Zoloft Prescribed for Migraines

“These poor children don’t have a chance.”

I was 38 yrs old when I was prescribed “ZOLOFT”, for severe migraines on a daily basis for the past 10 yrs. At that point, I was taking it for 3 days and woke up with my mind racing. I felt like I was going out of my mind. I immediately flushed them down the toilet, for fear my children would get a hold of them by mistake. GOD only knows how I made it through that night, because I (to this day) don’t. For the past two months, I am now on Topamax for my migraines and the only side effects are possible kidney stones, but I drink lots of water to cure that. I like those odds a lot better.

MOMS AND DADS DO NOT LISTEN TO THESE DRUG COMPANIES!! I was an adult, and I knew it was the medication. These poor children don’t have a chance when you have family doctor handing it out after a 15 min. visit.



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Another Potential SSRI-related Death

“After taking one Wellbutrin, I had one of the worst emotional days of my life.”

People need to know antidepressants’ risks

I found the March 23 Dispatch article “FDA wants new warnings about antidepressants’’ to be very interesting and timely. I take this opportunity to point out that adverse reactions to antidepressants are not limited to children and teenagers.

During a stressful time in my life in 2000, I took Zoloft for a few months with no adverse reaction. However, in summer 2002, I began taking Wellbutrin in an attempt to quit smoking. I became extremely depressed, overly emotional, moody, borderline suicidal and lost the ability to concentrate on even the simplest tasks — not my typical self at all.

It took about three weeks to realize the Wellbutrin might be the culprit, and I gradually weaned myself off of it.

In spring 2003, I decided to attempt to quit smoking again and thought I would give Wellbutrin another shot. After taking one pill, I had one of the worst emotional days of my life. I then had no doubt it was the Wellbutrin and stopped taking it immediately.

The March 19 Dispatch article about the suicide of Lt. Brandon Ratliff mentioned that he had begun taking antidepressants earlier that week. I didn’t know Ratliff well, but I did know him, and he always struck me as being a very even-keeled, happy, upbeat person. The news of his suicide came as a total shock, and I can’t help but wonder what role antidepressants may have played in it. I extend my sincerest condolences to Ratliff’s family, friends and co-workers.

Our drug-enthralled society is quick to believe that there’s a pill to cure every ill, even unhappiness. Many physicians are too quick to prescribe antidepressants, and many patients are too quick to ask for them and accept them. I urge anyone who is taking or considering taking antidepressants to learn all you can about them, and if you (or your family members) think you are experiencing adverse psychological reactions, call your doctor immediately. Yes, for some people they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, but they’re not for everyone.


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My Husband Took His Life on Zoloft

“I am convinced that SSRIs caused akathisia…driving him to suicide very rapidly.”

Dear all,

I am an emergency nurse in Ireland and I was married to Niall a 39 yr Nurse Tutor (psychiatry). Niall committed suicide on the 26th of December 2003 out of the blue, no note, no planning, against his beliefs and his character. Abandoning his 3 children (whom he adored) (5yr, 3yr and 10 months) in the house and my oldest boy (5yr) found him hanging in the garden shed. He was prescribed sertraline 50mg OD for mild depression after 4 days (adverse effects???) (I was not aware he changed drugs) the GP changed it to paroxetine 20mg OD which he took for 13 days before committing suicide. We had a lovely Xmas day and he was not suicidal then. I am convinced that SSRIs caused akathisia on the 26th driving him to suicide very rapidly, he had no choice or say in the matter. Frightening!!

Nuria O’Mahony

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16-Year Old’s Suicide on Zoloft

“Brandon’s mother, and my wife of 15 years, unable cope with loss of her youngest son, [then] took her own life.”

Bandon W. Ferris 1/04/85 – 7/22/01

My 16 year old step-son, Brandon Ferris, committed suicide, on July 22, 2001, approximately 3 weeks after he began taking the SSRI antidepressant known as Zoloft.

As husband to his mother Barbara, I helped raise Brandon from the time he was less than 2 years old. He was a bright and socially outgoing child who got along well with his brother, and step-siblings.

At age 12 he took an interest in martial arts, and we enrolled him in Seongs Tai Kwon Do Academy in Fredericksburg, VA. He found himself well suited to this discipline and worked his way trough the program to achieve his Black Belt. He made many friends there and became an instructor to other children and adults at the age of 15.

