully monitor all patients prescribed these same classes of drugs, including setting at least one return appointment on the date of prescription, so that the doctor can check the patient for any tell-tale signs and take corrective action.

3. We also ask the Minister to implement the relevant recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children in 2007, which he himself chaired at the time. The findings of this inquiry into the use of pharmaceuticals in Ireland included a finding that the structure and funding of the Irish Medicines Board were seriously flawed, and recommended that the IMB be broken up into two bodies, one to deal with licencing and one with pharmacovigilance or post-licencing safety monitoring. The committee also recommended that the present funding of the IMB, by the drug companies, should end and that this body should receive its funding from central government sources.

If further tragedies of this type are not to occur in future, with all the pain and suffering that they visit on parents, uncles, aunts, wives, husbands, or partners, other relations and friends of the victims, the Minister must act promptly to ensure that the public receives strong and adequate information on the real dangers posed by taking these drugs, and that anyone who is prescribed them is protected by a compulsory monitoring system.

Dr Aine Tubridy, Clinical Director of the Wellbeing Foundation, and Mr Basil Miller, the Foundation’s Director of Communications, are both available for further comment or interview.

To contact Dr Tubridy, call 01 2800084.

To contact Basil Miller, call 086 8182082

April 16, 2010 – Posted by Philip Barton | Blogroll | | No Comments Yet

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Prof in AL Shooting Was On Meds After Killing Her Brother 20 Yrs Ago

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

Knowing when she was placed on medication (before or after her

brother‘s shooting) and which kind of medication and how long she took it,
if she was still on it, etc., etc., etc. – her entire history of mind altering
medication use is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL in understanding what has happened in this
case or any other case of bizarre violent behavior. This is a public safety
issue that needs to be made public in each and every one of these cases. This
type of transparency in these crimes is LONG overdue!

___________________________
Paragraph 31 reads:  “Amy stated that she was not aware
of any additional facts which could assist these officers in their investigation
into the death of her brother, and she reiterated adamantly that the discharge
had been accidental and that she was still having a very difficult time dealing
with what had occurred and was currently
under
medication with a doctor’s care.”

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,585823,00.html

RAW DATA: 1986 Police Report on Shooting Involving Alabama
Professor

Sunday, February 14, 2010 []

March
30, 1987

To: First Assistant District Attorney John P.
Kivlan

From: Trooper Brian L. Howe #1332 BLH

Subject: Accidental
Shooting of Seth Bishop, White Male,

D.O.B. 4/9/68 At 46 Hollis Avenue,
Braintree, Massachusetts on December 6, 1986.

Case: #
86-112-0910-0185

On December 6, 1986, this officer was directed by
Detective Lieutenant James Sharkey to conduct an investigation into the fatal

shooting of Seth Bishop at his residence of 46 Hollis Avenue in the Town of
Braintree.

This officer contacted Captain Theodore Buker of the Braintree
Police Department and was informed by Captain Buker that at approximately 1422
hours on December 6, 1986, the Braintree Police Department had responded to the
report of a shooting a 46 Hollis Avenue in their town.

Upon arriving at
the location, Officers Jordan and Murphy had observed the decedent lying on his
back on the floor in a pool of blood in the kitchen area, with a large chest
wound.

Paramedics responded to the scene and after administering
preliminary first aid, transported the victim to the Quincy City Hospital where
he was subsequently pronounced dead at 1506 hours, by Dr. Thomas Divinigracia.
Initial cause of death of a victim was reported to be a ruptured aorta as a
result of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Captain Buker stated that
preliminary investigation conducted by Officers Jordan and Murphy indicated that
the victim had been shot by his sister, Amy Bishop (age 19), and that apparent
cause of the gunshot discharge into the victim had been accidental in nature.
Captain Buker further stated that indications were that Amy Bishop had been
attempting to manipulate the shotgun and had subsequently brought the gun
downstairs in an attempt to gain assistance from her mother in disarming the
weapon.

During her attempt to disarm the weapon in the kitchen of her

residence, the weapon had apparently accidentally discharged, resulting in the
fatal wound inflicted upon her brother.

Captain Buker further stated that
at the time the discharge occurred, Judy Bishop, the mother of both the victim
and Amy, had been in the kitchen and had witnessed the entire incident. Judy
Bishop had indicated to the responding officers that the discharge had been
accidental in nature and that the discharge had occurred while Amy was

attempting to unload the weapon.

Captain Buker also stated that Amy
Bishop had fled the residence immediately upon discharging the weapon and had
subsequently been located by Braintree Officers and brought to the Braintree
Police Department for questioning.

