My Zoloft and Serzone Nightmare

“I have a Zoloft problem, and I am prepared to tell anyone that this stuff is deadly.”

 

In March of 1998, I was assaulted during a robbery at work. I didn’t think much of the situation except that I was sore all over and had a back injury. I returned to work within three days. After two weeks I noticed that I was having trouble accepting the situation. I could not resolve the problem that this person may never be found and punished for what they had done. The company offered to send me for counseling, so I went. The trouble is that I never received the type of counseling that I required to resolve my problem. My problems were growing worse. I was putting in more and more time at work, but having more trouble getting things done. My concentration levels began to drop and I started having trouble sleeping, including reliving the assault over and over.

By the middle of July I was dead tired and couldn’t go on any further. I had developed an ulcer. The psychologist that I was seeing kept encouraging me to talk to my doctor about medication. My doctor knew that I hating taking any drugs let alone something for my anxiety and depression. He prescribed Zoloft, 25 mg twice a day, increasing it to 50mg twice a day after 10 days. I was also started on Cimetidine for my ulcer. I felt okay at first, but within a few days I started having problems. I had nausea, headaches, anxiety, disassociation, sexual dysfunction, shaking, sleep problems ( getting to sleep, waking up, sleep paralysis, weird dreams, and not being able to always distinguish being asleep and being awake). As a result the doctor gave me Ativan .5 mg to use whenever I needed it, (which was a lot). I had gone from a person with a problem to a loonytune.

By the time October came I was having so much anxiety that I couldn’t take it anymore. the doctor then changed my medication to Serzone while still using the Cimetidine and the Ativan. I started with 25mg two times a day working towards 200mg twice a day. I never got that far. I started having troubles which my vision and balance. I would experience a real buzz after sleeping or closing me eyes for a short time. Everything had 2 to 3 shadows following it, so when I moved or looked around it had a kind of strobe effect. I dealt with it by taking time out to “enjoy” this daily buzz. The only thing that got better was my sexual dysfunction.

All the time a had continued to see the psychologist. Let me point out that before I started taking all this stuff, I have never had any mental of emotional problems before. I was brought up in a loving family and never experienced abuse of any kind. I had never tired to commit suicide before. I have been a Christian for many years, and have a deep faith in God. I do not drink, smoke, or use drugs. I have always been physically fit, I have no health problems, I am happily married, I have no kids (our choice), we live in the country on an acreage, and I have a good job.

On November 4, I saw my physiologist for an appointment. I was very distraught. She was concerned about my safety and contacted a community response team. I was met by the psychologist, a nurse and 2 cops. I was told I had to go to the hospital. I did. I was committed for 72 hours and put under the care of a psychiatrist. During the first couple of days I was completely out of touch with myself. My medication was changed again. I was put back on the Zoloft but 200 mg a day. The Ativan was changed to Clonazepam .25 mg when needed to a maximum of 2 mg per day. The Cimetidine was changed to Losec 20 mg two times a day. I started to feel better again but was having a lot of anxiety. I remained in hospital after my 72 hours on my own because I felt it was helping me to be there. I was receiving excellent counseling from the psychiatrist and support from my doctor. I was allowed a day pass to spend with my husband seven days after being committed. We made plans for the day together at home on the farm and then going to a movie with friends. By 6:00 pm I had to return to the hospital because I was experiencing so much anxiety. My psychiatrist happened to come in that evening and my husband told her what was happening. She came and talked to me and I settled down, but then I was informed that I would have to change rooms. For some reason that blew me away. Since my 72 hours were up I decided I was going to leave. I was acting very strange and irrational but I couldn’t stop doing or thinking the way I was. My psychiatrist and my husband would not let me leave and I was committed again. That did it I was leaving. Security was called but I asked to talk to my psychiatrist, which I did. Again she was able to talk me down. I stayed in hospital until November 28th. By then I was feeling good again, although I still had nausea, headaches, anxiety, disassociation, sexual dysfunction, shaking, sleep problems. But everything was under control and I was released. The only good part is that I had lost 20 lbs that I had put on before going into hospital.

I had not returned to work yet but a plan for my gradual return was made staring January 15. I was seeing my doctor on a regular basis as well as seeing the psychiatrist a couple of times. I had mentioned to my doctor that there was periods of time that I felt out of control and that I was afraid that I might hurt someone or something. I was given the reassurance that I was not that kind of person and not to worry.