As a teenager Brandon’s other activities included sports games with his friends in the neighborhood. He also was active in our church’s youth group where he was involved in drama and many outside volunteer community projects. Additionally, Brandon held down a part-time job at a local coffee shop.

Maybe at this point you are thinking that I have painted a picture of the perfect child. Brandon also had a mischievous side that was more entertaining than bad. For instance he was very creative at finding ways to get out of chores that he didn’t think were fun. “Fun” was a key word for Brandon.

Because of Brandon’s busy schedule, and the fact that we believed his aptitude was beyond the public school system, Barbara and I decided to home-school him. This situation tended to work out well, and as a byproduct, provided more quality communication time between Brandon, Barbara, and myself. Barbara also worked part-time at the Tai Kwon Do School, so she was active in Brandon’s daily activities generally several hours per day.

In June of 2001 Brandon expressed to his mother that he had been feeling despondent over some issues surrounding his life, i.e. a close friend who was having personal problems, and a would-be girl-friend. It was also evident that Brandon was not his ordinarily energetic self. It was decided that 1) he should take some time off from his varied responsibilities, and 2) he should see a counselor.

The Licensed counselor expressed concern over Brandon’s general well-being and suggested that he see the family doctor. The doctor, who could find no evidence of physical malfunctions, gave Brandon a prescription for the drug Zoloft.

We allowed Brandon to go with his best friend’s family to the beach for several days. The friend’s parents were also close friends of ours and were fully up to date on Brandon’s situation. They made sure Brandon took his medicine and monitored his behavior. Reports were that “all had a great time”. However, it was noted that Brandon’s demeanor on a couple of occasions was uncharacteristically less than his usual polite self.

Back at home he seemed fine and appeared to be enjoying his time off from work.

Sunday July 22nd we awoke a little latter than planned to get to church. Barbara didn’t have time to get ready so Brandon and I went together. Brandon hung out with his buddies during the service, which was customary, and in the car going home we discussed current events. Because Barbara’s birthday was the coming Friday, and Brandon liked to cook, he volunteered to make the cake. He told me he had been invited to go on a boating trip on Wednesday, and asked my permission. I was agreeable as long as it was alright with his mother. Back at home he went down the street with friends and I didn’t see him again until later that afternoon, when he asked if he could go out to eat dinner with his older brother Randy. I said yes, and asked him if he planned to attend his usual youth-group meeting at 7:00. He said yes and that he would have Randy drop him off after dinner. Latter, Randy picked him up from church and he was home at approximately 9:15. He seemed fine and went across the street to a friend’s house. He came back at about 9:45 and on his way up stairs he stopped to ask his mother about the boating trip. She told him we would discuss it after the movie we were watching. At about 10:00 I called up to him to take out the trash. He did, and went back to his room. At approximately 10:30 he asked his brother, in the next room, if he could use the computer to check his email. Randy told him that he would be finished with the computer in about 15 minutes. At 11:00 I called upstairs again because Brandon had missed a box that needed to go out with the trash. He did not answer. Randy then went to his room and found him hung by the neck from a belt in his closet. We called 911 and performed CPR to no avail. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Having looked back the day’s events, and spoken to most of those whom Brandon had contact with in detail; I could not detect any indication of forethought to suicide. However, later conversations revealed possible clues, as does the following excerpt of a sympathy card from the parents of two of Brandon’s Tai Kwon Do students.

…The weekend night of Saturday July 21st Paul and I went to the movies. Brandon and a friend were there. Brandon got up and sat down next to us. He looked at Paul and said “Hi, how are you?” It took a second and then Paul recognized him. Brandon smiled. He said “I’m here with a friend, and I told him I was going to play a trick on you.” We asked Brandon how he had been doing. He said “I’ve had a bit of depression; I’m on medicine, Zoloft. Its better I guess, the medicine messes with your head. They told me not to do anything that requires too much thought, So, I’m taking a little time off from Tai Kwon Do. I’ll be back soon. It takes time to adjust to the medicine. I’m getting there.” His manner was upbeat, teasing a little, tired, but he seemed to recognize that some things required time to work through…

The obvious question is, “What happened in Brandon’s mind between 10:30 PM and 10:45 PM on the evening of July 22nd, 2001?”