Captain Buker stated that due to the
highly emotional state of Amy Bishop, it had generally been impossible to
question her while she was at the Braintree Police Department relative to the
circumstances of the firearm discharge, and that as a result of these facts, she
was thereupon released to the custody of her parents with further investigation
to follow at a future time.

This officer therefor determined that due to
the inability to question the witnesses at that time as a result of their highly
emotional state and their inability to recall specifically the facts relating to
this occurrence, as well as the fact that Judy Bishop stated that she had
witnessed the entire affair and the discharge had been accidental in nature, it

was determined that additional interviews would be conducted at a later time,
allowing the witnesses a sufficient time to stabilize their emotions.

On
December 6, 1986, an autopsy was conducted on Seth bishop at the Qyuincy City
Hospital by Dr. George Katsas with Dr. William Riddle in attendance. The autopsy
began at approximately 2000 hours with the cause of death having been determined
to be the result of a shotgun discharge to the left chest area.

It should
also be noted that a check of firearms identification cards at Braintree Police
Department indicated and F.I.D. card issued to Seth bishop, card #H590682, as
well as n F.I.D. card issued to Samuel Bishop father of SEth, card
#H590724.

Captain Buker had also indicated to this officer that numerous
photographs had been taken at the scene of the shooting as well as at the
autopsty coundcted on the victim.

The weapon which had been utilized in

the death of Seth Bishop had been secured by the Braintree Police Department for
firther processing by the State Police Ballistics
Laboratory.

Arrangements were subsequently made to conduct interviews of
all of the members of the Bishop family and thereupon, on December 17, 1986,
this officer, Captian Theodore Buker and Detective Michael Carey of the
Braintree Police Department procdeede to 46 Hollis Avenue in the Town of
Braintree.

Individually, Samuel, Judy, and Amy Bishop were interviewed by
these officers with the resulting statments taken.

Samuel Bishop stated
that he had not been in the residence at the time of the shooting, He said that
he had left the house at approximately 1130 hours to go shopping at the South
Shore Plaza. He stated that at the time he left the residence, his son Seth had
been washing his car, Amy was the house and his wife, Judy, was due to be home
at sometime between 1100 and 1200 hours. Samuel stated that he had a disagrrment
with Amy before he left about a comment that she made, and that she had gone to

her room prior to his departing. He stated that upon his return to the
residence, police and ambulance were at the house and that he was adivsed of the
situation relating to the shooting of his son.

When questioned as to the
actual possession of the shotgun within his residence, he stated that he had
bought the shotgun at Coleman’s Sporting Goods in Canton, approximately one year
previously, and that he and his son, Seth, had belonged to the Braintree Rifle
Club. He stated that the gun had been unloaded, on top of a trunk in a rifle
case in his upstairs bedroom also. He further stated that Amy had not been
trained in the use of the weapon and that the weapon had orginally been
purchased for family protection as a result of a previous housebreak at their
residence.

These officer then interviewed Judy Bishop, the mother of the
victim who stated that on the day of the shooting, she had left the house at
approximately 0700 hours and that ll other family members had been in the house
at the time. She stated that she returned to the residence to see if there was

anything for lunch, and that at this time, Seth was home and stated that he
would go to the store to pick up some food so that they could all have
lunch.

Judy further stated that Seth returned from the grocery store,
went into the livingroom and turned on television. She stated that he was on his
way into the kitchen when Amy came downstairs with the shotgun, and asked Judy
if she could help her unload the gun. Judy state that she told Amy not to point
the gun at anyone, and that Amy then turned, and in doing so, somehow discharged
the weapon which subsequently hit her son Seth who was walking into the kitchen
from the living room.

Judy stated that she screamed and theupon Amy ran
out of the house. Judy state that she then called the police and waited at the
front door fo the arrival of the police, but she further added that she knew
that Seth could not live as the result of the injury which he had
received.

When questioned relative to any prior discharges of the weapon
inside the residence on the day in question, Judy stated that she did not hear
any other shots fired, in particular, and shots fired in the upstairs bedroom,
but she believed that the house was realtively well soundproofed and that such a
discharge would not necessarily be hear on another floor of the
house.

Judy state that she did not feel that she had any knowledge of any
other relvant facts relating to the investigation to convey to these
officers.

These officers then conducted an interview with Amy Bishop who
stated that on the morning of the shooting, her mother had gone out and that her

father had gone shopping. Amy stated that she did not know where her brother was
during the day but thought that it would be a good idea if she learned how to
load the shotgun in the house. Amy stated that she was concerned for her own
safety on occasions as a result of the break which had previously occurred at
their home, and she often read and heard of stories about things that happened
when people break into houses and find other people inside.

