Are Vivid Dreams A Concern in Antidepressant Use?



Dr. Tracey Marks

Thanks to our Southern Washington State Director for ICFDA (International Coalition for Drug Awareness) who learned firsthand how deadly vivid dreams are in association with antidepressant use when his son took a gun to school in a dream state while on Effexor and in withdrawal from Paxil and held his classmates at gunpoint for what seemed an eternity for some.

Dr. Marks downplays any importance of the SSRIs repression of REM sleep and the vivid dreams or nightmares associated with these drugs and even suggests switching to another antidepressant if this reaction bothers you…yet she gives no warning of the dangers of switching medications by going off abruptly and then on another one abruptly – the way all meds are prescribed.

My response to this video and the incorrect information relayed:

“This is perhaps the MOST IRRESPONSIBLE statement I have ever heard on antidepressant adverse reactions!!! These antidepressant-induced vivid dreams are the most dangerous reactions anyone can have next to Serotonin Syndrome. That is because the vivid dreams indicate you are on the verge of suffering an antidepressant-induced REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) where you act out these dreams or nightmares! Add to that the fact that in RBD 80% are known to hurt themselves or someone else. RBD is even known to result in murder and suicide committed in a sleep state! Before SSRIs RBD was rare but not now and now 86% of those being diagnosed are taking an antidepressant – a figure shocking even to the world’s leading experts on this disorder who found this percentage!

“The repression of REM sleep via a medication reaction or sleep deprivation has long been known as a trigger for psychotic breaks. So I am confused as to why would you tell patients not to worry about this? Eric Harris, the lead shooter at Columbine, had those vivid dreams about killing his classmates for some time on the antidepressant Luvox before acting out those dreams on April 20, 1999!

“I have raised the issue of this deadly sleep disorder associated with antidepressants often preceded by the vivid dreams for 2 1/2 decades and would like to know if you have vested interests due to working for a pharmaceutical company? Or are you trying to avoid a wrongful death suit brought by a patient who suffered this reaction? Something just does not smell right when you are downplaying such a deadly reaction to antidepressants.”

Original Video:

Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness &
Author: *”Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World” & Withdrawal CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!”

WITHDRAWAL WARNING: In sharing this information about adverse reactions to antidepressants I always recommend that you also give reference to my CD on safe withdrawal, Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!, so that we do not have more people dropping off these drugs too quickly – a move which I have warned from the beginning can be even more dangerous than staying on the drugs!

The FDA also now warns that any abrupt change in dose of an antidepressant can produce suicide, hostility or psychosis. These reactions can either come on very rapidly or even be delayed for months depending upon the adverse effects upon sleep patterns when the withdrawal is rapid! You can find the hour and a half long CD on safe and effective withdrawal helps here:

Power Naps Boost Brainpower

For those of you who have read my book Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare with the extensive information on the great importance of sleep this report will be no surprise at all. It is always nice to have a confirmation of the information though. I thought it quite interesting to note that these researchers found that a nap can dramatically boost and restore your brainpower, refresh the mind, improve one’s capacity to learn, and make you smarter while to the contrary staying up late to cram for a test can decrease ability to learn by almost 40%! The more hours we stay awake the more sluggish our minds become. This makes it easy to understand why antidepressants, which produce so much insomnia and other sleep disorders, prevent you from learning and produce so much memory loss! Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director, International Coalition for Drug Awareness & www.ssristories.drugawareness.orgAuthor: Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World & Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant! Power Naps Boost Brainpower By RICK NAUERT PHD Senior News Editor Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on February 22, 2010 New research suggests an hour’s nap can dramatically boost and restore your brainpower. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley discovered a nap can not only refresh the mind, but make you smarter. Conversely, the more hours we spend awake, the more sluggish our minds become, according to the findings. The results support previous data from the same research team that pulling an all-nighter – a common practice at college during midterms and finals –- decreases the ability to cram in new facts by nearly 40 percent, due to a shutdown of brain regions during sleep deprivation. “Sleep not only rights the wrong of prolonged wakefulness but, at a neurocognitive level, it moves you beyond where you were before you took a nap,” said Matthew Walker, an assistant professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and the lead investigator of these studies. In the recent UC Berkeley sleep study, 39 healthy young adults were divided into two groups – nap and no-nap. At noon, all the participants were subjected to a rigorous learning task intended to tax the hippocampus, a region of the brain that helps store fact-based memories. Both groups performed at comparable levels. At 2 p.m., the nap group took a 90-minute siesta while the no-nap group stayed awake. Later that day, at 6 p.m., participants performed a new round of learning exercises. Those who remained awake throughout the day became worse at learning. In contrast, those who napped did markedly better and actually improved in their capacity to learn. These findings reinforce the researchers’ hypothesis that sleep is needed to clear the brain’s short-term memory storage and make room for new information, said Walker, who presented his findings at the annual meeting of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Diego, Calif. Since 2007, Walker and other sleep researchers have established that fact-based memories are temporarily stored in the hippocampus before being sent to the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which may have more storage space. “It’s as though the e-mail inbox in your hippocampus is full and, until you sleep and clear out those fact e-mails, you’re not going to receive any more mail. It’s just going to bounce until you sleep and move it into another folder,” Walker said. In the latest study, Walker and his team have broken new ground in discovering that this memory-refreshing process occurs when nappers are engaged in a specific stage of sleep. Electroencephalogram tests, which measure electrical activity in the brain, indicated that this refreshing of memory capacity is related to Stage 2 non-REM sleep, which takes place between deep sleep (non-REM) and the dream state known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM). Previously, the purpose of this stage was unclear, but the new results offer evidence as to why humans spend at least half their sleeping hours in Stage 2, non-REM, Walker said. “I can’t imagine Mother Nature would have us spend 50 percent of the night going from one sleep stage to another for no reason,” Walker said. “Sleep is sophisticated. It acts locally to give us what we need.” Walker and his team will go on to investigate whether the reduction of sleep experienced by people as they get older is related to the documented decrease in our ability to learn as we age. Finding that link may be helpful in understanding such neurodegenerative conditions as Alzheimer’s disease, Walker said. Source: University of California, Berkeley

10/13/1999 – Attempted Murder by Man on Zoloft

This case out of Maryland is so tragic. The perpetrator took Zoloft
and now has no memory of the incident. Even his mother said he
“hallucinated” on the drug. The young couple were deeply in love and
had a great relationship. This story, too, combines elements of “road
rage” with the attempted murder.

This is just one of many stories we continue to review, now almost
daily, on how these drugs can cause psychotic breaks in some
individuals and no memory of the violence later. Notice also, how sleep
deprivation, a known side-effect of these drugs, contributed to this

Thanks to one of our ICFDA directors for passing this along.

As a reminder to interested subscribers, if you see articles like
these, please bring them to our attention by forwarding them to

Sep. 22, 1999, The Capital

Police Say Man Tried to Kill Wife

An Annapolis man with no history of prior violence was charged
yesterday with trying to kill the wife he adored in a car crash near
the State House earlier this month.

In a mysterious case that still puzzles city police, Douglas Lund, 36,
of 1 Colonial Ave., was ordered held without bond on a charge of
attempted second-degree murder.

He awaits a competency evaluation today in the county detention center,
where he’s being held. Another bail review hearing will follow within
the next few days, a spokesman for the State’s Attorney’s Office said.

Police have found no motive for Mr. Lund’s actions on Sept. 7, when he
crashed his car on Bladen Street and allegedly beat his wife, Amy Lund,
32, an assistant state’s attorney for Dorchester County.

“They were doing great,” said city police Detective Jim Bryant, who
investigated the case with the State’s Attorney’s Office. “He never
abused her in any way. This was one of those off-the-wall things.”

But Mr. Lund’s mother, Jo Ann Lund, blames the drug Zoloft, which her
son was taking for depression.