On February 2 in the very early morning I woke up and sent an e-mail to my psychiatrist. I said that it was over and I couldn’t take anymore. I went back to bed. She called and talked to me and told me to talk to my husband. I said I would. I did talk to him, and he insisted that he stay home from work the next day. I insisted that he go to work and that I would be okay. Again I e- mailed my psychiatrist and told her that I was giving up. On February 3, I got a phone call from the nurse on the community response team. She was the one who had taken me to the hospital in November. I can’t remember much after February 1. Everything is either my surreal understanding or has been told to me by others since. I had taken a collection of medications during the day. Basically everything in had around. My husband was called home from work and the nurse met him and came to our house. I was then taken to hospital where I was treated for a drug overdose. I was committed to psychiatry again, but not before apparently acting out some strange behavior in the hospital. I apparently tired to leave and had to be restrained, medicated and put in lock up. I can’t remember much of what happened, and I remember things that I know could not have happened. For example I can remember being at the office building of my psychiatrist and meeting a friend I hadn’t seen in fourteen years, and who lives over 2000 miles away. I also went into the bathroom there and threw up. The problem is I was in the hospital when this happened, but I would swear to you it happened. I slept in lock up until Friday, when I was released into the custody of a close friend as my husband wouldn’t be home form work until that evening. I can’t remember much until Sunday morning. I had taken 1600mg of Zoloft among other things. When I went into the hospital I stopped all medications cold turkey. I wasn’t told to take anything when I left the hospital. On Saturday, my husband phoned the hospital because I could not sit still for more that 2 minutes at a time. I was literally climbing the walls, (actually I was climbing on furniture and the floor). I was told to take .5 mg of Clonazepam as needed, which helped a lot to calm me down. I have very little recall of what happened but I discovered by counting my remaining Zoloft pills that I was missing 2- 100mg capsules. I knew because I had just started a new prescription and I had counted the pills prior to taking a bunch of them. What discovered was that on February 1, I had mistakenly took 400mg of Zoloft. I remember that I had woke up early and took my Zoloft. Feeling tired I went back to bed. When I woke up around lunch time I took my Zoloft again. Very early the next morning is when everything went wrong. Now I have been off the Zoloft for 10 days. Absolutely no one can tell me, my husband, or my friend that Zoloft has no withdrawal symptoms. I have had every side effect in the book. I have never had night sweats before but within 4 days I started having night sweats so bad my husband had to towel me off. I have had to put another half sheet on our bed because the sheets would be soaked. I had terrible tremors, headaches etc.. But in spite of all that I feel like a new person again. I have had no sleep problems, and things are improving day by day. I can even type fast again.

In retrospect I can not be sure of anything that I think happened over the past 6 months. It’s like I was living in a constant dream state. I started to look on the Net for more information about Zoloft, and was surprised at what I had found. When I was in the hospital the first time my psychiatrist gave me a whole bunch of information about Zoloft. I read all the information including newsletters from the Zoloft support group, and watched the Zoloft infomercial from the company. I thought I was well informed until I read your stuff.

It is hard for me to accept what has happened. Most of all I am confused about my psychiatrist. I know that she would not willing hurt me, but I am angry at what has happened to me. I have an appointment to see her on Monday. I plan on talking to her about the situation, and I am going to tell her that I am filing a report with the FDA. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else, but I am not sure how to address the situation with her.

If you have any suggestions, I would really like to hear them. I am going into town to buy your book tomorrow, but I don’t offend my psychiatrist, I want her to listen to what I have to say. I am not someone with mental and emotional problems. I have a Zoloft problem, and I am prepared to tell anyone that this stuff is deadly. I have been on a six month high and I feel very fortunate that I never acted out or completed all the things that I wanted to do during that time. This drug is criminal.

Kindest Regards

Carol

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 77.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

414 total views, 3 views today

All Hell Broke Loose When I Quit Cold Turkey

‘I began thinking and doing things that I normally would abhor. I became unable to feel spiritual feelings.’

Dear Ann,

I just bought your book the other day and I will have to tell you that I am impressed. There aren’t that many people out there who have the guts to go out and defy popular thinking and to research and speak out against these legalized drug pushers. I know your book is true and the personal experiences by your patients and colleagues is true because I have been there. I just can’t understand how people who are supposed to be helping us get healed are thrusting these poisons upon us the way they do.

Let me briefly summarize what has happened to me—
I am active duty Air Force. Around July of ’97 I went into the clinic because I just hadn’t been “feeling well” for a long time. (By the way, I have learned just recently that I have severe allergies, which can mock depression symptoms.) I am not one to just run to the doctor’s office every time I have a symptom, but I just couldn’t cope anymore on my own.

When I went there, within a few minutes the PA who I was visiting had written me out a prescription for Zoloft. He wasn’t sure what it was, but he thought he would run a few blood tests and put me on Zoloft as a clinical experiment to see if it was depression.

Well I was on Zoloft for 7 weeks and every time I went back I dreaded talking to him because he just wouldn’t listen to my symptoms – which according to their handout, didn’t fit depression.
I took the drug blindly, not knowing what it was or what it did. I guess I just thought that if I had an adverse reaction, I could just quit taking it and it would subside.

Zoloft didn’t work, in fact it actually caused me to become depressed. That’s when I was referred to Mental Health, where the psychiatrist prescribed me Prozac the very first visit. He didn’t think it was depression I was dealing with, however he prescribed it anyway saying, “this drug works wonders for a lot of people!” I was off Zoloft and on Prozac that very day.