Amy stated
that she got the gun from her parents’ room where she found it on the chest and
the bullets were on the bureau. She stated that she put the shells into the gun
and then tried to get them out but was unsuccessful in doing this even though
she attempted to unscrew the bottom casing of the gun. She stated that while she

was attempting to unload the weapon which was on her bed, it discharged into her
room, but that she is unsure as whether or not her bedroom door was open at the
time. She stated that she was beside her bed near the door at the time that the
gun discharged, but that she couldn’t specifically recall seeing anything coming
out of the gun.

Amy further stated that she does not recall putting any
additional bullets into the gun after it discharged, and that she then unscrewed
the bottom of the shaft in an attempt to empty the weapon, and when being unable
to empty the weapon this way, she stated that she then screwed the bottom of the
shaft back on.

Amy stated that she then heard her brother come into the
house downstairs and she went right downstairs to ask Seth to help her unload
the gun. She said apparently her mother had been in the kitchen for awhile and
that Amy went down the front set of stairs, through the dining room, to the door
by the kitchen. She stated that she asked her brother to unload the weapon
because she thought it might still be loaded and she added that her mother said
something to her but she does not specifically recall what it was.

Amy
said that she was carrying the gun pointed beside her leg, and that Seth told

her to point the gun up. Amy stated that Seth was walking across the kitchen
between Amy and her mother and that Amy had the gun in one hand and started to
raise it. Amy further stated that someone said something to her and she turned
and the gun went off. She stated that she remembered her brother saying, “Oh
God,” and her mother screaming, and that Amy though that she had ruined the
kitchen but was not aware of the fact that she had struck her brother with the
shotgun discharge.

Amy stated that she then immediately ran out the rear
door of the kitchen and thought that she had dropped the gun as she ran away.
She stated that at the time the gun went off, she was by the dining room door to
the kitchen. Amy also said that she does not recall putting on a jacket prior to
running out of the house or leaving the house with the gun and that she cannot
recall anything else until she subsequently saw her mother at the police
station.

Amy did tell these officers that her brother Seth had verbally
told her previously how to hold the gun but that she had always previously been
afraid of it. Amy concluded the investigation by saying that she had previously
made no attempt to cover up the hole in her bedroom wall which apparently,
according to her, was the result of the previous discharge in her

bedroom.

Amy stated that she was not aware of any additional facts which
could assist these officers in their investigation into the death of her
brother, and she reiterated adamantly that the discharge had been accidental and
that she was still having a very difficult time dealing with what had occurred
and was currently under medication with a doctor’s care.

As a result of
these foregoing facts, a meeting was conducted between this officer, Captain
Buker and Detective Carey. It was determined that due to the testimony of the
members of the Bishop family and, in particular, to the testimony of Judy Bishop
relevant to the facts concerning the death of Seth Bishop that no further
investigation into the death of Seth Bishop was warranted.

It was

therefore determined that the cause of death of Seth Bishop would be listed as
the accidental discharge of his sister, Amy Bishop, and that the investigation
would be concluded.

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ZOLOFT: NY Judge to Allow Zoloft Defense in Assault Case

Paragraphs two and three read: “The attorney for Coram resident Brandon Hampson says he plans to argue that his client became violent and beat Lisa Essling on Aug. 25, 2006, because he stopped taking the popular antidepressant Zoloft days before the attack.”

“Nassau County District Court Judge Rhonda Fischer said Friday that she will allow a defense witness to testify that withdrawl from the antidepressant can cause a person to become aggressive.”

http://www.newsday.com/ny-judge-to-allow-zoloft-defense-in-assault-case-1.1388026

NY judge to allow “Zoloft defense” in assault case

August 22, 2009 By The Associated Press

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) A Long Island judge has said she will allow a man accused of punching and kicking his former girlfriend to use the so-called “Zoloft defense.”

The attorney for Coram resident Brandon Hampson says he plans to argue that his client became violent and beat Lisa Essling on Aug. 25, 2006, because he stopped taking the popular antidepressant Zoloft days before the attack.

Nassau County District Court Judge Rhonda Fischer said Friday that she will allow a defense witness to testify that withdrawl from the antidepressant can cause a person to become aggressive.

Prosecutors say they strongly disagree with the court’s decision.

Zoloft manufacturer Pfizer Inc. has said there’s not evidence to suggest that discontinuing the drug can cause violent behavior.

___

Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Police Stop Man From Committing Suicide: England

Paragraphs two and three read: “The attorney for Coram resident Brandon Hampson says he plans to argue that his client became violent and beat Lisa Essling on Aug. 25, 2006, because he stopped taking the popular antidepressant Zoloft days before the attack.”

