Going Through Withdrawals on Mind-Altering Meds

“…I was sent to see a psychiatrist who said it was anxiety and depression, and for the following 4 years prescribed 22 different types of mood-altering drugs…”

 

What a wonderful site.

My name is Carol and I live in the UK.

At present I am going through severe withdrawals. I was first given opiate painkillers(Pethidine/Demerol) for pain and after a year became the opposite of my usual bubbly, jolly, extrovert self. The doctor said I was depressed and added Doxepin to the opiate. Six months later my hell began when I developed severe anxiety and panic attacks. The doctor said “Too much Pethidine,” and stopped it dead. Within 2 days I couldn’t function, so I was sent to see a psychiatrist who said it was anxiety and depression, and for the following 4 years prescribed 22 different types of mood-altering drugs including Valium, Clobazam, Oxazepam, Stelazine, Melleril, Chloral Hydrate, Anafranil, Surmontil, Seroxat, Temazepam, Zopiclone, Nitrazepam, Prozac, Temgesic and others.

I attended a mental health day center twice weekly and became suicidal so went into hospital as a voluntary patient. While there and on these drugs, I developed this fear of mental illness especially Schizophrenia. I told my Psychiatrist this, he laughed and said “Don’t be so silly, you are too old for it ,you don’t even have a family history of anxiety let alone that. I’m discharging you from my care–no more pills, go out and get a job, that’s what you need.”

It was an awful 10 months then I started to have the odd better hour, but then disaster struck and I had to have a operation. I was in for three weeks and had opiate injections several times a day. Two days after I came home all my symptoms came back–panics, severe anxiety plus much more but the thing that scares me the most are the irrational repetitive fear thoughts. They are connected to my fear of schizophrenia as one is “What if I hear voices?” and the other is “What if I think the TV or Radio etc is talking to me?” Then I work myself up into sheer panic. Part of me knows it’s silly and irrational but another part of me says “Yes but what if”. It’s a disgrace what doctors do to people with these awful pills.

As well as the Internet groups benzo@onelist & benzo-problems.org/ I also get much support and friendship from a wonderful project here in the UK. It is called the Bristol and District Tranquilizer Project and was set up by a marvelous lady called Val Stevens who herself went through sheer hell whilst on and coming off of Ativan.

It is through here that I wish to say to my saviors, Val, Ian, Margaret, Dave, Roy, Babs, Tom, Ann that myself and my husband Steve and children will be forever grateful for everything they have done and are still doing for me. We will never be able to repay them. I adore each and everyone of them for they too have suffered this hell yet devote their lives to helping others on a daily basis. I respect each and everyone of them for their courage as I do all my fellow sufferers at the Project and around the world.

I never thought that I would say that good has come out of my hell but if it wasn’t for these drugs, I would not have had the privilege of meeting so many wonderful people and having such dear friends.

Thank you Val, Ian and gang for giving me and my family hope again. The Project can be contacted at 42-44 Triangle West in Clifton, Bristol UK The helpline is 0117-9349950 Mon-Thurs 10am-4pm. Thank you so much.

Please feel free to put my story on your site.

Carol

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 79.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

 1,433 total views,  1 views today

A Meridia Tragedy

“I wouldn’’t have risked my health or my life if I knew the damage it could cause.”

 

I started Meridia on 2/2/01 and ended taking it on 3/18/01. The following will tell what happened to me.

After having my two children, I felt the need to shed a few pounds. I was energetic and very healthy. I went to my family physician and he gave me a complete health physical, an EKG, and blood work. I was told I was in good health and was given the Meridia prescription.

I began taking Meridia, 10 mg. and within a few days I started feeling muscle pain in my shoulders. Over the next few days, the pain went into my wrists and hand. I then had weakness in my arms which got so bad that I was unable to use my arms and hand at al. When I went to my 1st monthly appointment to renew my prescription, I complained of pain and weakness of my and hands. I was told it couldn’’t be Meridia, that the pain and weakness was probably due to the cold and snowy weather. I was frustrated and scared. Without the use of m arms and hands, I was unable to care for my one year old baby boy and my four year old little girl. I had family and friends helping me with everything. My husband couldn’’t understand what ha happened in such a short time.

