Prozac Prescribed Immediately

“Within a few weeks (of taking Prozac), I began having nightmares of murdering people.”

Hi, I work shiftwork and I listen to Art Bell (for entertainment purposes only…ha ha) and I heard your interview with Barbara Simpson. I just wanted to write you and tell you my experience with Prozac.

About 8 years ago, I went to see a psychiatrist about my depression, and he immediately put me on Prozac, without saying five words to me. Within a few weeks, I began having nightmares of murdering people. They were so awful, I couldn’t sleep. I immediately went back to the doctor to tell him about my problem, and he said not to worry about it, it was COMPLETELY NORMAL ! !

I immediately stopped taking the drug and went to see a psychologist, instead. I have been depression free ever since, because of the therapy given to me by the psychologist. Oh, and by the way, the nightmares stopped immediately after I stopped taking the Prozac.

I guess the real reason I am writing is in response to the Andrea Yates trial in Houston. I don’t know her, but it was reported on the news that she was on four different anti-depressants at the same time. If this is true, it is no wonder she did what she did. It is her doctor and the drug companies that should be on trial for the murder of her children. Something has to be done about this and I hope you could use your knowledge of the subject to inform everyone about the dangers of these drugs. I have written all the local news agencies in Houston and sent them Links to your website and the drug awareness website.

Thanks, Gary

Gary Johnston gary_johnston@swbell.net

 

12/8/2001

This is Survivor Story number 33.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

 1,100 total views

A Nurse Speaks out about Prozac, Effexor and Zyban

“I have discovered many, many horrifying things about these drugs.”

 

An online friend recommended Ann Blake-Tracy’s book, which I haven’t gotten or read yet, but definitely will within the next few days. I decided to look for info on Dr. Tracy on the web, and discovered the ICFDA site. I have just read several personal accounts of others’ SSRI nightmares, and now find myself in tears, and in need of sharing my story, which it is very painful to do and probably will be for life.

I and my wife are both registered nurses. In late 1997, I had gone through a bad bout with the flu and decided I should seek help to quit smoking. My doctor at the time prescribed Zyban. I had almost quit (down from 2-3 packs/day to a couple of cigarettes per day) when I developed erosive and infective esophagitis and duodenitis, along with other ulcers. At that time, I stopped taking the Zyban, although I can’t recall for sure why.

A few months later, my wife said that my moods seemed better when I was on the Zyban, so the doc wrote a scrip and put me on Wellbutrin. Unfortunately, he did not suggest, nor did we consider, more conventional treatments, such as therapy or counseling. I regret that he, or we, had considered such, because the esophagitis was the first (physical) problem, and the least of many problems, both physical and psychological, which lay ahead.

After a time, while seeing a new physician, a discussion over the fact that the Wellbutrin did not seem to be helping any more ensued. So, the new physician changed me to Prozac. It wasn’t very long after the Prozac that I woke up one morning, went into the kitchen to fix myself some coffee, and passed out right there in the kitchen for no known reason. Our oldest Daughter, nine years old at the time, came running to the kitchen, where she discovered me trying to climb up the island in the center of our kitchen.. I was totally disoriented for a few moments, had a splitting headache, and had managed to fracture a toe during the fall. Although I managed to get reoriented, I was left with a totally debilitating headache.

Over the next four weeks, during which I was unable to go to work, I was hospitalized twice, underwent some horrendous and totally useless treatments for a diagnosis of “intractable migraines,” and the only thing that relieved the headache at all was Demerol and Phenergan. Of course, this left me just as unable to work as the headache itself. Near the fourth week, my wife noticed a “knot” in my cervical area. She went to the neurologist’s office with me, where I told one of the two doctors treating me for the migraines about the knot. When the doctor seeing me that day told me there was no knot (???), I fired him on the spot and told the nurse I wanted to see his partner. The second physician not only located it, but administered a trigger-point injection that almost totally relieved the now four-week old headache completely within an hour or so.

I returned to work within about a week, feeling relief from the headaches. But a friend suggested I quit the hospital where I had a good paying, although highly stressful job, and I did so, rather impulsively, without realizing the further financial devastation I was about to cause our family. Only part of the four weeks I had been out of work were covered by leave time, which had set into motion a serious financial crisis for our family.

Within months, I was out of a good paying, full-time job, the business proposition my friend had made turned out to be nothing but hollow promises, bill collectors were breathing down our necks, we were in danger of losing the home we had not long before purchased, and I was sinking into a bout of depression that most people could never imagine.