I wish I could say that, that was the end of an unspeakable tragedy. However, approximately 5 months later, Barbara, Brandon’s mother, and my wife of 15 years, unable cope with loss of her youngest son, took her own life.

Since then I have collaborated with Brandon’s biological father, Dan Ferris, who has worked tirelessly to obtain information that would point to the cause of Brandon’s death. We believe, after having done much research, that the drug Zoloft, produced by Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company, had a causal effect in Brandon’s final actions.

Jeff Avery – Step-father
2204 Thornbury Dr. Richmond, VA 23233

Dan Ferris – Biological father
P.O. Box 29177 Richmond, VA 23242

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Zoloft, Wellbutrin, and Klonopin for Brother’s Bad Marriage

“His life has been tragic since he was prescribed these medications.”

I am so excited and saddened to find this web site!?

My brother was in a bad marriage and went to his doctor for depression (I think he was in the beginning of a nervous breakdown). His doctor prescribed Zoloft, Wellbutrin, and Klonopin.

After about 3 weeks my brother started drinking and had never had a drinking problem before. He then saved the Klonopin and tried to kill himself by overdosing and taking 50 within two days of each other but I found him and his wife took him to the hospital.

He has gone through somewhat psychotic periods mainly when he is drinking. It has been 4 months of absolute torment for him and all of us as his family members. Now he has separated from his wife and is still drinking about a half-gallon of Vodka a day. What can we do? Is there any legal repercussion that can be taken by these victims. His life has been tragic since he was prescribed these medications. He has lost his job, destroyed his vehicle and distanced his children due to his alcohol problem.

Thank you for telling others and for this web site. I thought this was a possibility after reading about serotonin and the way it works. I also think that the genetic predisposition of lack of serotonin is not being taken into consideration by MDs. My dad was an alcoholic and I truly believe he had a problem with hypoglycemia also, he died at the age of 42. In my research and praying for answers to various problems in my family I think genetics has a lot to do with the depression and the drugs made it worse for my brother. If the doctors would research backgrounds of family history by asking the simple questions about alcohol addiction my brother might not be going through this right now.

Thank you once again and if there is anything that you think would help please e-mail me.

Thank YOU

Carol Harper

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Zoloft Hell

“I knew I had to get off of this drug to save my sanity.”

I was prescribed Zoloft for mild anxiety. Now I know I the mild anxiety I had was nothing compared to the horrible side effects of Zoloft. I experienced them immediately after the first pill. I took it for a total of only five weeks, the last 11 days on 50 mg……….a relatively low dose……or so they say?

In short, my side effects included what I call “electrical brain surges” (I feared I was losing my mind), persistent diahrrea every morning, a total loss of appetite (I don’t mean depressed appetite, I mean I lost all appetite or interest in food to the point I had to force food for nourishment); severe panic attacks upon awakening; tachycardia (I have been on 0.125 mg Digoxin for 3 years for this condition and I believe Zoloft made it worse, but this cannot be proven) and a feeling of detachment from reality (I believe this may also be called depersonalization)……….The last side effect that developed was nausea.

So…….into my fifth week on Zoloft which was Day 11 on 50 mg. I told my doctor about these symptoms and she said to taper off the Zoloft. The next morning I was so weak and dehydrated from the diarrhea I went to the Emergency Room (my second E.R. visit, the first visit to the E.R. was early into the course of Zoloft, after panicking all morning I was scared there was something really physically wrong with me). The E.R. doctor was apprised of everything that I was experiencing and told me NOT TO TAKE ANOTHER ZOLOFT. In fact he said to me, “If you were my wife or sister, I would tell you to NEVER have taken it.” Despite my PCP’s plan of tapering which would have meant another four days of 25 mg. I did what the E.R. doctor recommended and never took another one.

I was give I.V. fluids and Phergan for nausea, an abdominal x-ray and they did some blood work. He advised that I would probably continue with some side effects until it was out of my system. I am now into Day 12 being Zoloft free and am finally returning to normal. Yes, side effects continued, especially bouts of nausea which I could attribute to nothing and have had bad headaches also.

I personally know two people on Zoloft. One friend has been on it for just over a year and swears it’s a miracle drug for her. She is taking it due to mild depression. The other person has only been on it for about two months but he loves it as well, Also prescribed for depression (He is depressed because he hates his job and work environment).