Things only got worse. Within the next few weeks, the muscle pain and weakness began in my legs. I then went to my doctor and gave him an enormous list of adverse reactions such as: muscle weakness, numbness of arms and legs extreme fatigue, memory loss/confusion, extreme menstrual cramping, etc. The list had no end. My doctor was overwhelmed. Blood was taken and I was told to stay on Meridia and wait a few days for results from blood work. In 2 days, I was in the ER unable to use my arms and les and extremely fatigued. I stopped Meridia that day.

The hospital gave me an I.V. and Demerol (for 3 days). I received a CT Scan, MRI, blood work (day and night). Nothing was found. no MS, no lupus, NOTHING. They said I could go home when I could walk with assistance. I left the hospital with very limited use of my body.

Over the next few months, I felt like a guinea pig, taking several medications and nothing seemed to help. I had no muscle strength. To add to the pain and weakness, other symptoms began to happen. Dizzy spells and falling (always forward) blurry vision, loss of memory, extreme nervousness and insomnia. Doctors started prescribing Xanax because I was too anxious. No one seemed to know how to help me. No wonder I was anxious.

I was unable to function around my children. Mommy wasn’’t Mommy anymore.

I learned that most of these side effects were from stopping Meridia, cold turkey. Have bounced from doctor to doctor and haven’t received help for my continuous conditions. I have been told that I have a severe, unclassical case of rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune disease (for life). I have been stripped of my healthy immune system. My body broke down and I will never be able to reverse this condition.

It has been a year since I began this life change. I struggle daily to move and function in my daily life. I still have severe swelling, pain and weakness in muscles and joints. I am limited with the use of my hands and I can only stand 10-15 minutes at a time.

I am only 33 years old and have my husband and 58 year old parents taking care of me and my children.

I feel that my life has been altered unfairly as I was very uninformed about Meridia and wouldn’’t have risked my health or my life if I knew the damage it could cause.

Just recently, I was diagnosed with a TIA (Stroke) just in the past few months. I found my speech slurred and my left side went numb.

Can anyone tell me what is going on with my body and health. I now live in fear that I may have another stroke or even worse.

Every dream I ever had as a woman, mother and a professional has been lost. Meridia has ruined my life as well as my family’s.

It is obvious that Meridia had something to do with my immune system breakdown. IT SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED!!

Thank you for taking time to read my story. I hope by releasing this information to you, that others may be helped.

Lisa Bell
Buster2005@aol.com

 

4/10/2002

This is Survivor Story number 30.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

 1,593 total views,  2 views today

Meridia has ruined my life.

“Why is this drug on the market without telling of its possible side effects? I wish I never took Meridia.”

 

I’m writing to you about Meridia ruining my life. I was on Meridia for only 6 weeks and I now have a permanent disability.

I have an unclassical case of rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease. What the doctors are saying (in a round about way) is that Meridia triggered this condition. I have severe swelling of the Rt. wrist that causes pain and the inability to use it. I’m right-handed too. I have severe pain in my shoulders, and swelling in the feet and ankles, which makes it difficult to walk or do anything. I have been in and out of the ER and have seen several doctors. I have been a guinea pig to medications and nothing seems to help the pain.

This happened to me in Feb. 2001. I have gone a year in a disabled condition and I’m feeling like giving up. I am 33 years old and I have my 57-year-old parents taking care of me and my two children 6yrs, and 2yrs. My husband is going to loose his mind. I was extremely healthy before I took Meridia. Just wanted to get 25 lbs. off after having children.

Now I’ve lost my life and every dream I ever had for me as a person and professional, and my family. I was energetic and lively, now I’m miserable and hurt for life. It’s hard to be happy, positive, and hopeful anymore. Why is this drug on the market without telling of its possible side effects? I wish I never took Meridia. I hope something is done to warn people of its possible harm.

Lisa
Buster2005@aol.com

 

2/5/2002

This is Survivor Story number 44.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

 1,520 total views,  2 views today

Attempted Murder-Suicide on Zyban

“Now he is serving 15 yrs. in jail for the death of his little girl and the trauma that his son had to face.”

 

We have a close friend who went on Zyban nearly 2 years ago to quit smoking. He was the nicest guy you could ever know. He was unselfish – often taking in homeless people into his own home and helping them out until they were on their feet again. If a neighbor needed help – he was the first one to lend a hand.

He was also a single dad who was raising his 8 yr. old son on his own. He also had a 3 yr. old daughter by a following relationship that failed. The little girl lived with her mom.

But after going on Zyban something went terribly wrong. He felt so much anxiety about his little girl, because her mommy was a drug addict. The next thing we knew, he was all over the news on TV and in the papers.