The next serious visit with my regular doctor included a discussion about the fact Prozac was not only not working, but that I was becoming extremely tired in the afternoons. So he suggested switching to Effexor, which he said “gives most patients sort of a boost.” I agreed, again, without any consideration or discussion of therapy or counseling. Looking back, depression was sort of logical. Within the last three years, I had been through a very bitter divorce, remarried, adopted the two stepdaughters that mean the world to me, purchased a house, gone through major health problems, walked away from a good job, had a promise of a great business partnership vanish into thin air, and was approaching total financial ruin. Perhaps I did have one or two reasons in all of that to be just a little depressed? But the story gets worse, much worse.

My sexual activity with my wife had begun to fall off considerably, and the activity we did engage in was plagued with strange problems I had never encountered before. I was having trouble functioning sexually. Ejaculation was becoming more difficult to achieve and I was experiencing painful sensations when aroused. My temper was getting more and more out of control — I developed a very short fuse, to say the least, resulting in all sorts of angry behavior that was totally new to me. Even worse, I began abusing my children. Even though I felt terrible after mistreating them, it was as though there was a second, horrible person inside of me, which I could not control, yet at the same time I kept thinking I could, or would at least be able to when the medications gained control over my depression once and for all. The medications never did. And it almost put an end to my life.

I was already having more frequent bouts of self-destructive behavior following episodes of losing my temper and in other ways losing control with the people I loved, most notably wife and our two daughters. I was oscillating between days of wanting to hide out from the world and days of mania, thinking I could do or achieve anything. Simple, everyday bumps in the road of life became mountains I felt unable to scale. This past December, our oldest daughter revealed to my wife the horrors of what I had become while my wife was away working at night as a nurse. In order to do what any loving mother would probably do, my wife told me the relationship was over and that I was never to return to our home again. Even worse, she told me that I would not see our daughters again until they were both grown and could decide on their own whether or not they wanted to see me again.. This was almost the fatal blow.

I started walking in the rain, with the temperature not much above freezing outside. It was then that I most seriously considered putting an end to my life physically — I was already dead emotionally. All that was left was an empty shell. The real me seemed lost forever, although I really had no idea where I had gone or why. I was walking along a major highway and saw an 18-wheeler coming downhill toward me. “Here is the perfect way to end it all and do it quickly,” I thought to myself. I stepped onto the pavement, into the path of the oncoming rig. He blew his horn and moved into the opposite lane of the highway where there was, fortunately for him, no oncoming traffic. Almost in disgust, I began to step forward a few more steps to once again place myself in the path of the truck. But something else suddenly crossed my mind: I actually had a mental image of our two daughters, screaming “I’m sorry, Daddy,” at my funeral. I knew this was not the way to end it. I began walking along the side of the road again, still hearing the air horn of the 18-wheeler blasting in my ears. I then thought of simply walking into the woods, sitting down by a tree, and actually allowing myself to die of hypothermia, which I was already beginning to experience in the almost freezing rain. My hands and feet had gone almost totally numb, with what had been intense pain now beginning to give way to oncoming frostbite.

A passing logger saw me on the side of the road and pulled over to offer me a ride. Two other vehicles had already done so, but I had waved them on saying “I’m fine, just leave me alone.” But something had changed. Perhaps the cold rain and intense pain I was feeling was jolting me back to reality. Unfortunately, the reality I was experiencing was neither hopeful nor acceptable to me at the time. I climbed into the truck and the driver took me to the nearest store, where I gave the attendant a dollar bill in exchange for dialing the long distance number where I could reach my wife. She agreed to my request to come and meet me. She took me to the home of my parents. Knowing that I did not want to live, yet not totally ready to just curl up and die, I asked them to take me to the hospital, where I had myself admitted for suicidal depression.

The next morning, I met with the psychiatrist and told her everything. I left nothing out. I wound up being transferred to an intensive treatment program for further help once the suicidal crisis was behind me. I was to the point I had nothing to hide any longer. I told her everything, as I did my therapists. This triggered notification of the authorities who immediately ordered me out of the home for good and set into motion an intense legal struggle that is still ongoing.