“Nassau County District Court Judge Rhonda Fischer said Friday that she will allow a defense witness to testify that withdrawl from the antidepressant can cause a person to become aggressive.”

http://www.newsday.com/ny-judge-to-allow-zoloft-defense-in-assault-case-1.1388026

NY judge to allow “Zoloft defense” in assault case

August 22, 2009 By The Associated Press

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) A Long Island judge has said she will allow a man accused of punching and kicking his former girlfriend to use the so-called “Zoloft defense.”

The attorney for Coram resident Brandon Hampson says he plans to argue that his client became violent and beat Lisa Essling on Aug. 25, 2006, because he stopped taking the popular antidepressant Zoloft days before the attack.

Nassau County District Court Judge Rhonda Fischer said Friday that she will allow a defense witness to testify that withdrawl from the antidepressant can cause a person to become aggressive.

Prosecutors say they strongly disagree with the court’s decision.

Zoloft manufacturer Pfizer Inc. has said there’s not evidence to suggest that discontinuing the drug can cause violent behavior.

___

Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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ZOLOFT: Violent Behavior in Young Girl: USA CNN

First two sentences read: “My daughter was treated for anxiety with Zoloft around a year ago. However, her school reported alarming, violent behavior (she never had that before), and we stopped it after only a week.”

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/expert.q.a/08/18/zoloft.adverse.effects.raison/

Is my daughter’s violent reaction to a drug an allergy?

Asked by Sharon, USA

My daughter was treated for anxiety with Zoloft around a year ago. However, her school reported alarming, violent behavior (she never had that before), and we stopped it after only a week. I always understood this to be an “adverse effect,” but a nurse today told me it was an allergy. An allergy means she should never take it again, but an adverse effect could be grown out of, and doesn’t rule out similar drugs. Was the nurse just dumbing things down, or was she correct?

Mental Health Expert Dr. Charles Raison Psychiatrist,
Emory University Medical School

Expert answer

Dear Sharon,

The nurse may have been trying to “dumb it down” as you say, but she was not correct. We’ll talk about bad reactions to antidepressants in a moment, but let’s talk about allergies first. An allergy is a very specific type of reaction that is caused by an arm of the immune system often referred to as Th2. Allergies can be mild or extremely serious, but whatever their intensity, what they share in common is that the immune system is needlessly going into overdrive in response to something that is not really dangerous.

Because allergies are a type of inflammatory response, their symptoms tend to be fairly stereotyped: itching, redness, swelling, runny nose and eyes, hives and shortness of breath (from airway swelling) when severe. When one takes a medication and has this type of reaction, that is an allergic response to the medicine. While all medications can cause an allergic reaction, some (for complicated reasons) are much more likely to do this than others. The classic example is penicillin, to which many people are allergic. Antidepressants have a very low likelihood of inducing an allergic response.

OK, that’s the scoop on allergies. So your daughter didn’t have an allergic response, but she did have a serious side effect to the Zoloft and one that is not uncommon. In fact, behavioral agitation –while not as common as other side effects such as loss of sexual function or stomach upset — is one of the most worrisome reactions elicited by antidepressants. One reason why you don’t want your doctor to start you on an antidepressant and tell you to “come back in six weeks” is that he or she should be on much closer lookout to make sure that you don’t develop severe anxiety or agitation in the first week or two of treatment.

Psychiatrists have debated endlessly about what causes antidepressant-induced agitation. There are probably several explanations, with each being true for individual patients. There is evidence that the acute effects of antidepressants can directly cause agitation in some people. There is also evidence that many people who get agitated may have, or be at risk for, having bipolar disorder (i.e. manic depression). We have known for years that many bipolar patients will have a first manic or hypomanic episode in response to being placed on an antidepressant. That is why I always tell patients to call me immediately if they start feeling too happy or too jazzed up too quickly, as that can be a sign of developing mania. Mania can also manifest as extreme agitation or irritability, especially in children and adolescents.

I am not suggesting that your daughter has a bipolar condition. I noticed that you chose the topic “autism” when you submitted your question. If your daughter has an autistic disorder, this might also put her at increased risk of having a bad reaction to an antidepressant.

I do not think your daughter needs to avoid all antidepressants forever, because each of these agents is different. Frequently, someone who can’t tolerate one antidepressant does just fine on another. But it goes without saying that I would certainly be cautious if you elect to try another antidepressant with your daughter. You might think about doing it during a break from school so that you can watch her closely and also so that if the agitation happens again, she won’t be in a place where it might affect her social relationships outside the family.