He had taken his 2 kids camping out of town and attempted a murder-suicide, which resulted in suffocating the girl and slitting the boys throat and slitting his own wrists. The boy lived but the girl died.

He suddenly came to himself and realized what he had done and quickly drove to the nearest town to a hospital to try and save his son. All he was wearing when he arrived at the hospital was his undershorts.

He underwent psychiatric assessment before the trial and they said he was totally sane. Yet they failed to admit that the Zyban had anything to do with it.

Now he is serving 15 yrs. in jail for the death of his little girl and the trauma that his son had to face.

I feel so awful – I don’t think he should be in jail. And on top of all this – the jail will not even allow him any psychological counseling to help him deal with this tragedy.

Ironically he is still smoking!

 

8/22/2001

This is Survivor Story number 24.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

 1,661 total views

Murder-Suicide on Zyban

“But after going on Zyban something went terribly wrong.”

 

We have a close friend who went on Zyban nearly 2 years ago to quit smoking. He was the nicest guy you could ever know. He was unselfish – often taking in homeless people into his own home and helping them out until they were on their feet again. If a neighbor needed help – he was the first one to lend a hand.

He was also a single dad who was raising his 8-yr. old son on his own. He also had a 3-yr. old daughter by a following relationship that failed. The little girl lived with her mom.

But after going on Zyban something went terribly wrong. He felt so much anxiety about his little girl, because her mommy was a drug addict. The next thing we knew, he was all over the news on TV and in the papers.

He had taken his 2 kids camping out of town and attempted a murder suicide, which resulted in suffocating the girl and slitting the boys throat and slitting his own wrists. The boy lived but the girl died. He suddenly came to himself and realized what he had done and quickly drove to the nearest town to a hospital to try and save his son. All he was wearing when he arrived at the hospital was his undershorts.

He underwent psychiatric assessment before the trial and they said he was totally sane. Yet they failed to admit that the Zyban had anything to do with it. Now he is serving 15 years in Jail for the death of his little girl and the trauma that his son had to face.

I feel so awful – I don’t think he should be in jail. And the worst of it is – the jail will not even allow him any psychological counseling to help him deal with this tragedy.

And he is still smoking!

Heartbroken in Canada

 

7/23/2001

This is Survivor Story number 14.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

 1,291 total views

I Said No to Tegretol

“I took one look at the prescription and shoved (it) back across the desk toward the doctor.”

 

When my son was only 8, he was 10 pounds over weight. When I asked his pediatrician to put him on a diet…..the pediatrician told my son not to eat between meals and to drink ALL the diet sodas he wanted. Within 2-3 weeks my son was hallucinating, hearing voices and seeing things in either fast or slow motion, he was confused and his memory was suddenly poor. When I told his pediatrician, his doctor suggested to go to UCLA to their pediatric psychiatric department.

After a battery of tests were run, I was told to come back in two weeks with the results. Before I left I asked the doctor what he thought he would do with my son. He said that he thought he would end up medicating him. I asked what drug he would choose. He said Tegretol would be his drug of choice. I asked him how long he thought my son would have to take Tegretol. He said for the rest of his life.

Well, since I was tired of seeing empty diet soda cans all over the place, I told my son I didn’t care what his doctor said about drinking all he wanted to lose weight…. I was going to limit him to two cans of diet soda per day. ALL my son’s symptoms improved! After two weeks I returned to UCLA and sure enough the doctor shoved a prescription across his desk at me for Tegretol. I had asked a pharmacist friend of mine what the side effects were and he said this was nasty stuff. It could cause the genitals to be underdeveloped and small and cause liver damage as well. Frequent blood testing would be necessary.

That was enough for me. I took one look at the prescription for Tegretol and shoved the prescription back across the desk toward the doctor. You should have seen the look of shock on his face when I said my son wouldn’t be taking this drug. I told him by limiting the intake of diet sodas my son’s symptoms had improved in frequency. I went on to tell him I was going to take him off of ALL diet sodas and see how much improvement I could get from this move.

Well, needless to say…..ALL my son’s symptoms went away by monitoring his diet and restricting ALL diet sodas from his diet. UCLA never once asked me a question about my son’s diet. Not one question. Well, parents use your common sense and don’t trust doctors blindly!

Julie Scharfe in Pasadena , CA

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 86.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

 1,086 total views,  2 views today

Tegretol Destroyed My Life And My Family

“I wanted to withdraw from life on this drug.”