After being discharged from inpatient treatment, I told my psychiatrist that I did not think the Effexor was working right and might be causing me more problems. She seemed to think that dosage was just too low, so she increased the dosage from 75 mg per day to 150. I had to take it in the mornings because I had long before discovered that if I took Effexor in the evening hours, there was no possibility of getting any sleep. Within a few weeks, I was having daily, afternoon depression and anxiety attacks that were very intense and seemed not to be triggered by any particular thoughts or circumstances. One Friday afternoon, it hit me that my Effexor dose had been doubled. I was also now having panic attacks in public places and was becoming terrified of going anywhere. I called her office immediately and insisted on discontinuing the Effexor and on seeing her. I was told I could see her the following Tuesday afternoon. I agreed to that, and immediately began to taper myself off the Effexor. Since all I had was 150 mg capsules, my only choice, without getting a new prescription, was to space the doses out. I did so by skipping the next morning dose, and taking the following morning’s dose 12 hours late — around 8:30 p.m. An interesting but revealing thing occurred. Instead of severe afternoon panic attacks, the next really bad episode occurred during the early morning hours following that next dose, which I had taken in the evening instead of morning. I needed no further evidence to convince me that Effexor was in fact causing my depression and anxiety attacks.

When I saw the psychiatrist on Tuesday, I told her that the Effexor was worse than the Wellbutrin and Prozac had been. She looked at me and said “Wellbutrin and Prozac? I didn’t know you had ever taken those.” After discussing my history with those drugs, she agreed that I wasn’t tolerating antidepressants at all, and told me to taper myself off the Effexor as I saw fit and was comfortable with. I have not taken another dose of Effexor since that 8:30 PM dose two days prior to seeing her. Just as interesting is the fact that I have also had no need or desire to take Ativan, which she had wound up giving me in order for me to sleep and combat the increasing anxiety.

Despite the legal battle my wife and I are now facing, not only for the possibility of putting our family back together again, but very possibly for my own freedom from being cast into prison and out of society, my love for my wife, children, and life has returned. Once I got my head cleared enough to do so, I decided I wanted to learn more about the three drugs — Wellbutrin, Prozac, and Effexor, to try and figure out why they weren’t working right for me. Instead of just finding out how they were NOT working, I have discovered many, many horrifying things about these drugs. Not only are they all in the same class (SSRI’s), but there is more than significant information that leads me to believe that all of the psychological problems that emerged — none of which I had experienced prior to being started on all these drugs — were very likely triggered by the drugs.

So, in order to stop smoking, which I still have not done, my doctor put me on Zyban… the next 3-1/2 years or so of my life became a living hell for me and my family. What they have been through hurts as bad as thinking about my own plight. I would gladly spend the rest of my days in prison, or in hell, if that were necessary for them to be safe. But I am not a monster. In fact, life has become simpler and clearer to me than it has been in years. Not because of the tragedy, but because I am free of the serious and devastating effects of these drugs.

As I have said to others, with complete honesty, I would not wish what has happened to us on my worst enemy. Mentally, I have a totally new lease on life. But it was not until I took control of it and stopped the SSRI’s that I was able to obtain it. Sadly, there is a chance that the legal system is going to prevent me from ever being with my family again, which I am not totally sure I will survive. They mean everything in world to me. And in a society where marriages and families are routinely thrown out like household garbage, I feel no remorse whatsoever about my family taking precedence over my own individual needs, career needs, or anything else. I would rather die fighting for the chance to be with me family, to simply love them, support them, and share everyday life with them, including the tough parts, than to give up on them. They ARE my life, who, and what I am.

If only one of those doctors had ever said “Before we prescribe this (new) drug, why don’t you talk with a counselor or therapist?” it is very likely none of these tragic events would have ever occurred. Now I am stuck in a legal system that will probably never show any leniency or compassion, not understanding that these drugs can do these sorts of horrible things to ordinary people. Unable to afford a high-profile attorney (having to go with a public defender) who most likely has little real interest in fighting for me or my family, I am likely to lose my freedom, my family, and in turn my life. The latter is more truthful than I can convey, because if I lose my wife and daughters, the most meaningful part of me will be gone. I would never commit suicide — I promised my wife that for her and the girls — but I would die a slow, horrible death, withering away into a dark eternity, having no will live to live. Suicidal ideations and having no will to live are two very different things, yet they both lead to the same thing.

I pray that I will not be cast out of society like a disgusting, horrible, uncontrollable demon. I am not a threat to anyone. But the drugs that caused all of this are a very serious threat.

3/11/2001

This is Survivor Story number 5.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

 1,699 total views,  1 views today

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

 1,465 total views