Finally, as the director of my residency program told me years ago, “Any medication that actually works will have side effects.” I’ve never forgotten that.

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A Teenager’s Journey into Prozac Hell

“He was on Zoloft about 5 days when he told me that he now could not distinguish between dreams and reality.”

 

My 17 yr. old son was prescribed Prozac after being diagnosed with mild clinical depression. We were told the side effects could be headache, stomach upset and anxiety for a few days. When I voiced concerns about this drug, stating that I heard it caused violent behavior etc. I was told that these were “fairy stories” and that Prozac was an excellent drug. He started Prozac and we hoped for the best.

He had been sleeping excessively, and after one day on Prozac, he woke up and said that he had woken up a few times during that first night. I figured the drug was starting to work. About a week later he announced that he had talked back to a teacher at school. ( very unlike him) I told him never to do that again. A week after that he came home from being out with friends, and he seemed very agitated. I asked him what was going on and he told me that he felt like a bully and had almost gotten into many fights at school. He said he didn’t care about anything, and if someone died, he wouldn’t even care. He said he felt his friends were becoming afraid of him. This was after about 3 weeks on Prozac.
I immediately called the doctor and told them I wanted him OFF this drug. He was becoming a different person and it wasn’t good. She asked me a few questions and said maybe we should try another drug. She never told us to taper him off this drug. She said to keep him off of it a week and then start on a small dose of Zoloft.

When he went off Prozac He was a wreck. He was shaking, had headaches, felt anxious, and kept telling me he needed some kind of medicine. It was as though he was craving some kind of drug. He then started on Zoloft.

He was on Zoloft about 5 days when he told me that he now could not distinguish between dreams and reality. The doctor now told me to take him off Zoloft. Again, we were never told to taper him off. He just stopped. We now know that going off of these drugs cold-turkey is the worst thing that you can do.

Then the hell started. Total change in him. He was hardly sleeping, and when he did sleep, he had horrid, violent dreams. He could not concentrate on anything, and his short term memory was shot. He said and did things that were totally unlike him. It should be noted that he had NEVER HAD ANY OF THIS HAPPEN BEFORE HE WAS ON PROZAC. He saw a therapist who suggested that he was bipolar, and he would have none of her. He asked me if he was going crazy, and told me he felt “criminally insane” in his mind. He said his thoughts were horrible.

At this point, I got on the internet and discovered Dr. Tracy’s web page. Everything my son had been going through was there in black and white. I sent for her book, and discussed it with our pediatrician. His advice was to let my son “dry out.” We told our son what we thought was happening, and hoped for the best. However, twice during the next month he became hypomanic, and wanted us to take him to the emergency room. We knew that they would only pump him full of more drugs, so we decided to wait out the episodes. The morning after each episode he seemed much better. However, his mood now became very unpredictable: it swung up and down from day to day. He also suffered tremendous weight loss during this period.

I then sought out any help I could find. We went to an acupuncturist, who told us that he had heard of such reactions to Prozac. He believed that he could help my son, whereas every traditional medical practitioner who we visited had not heard of such reactions, and discounted the idea that Prozac could have been the cause of such behavior. After a few months of acupuncture the violent thoughts and dreams subsided. However, his concentration and memory were still greatly affected. This had a huge impact on his school work. After a few more months of acupuncture, he seemed better, but still had an up-and-down mood.

At this point, he became extremely depressed, and we ended up seeing a psychiatrist. The doctor put my son on Depakote for rapid cycling mood disorder. He traded in his mood swings for constant depression. A small dose of Wellbutrin was then diagnosed to help this condition. After a couple weeks, he told me that he felt worse and wanted to quit taking all medication. He had once again begun to experience rage, and knew that the drugs were not good for him. He went off of all drugs, and began to feel better. at the same time, the acupuncturist started working on something new, and things started to get better.

I had been praying constantly throughout this ordeal, as had many friends and family members. I know that this has helped him, and all of us, get through these extremely hard times.

Since his attention and memory have been affected, his performance in school has dropped and his plans for a future education have been severely altered, at least for the time being. Our son has gone through an ordeal which no one his age should ever have to face. But with the support family members and his friends (who were kind enough to be there with him throughout the whole drawn- out incident, violent mood swings and all), we were all able to survive. It has been over a year since he has taken Prozac, and hopefully things will continue to improve.
This experience has taught us to rely on our instincts and to seek out as much information as possible on any drug prescribed to anyone in our family. I hope our story can help others in getting trough or averting similar situations.

Sincerely, a wiser, yet sadder, mother.

 

10/29/1998

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 31.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

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