I can only report to you MY EXPERIENCE on the drug. The only other prescription meds I am on is Digoxin and Lipitor (10 mg.) which I have taken for just over one year. I know they say there is no drug interactions with these drugs, but I have my doubts.

I am involved in an exercise program now to deal with any anxiety, and honestly I have not had any anxiety or panic since getting off of this drug. I fear for people who are on these drugs long term.

Maybe I am in a rare class of people whose bodies cannot tolerate the drug. My PCP SHOULD have known better than to let me go on for FIVE WEEKS with the side effects, as I reported them to her on MORE THAN ONE occasion.

At any rate, I am off the Zoloft and it will be a LONG TIME before I am able to forget the experience. One last thing I’d like to say about how it affected my brain……….Although I was not suicidal, I could understand, for the first time, how someone could end it all just to find some peace. That, in itself, was scary to me……..that I could totally understand why someone would kill themselves.

There were also several times when I thought I was going to end up on a psych ward, I was afraid I was on the verge of a psychotic break with reality…….I think when I realized that I was having these thoughts, I knew I had to get off of this drug to save my sanity.

Julie Shields


This is Survivor Story number 46.
Total number of stories in current database is 77



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My Experiences on Zoloft and Paxil

“The good little voice in my head is being blown away by the bad voice.”

I am a 26 year old, married mother of two. At 21, I began having panic attacks which became so severe I couldn’t leave my home and struggled if anyone came to my home.

A doctor put me on Zoloft. At the time it made life livable again and I am thankful for that. Instead of facing my problem I put a band aid on it. Little did I know it was filled with toxic medicine. After several years I began panicking again and was prescribed Paxil. I took all feeling of panic away. It also took my creativity, spirituality, and core self away. After 6 months I began having strange thoughts about hurting people and myself. I became pessimistic and hateful. The past few months it has became much worse.

The good little voice in my head is being blown away by the bad voice. I want to do destructive things to property and other people. Lately I feel like if I killed myself before I act out these twisted fantasies I could save my soul before its too late. I am normally happy, optimistic and think before I do anything. I love kids and animals. These feelings seem like a demon rather than me. I’ve consulted several doctors with the research I’ve found on Paxil and its terrible reactions.

They want to up my dose. Most say I should go to a mental hospital for evaluations. None will even consider helping me get off this drug. They will be more then happy to drug you but won’t touch you if you want to come off. I am currently searching for a good psychologist and medical doctor that will consider helping me off.

I never had anything like this prior to taking Paxil. What I thought was my angel turned into a demon.


Jeremy Kendall

This is Survivor Story number 41.
Total number of stories in current database is 77


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Psychiatric drugs – Long path of uncertainty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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Zoloft Nightmare

“(Because of Zoloft) I was in prison and had lost my family, all of my property, my Ph.D.”


I am yet another individual whose life has been horribly disfigured by the drug Zoloft. My story is a very long one and I will not tell it all at this point but write of it in its entirety when my website is up some time in May of 03. The following is an abstract of sorts, a summary.

I began taking Zoloft in 1993. By 1996 I was in prison and had lost my family, all of my property, my Ph.D. (I was all but dissertation at the time of my arrest), my job, my reputation, and so on. I spent 6 years behind bars and was released in April of 2002. I will be on parole as a sex offender (I photographed my 15-year-old stepdaughter and her 15-year-old girlfriend) until 2016.

While in prison I was listening to a radio talk show, Cost-to-Coast, guest-hosted by the very talented Ian Punnett.

It was a Sunday, July 01, 2001. His guest was our own Dr. Ann Blake Tracy. As she spoke I was amazed at the ramifications of what she was saying. I fit the pattern of someone who had succumbed to the drugs malevolent influences to a “t”. It was on that day that I first realized what had happened to me. It all became so clear! Five long years after my imprisonment I realized what had happened! May God bless and keep Dr. Tracy.

My point in posting my story at this time is to see if there may be some way those of us who have had their lives destroyed by a drug can unite and file a class action lawsuit against the manufacturers of these drugs, Pfizer in my case. The statue of limitations has run out for me here in Arkansas. I only had two years to file for damages. But that is not acceptable to me and I want to pursue remedy. If there is any one of you who would like to try to pursue this please feel free to contact me at one of the following options.