 

Day by day, we are beginning heal. I’ve had a lot of POST TRAUMATIC things happen since Daryl Foster died who was my very best friend of 12 yrs.

He went hypomanic after taking Zoloft for 3 1/2 weeks and we didn’t find Daryl for 3 days in 105 degree heat. If I had not gone manic myself on Zoloft, none of would have known as to why Daryl died.

Five weeks after Daryl’s death, Karen, my very best friend, her sister Dalene and her little boy CJ Noyce were murdered by Dalene’s husband by arson. He is now currently spending life in prison without parole.

I had been sent to the hospital as I was under a lot of stress not to mention that I had been overdosed without my knowledge with METHAMPETAMINE. Now when they got me to the ER they never asked me if I had taken it, they just assumed that I was Bipolar and off my medication, which was not true as I never have been on anything for Bipolar.

Once admitted to the hospital, things got really bad as they were loading me up on high quantities of this poison–TEGRETOL, and I just lost all ability to function. THE SIDE EFFECTS were mania, MY TEETH CLENCHING SO BADLY IT MADE MY JAWS ACHE. EXTREME INSOMNIA, DEPRESSION. I COULDN’T CONCENTRATE ON ONE TASK. This drug , caused frequency in urination. I was very AGITATED FROM LACK OF SLEEP. LOUD NOISES MADE ME VERY NERVOUS & UPSET. MY SHORT TERM MEMORY WAS EFFECTED TO THE POINT THAT I NEVER KNEW WHAT DAY IT WAS.

I also wanted to withdraw from life on this drug. I am not Bipolar or Bi-nothin as I tell everyone. I was so drugged after being admitted into the hospital that I couldn’t walk and talked like a drunk, I actually feel down with my food tray that I lost my balance and fell to the floor and hit my head.

I had to stay on this drug for 4 months because if I didn’t, it was threatened that I would be sent to a state hospital! We also got hit by a Tornado this year and last but not least, I just got out of the hospital yesterday from a car accident and have whip lash.

If you ever have any questions or just want to write you may e-mail me at LAURA73289@AOL.COM

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 87.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

 1,391 total views,  3 views today

Foggy and Fuzzy on NutraSweet

“…my experience with aspartame was awful… This stuff is DEFINITELY poison.”

 

I don’t know if you/the association are interested in food additives, but my experience with aspartame was awful as well. Admittedly, I may be a sensitive case, but I found that while chewing a lot of sugarless gum & drinking a few diet drinks a day, I was getting to where I had almost NO short-term memory. A friend suggested I try not using any “NutraSweet” products for 30 days to see if it helped. Needless to say, within that 30 days, the foggy fuzziness that seemed to be covering my brain WAS GONE. This stuff is DEFINITELY poison (turns to methyl alcohol in the body!! FDA? Hello?) Anyway, if y’all cover that stuff and want to post my experience with that as well, feel free.

Again, thank you so much for your book, your site and the drug awareness information. At least someone out there isn’t out for a quick buck at the extreme expense of the public.

Savannah Carter

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 52.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

 1,265 total views,  1 views today

Hallucinations on Cozar

“If I waited 2 more weeks my mother would be dead.”

 

My Mom was put on the drug Cozar for high blood pressure after being on Lopressor successfully for year. Cozar sent her into hallucinations both hearing things and seeing things, and it also caused a rapid heartbeat and sent her into seizures. Now, she has to take Dilantin for it. It was only after asking Rite Aide drug store chain to send me all the adverse side effects on this drug that I found same case scenarios as to what happened to my Mother. I told her Doctor about what happened, and she said, “Well it sometimes takes a couple of weeks for the body to adjust.” If I had waited two more weeks my mother would be dead. Now needless to say, we fired her doctor and found an alternative medicine doctor. Please tell everyone–Cozar is very dangerous!

Thanks

Eric Bradway
elbradway@erols.com

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 47.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

 1,287 total views,  2 views today

Spaced Out on Zyban

“I was a very frightening experience.”

I took Zyban (Wellbutrin) to help me stop smoking. Was on it for 2 weeks and never have I felt so awful! I felt “spaced out”, nervous, crying spells, jittery feeling, and just didn’t feel myself…felt almost out of control. I went off it and almost immediately felt myself again. It was a very frightening experience and I certainly have no wish to repeat it.

glayres@bmts.com

4/13/2000

This is Survivor Story number 25.

Total number of stories in current database is 96

 1,390 total views