At first I felt like it might be working — for a few days. Then I felt my personality vanish. Before I knew what happened I had become the type of bland person that I despised. I began thinking and doing things that I normally would abhor. Although I am very religious and active in my church, I became unable to feel spiritual feelings.
Within a couple of weeks I started having tremors, mild at first, but then more pronounced. The psychiatrist first denied that Prozac could cause those and dismissed it as “psychosomatic” and told me to stop shaking like that.

I went to another doctor for the pains in my neck and I told him about the tremors and he said that Prozac causes them and recommended that I quit the drug.

I ended up in the emergency room for major tremors before I could get back to my psychiatrist. I had a phone consultation with him and he said he had done some research and found that it was an adverse reaction and he told me to quit taking it because it was a failed attempt anyway.
So I quit — cold turkey, just like he said. That’s when all hell broke loose. I went into what they called “pseudo-seizures”(because the EEG was “normal” and I didn’t lose full consciousness) and I had major cognitive dysfunction.

At work I was forced to take an evaluation and was decertified from my job and put on permanent “training” status (they couldn’t come up with anything better than “training deficiency”).

Well, to make a long story short, it’s been about a year of hell for me and my family (and we have a big one). Things have not significantly improved. I don’t have anymore “pseudo-seizures” now and I can drive sometimes and I am slowly picking up some of the things I used to do before Prozac or Zoloft, but I still have tremors and slowed cognitive functioning and difficulty learning.

The major problem is that these doctors here on base have been bought and paid for by the big drug companies and they are denying all along that Prozac or Zoloft had any lasting effects upon me. I went to the Inspector General about the mishandling of my medical case and they allowed me to go off-base for treatment, but it’s still slow in coming.
Thanks to your book and information at your website I was able to amass the tangible evidence needed to prove my case. Just knowing that there are other people out there who had almost the same exact reactions is evidence enough, but you really brought a lot of other important things to light.

D.D.

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 41.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

 

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I survived Zoloft, but I lost a good friend.

“I will do anything I can do to get these drugs off of the market.”

 

Hi, my name is Laura. In January of 1996 I went totally manic on Zoloft after taking it for three weeks, (25 mg.). I thought I was supposed to feel this good after being depressed, I thought this was the way I was supposed to feel, gooooood, toooo good for awhile. The more days that went by the more manic I became due to the fact that I could not sleep! It caused insomnia so bad, who wouldn’t go manic. Well, I went to see a lawyer about suing as I had lost a lot of money and felt that the company should have compensated me some how. The lawyer advised me that ” . . . it wasn’t a class action suit, so forget about it . . .” and I did, believe me. July 15th 1998 not even 3 weeks from this post, it all came back to me.

My best friend’s husband Daryl, who was a very nice guy and the best father I ever met, found out something that upset him very much and he went to the Doctor, the same Doctor that I went to, and that Doctor gave him 25 mg. of ZOLOFT. It wasn’t a week and Daryl started getting weird. By the 2nd week he was beating his wife. I don’t know how my friend ever survived those 3 1/2 weeks but she did.

3 1/2 weeks after Daryl started taking the 25 mg of Zoloft, he beat his wife bad and almost got the 3 kids, but they got away from him and fled for their lives. To make a sad story short, Daryl was found 3 days later in his truck in his own garage in 103-degree heat. He had been there dead for 3 days!

I cannot tell you how upset I am, and how I remember the mania from my own experience and can relate to what Daryl must have been going through. I just can’t believe it is true, it is so unreal, so unlike him. I just found the bottle a few days ago and took it to the Dr. and determined that he had been taking them right up to the night that he died. I remember how Zoloft amplified EVERYTHING. And the paranoia and the grinding of teeth. The insomnia was the very worst as it brought on the agitation.

I am posting this not for only myself but for Daryl too. I miss him deeply, we were all good friends, I cry a lot, and I go over to that garage and just cry because I know, I know what he went through. And if only someone would have told me he was on Zoloft I could have saved his life!

Not even his wife knew!

Please pray for her, she has 3 children and she is now with her parent’s way across town, so I feel as I have lost the entire family.

I will do anything I can do to get these drugs off of the market. It is like a cocaine; amphetamine, LSD high and you can’t get off. I just thank God everyday that I am alive and that my family is alive.

Laura

P.S. NOTE: I just want to state that I am back with the same Doctor who prescribed Zoloft because I do not think he is aware of the dangers, and how the statistics of going manic are a lot higher than he is aware of. I do not blame him in anyway, as I do not believe he knows how many people have gone manic on this drug. Also I believe in him as he in return believes in me. I believe now that he knows that the only thing that can make me go manic, is drugs. It can be cold medication, pain pills, steroids, decongestants, and even herb diet pills. I also know that he truly cares about his patients and also is a very qualified Doctor and that if I ever got sick, he is the only Doctor that I would want to be my MD General Practitioner. I highly recommend him to my friends and whoever asks me for a new Doctor, and I send people to him all the time.

Laura_Angel@msn.com

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 56.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

446 total views, no views today