I may be hard to reach for one reason or another (when I’m on line my home phone is busy, try the cell number) but please keep trying. There has got to be restitution for us in some way. My contact information is as follows: John E. Herndon, 13150 Nickels Rd., West Fork, AR 72774. Or e-mail me at- elwain@msntv.net.

Or phone me at home 479-839-3111, or cell 479-841-1661. There must be something we can do besides lament our tragedies on the web.

John Herndon

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A Concerned Parent Story

“Video Used to Justify Putting my Daughter on Five Different Drugs”


As a concerned parent, I would like to share my story.

Last year my daughter was having a rough time coping–she lost her three-year-old cousin in a house fire on New Year’s Day and her voice listen teacher passed away suddenly one month later. She turned 18 in February and graduated in June. The same week she graduated, she admitted herself to a psych unit at a local hospital while I was out-of-town for a work conference.

As she was 18, I felt completely helpless in her treatment.

A psychiatrist, who certainly did not know my daughter, put her on five different medications–three of which were Depakote, Serzone, and Zoloft. (They would not tell me what all she was on and she hid most of them from me.) The hospital and psychiatrist brainwashed her to believe that she was Manic-Depressive–she may have been depressed, but I have never once seen her in a manic phase in her life. They showed her a video, which was obviously produced by a pharmaceutical company, telling her she would need to live on these drugs for the rest of her life.

As a nutritionist, I turned to the social worker and asked, ” Not once in this video did it say anything about nutrition–the number one reason why so many are depressed–lacking in some very important vitamins and minerals.” My daughter smoked, was on birth control, was a vegetarian, and did not eat right– of which the smoking and birth control deplete the B vitamins and folic acid. I asked the hospital, ” If you are a state-of -the-art facility, why don’t you ultimately order a multivitamin with minerals and teach patients how to improve their diets to reduce depression naturally?” No, their first course of action is all the drugs–my daughter walked around like a zombie. Within two weeks of going home, my daughter tried to commit suicide–so I took her off the Zoloft and called her psychiatrist, who never returned my calls or spoke to me about my daughter because she was 18.

I lived with my daughter for 18 years, I certainly know her better than some psychiatrist who has only dealt with her for maybe 1-2 hours max. I did not care about what my daughter said to her in confidence, but why wouldn’t this psychiatrist at least talk with me to get a whole picture of what was going on to better treat her. The psychiatrist also did not do any follow-ups on my daughter to see how she was doing on all these meds.

My daughter moved out on her own two months later, which really scared me, as she was still on all these medications. She started classes at the local university the end of August and while we were camping Labor Day Weekend, she admitted herself in the psych unit again, as she nearly passed out at work. I was never contacted. On Labor Day, we received a call from her work, “We have not seen your daughter since Thursday evening and she has not called us. Do you know where she is?” Immediately, we went to her apartment fearing for the worst–that perhaps she had committed suicide as she did not answer the phone. The maintenance opened her apartment, she was not there. We found out later that she was taken to the local hospital by a friend. I called the hospital and they stated no such patient is here. I called the psych unit–no such patient here.

Why couldn’t they at least tell a parent that their 18 yr-old child is safe? I paged her psychiatrist, who again never called me back. My daughter finally called me to let me know she was safe. I don’t know why she was admitted to the psych unit when she nearly passed out at work–why wasn’t she put on a general floor for testing–it was found that she was hypoglycemic. Because their was an issue with her health insurance and no further psych treatments would be covered, I told her if she wanted to continue any kind of treatment and she wanted me to pay for it, she would have to change to a psychiatrist that I found who does not believe in medication as a first response. I am happy to say, this new psychiatrist took her off all medications and she is doing better. She is taking multivitamins.

P.S. My husband and I have been doing Young Living oils for the past five years. I would like my daughter to use them, but she believes we are “witch doctors” and very rarely will use them. I would diffuse ‘Joy’ oil in the air when she was a little moody and she would turn happy, but then she caught on to what I was doing.

I strongly believe a parent should have a right to know and have a say in their child’s treatment when they are 21 years-old or less–especially when they are so doped up on all the anti-depressive drugs. They certainly are not in their right mind!

Diane Miller, Michigan



This is Survivor Story number 1.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

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