“He took the drug and started hallucinating,” she said.

Mr. Lund, a full-time student at Bowie State University, had been
suffering sleeplessness for several weeks and had asked his wife to go
for a drive.

About 3 a.m., they were headed home when Mrs. Lund saw her husband run
a red light and switch lanes on Rowe Boulevard, heading toward the
State House, police said.

Driving toward construction site barriers on Bladen Street, he
allegedly unfastened his wife’s seat belt before intentionally crashing
his 1990 Honda Accord into a metal fence, running over several “Road
Closed” signs without hitting the brakes, police said.

Mr. Lund forced his wife from the car, grabbed her neck and hair and
beat her head against the pavement several times, police said.

Grunting, but never speaking, he dragged her about 30 feet from the
scene, Detective Bryant said. Then he slung her body over his shoulder
and carried her across the grassy median between Bladen Street and Rowe

Crossing Rowe Boulevard, he dumped her on the grass behind low-hanging
tree branches and flagged down a passing vehicle.

It took six hours of surgery to repair her shattered vertebrae,
Detective Bryant said. She also suffered a broken collarbone and
finger, abrasions and a black eye.

She was released Sept. 15 from the Shock-Trauma Center at University
Hospital in Baltimore and is no longer staying in the area, police

According to Mr. Lund’s mother, the Lunds had a loving relationship,
still holding hands after 11 years of dating and marriage.

The message on their anniversary cards this summer was identical:
“Thank you for the best six years of my life.”

With no children, the Lunds, who lived in Annapolis sporadically for
eight years, were apparently on a career track. Mr. Lund had just begun
student teaching in his final semester of college.

According to his mother, he never suffered mental problems, other than
worrying too much. His family calls him “Mr. Applesauce” for his
healthy lifestyle and eating habits, she said.

But Mr. Lund is dyslexic and has Attention Deficit Disorder, and in the
past few months his worries and stress over student teaching became
overwhelming, she said.

“He just panicked about going to the board, and the children being able
to spell better than he did,” Mrs. Lund said.

One morning he visited his mother in tears, and gave her his guns for
fear that he might kill himself.

After three weeks without sleeping and eating, Mr. Lund went to a
doctor who prescribed Zoloft — a drug with warnings of fatal reactions
and mental status changes. He was told to take it on a weekly basis.

Mrs. Lund believes her son was overcome by hallucinations on the
morning of the attack.

Mr. Lund was committed to Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore
County following the offense after he told police he felt like hurting
himself, Detective Bryant said.

He told Detective Bryant he was “dazed” and has no memory of the

“All he remembers is driving down the road and carrying his wife to the
hospital,” Detective Bryant said. “I thought it was strange that he was
headed the wrong way.”

Mr. Lund had no history of violence, and his wife’s main concern was
that the arrest would tarnish his clean record, Detective Bryant said.

Annapolis Attorney Gill Cochran, who is tentatively representing Mr.
Lund, said he plans to seek detention for his client at a medical
facility such as Sheppard Pratt. He will eventually enter a plea of
“not criminally responsible,” he said.

“Psychological difficulties are clearly involved in this case,” he
Copyright © 1999 The Capital, Annapolis, Md.

A Nurse’s Panic Attacks on Prozac and Paxil.

“I am terrified of these meds, and hope I can be emotionally healthy again.”


I’m writing because I am looking for information that may assist me to understand some bizarre symptoms that happened to me while taking SSRI’s. I was taking 40 mg of Prozac from Sept. 1995 until July 1996 then my MD added phentermine so I could lose weight. By the time Nov. 1996 came around I was completely out of control, my husband said he didn’t know me anymore, luckily for us we became pregnant with twins and I immediately stopped both meds. Don’t recall having any side effects. After my twins were born I started having major sleep deprivation and intrusive thoughts about harming my babies.

I called my MD office and told the receptionist I thought I might be suffering from PPD and could I go back on Prozac, my MD never spoke to me directly and started me back on 40 mg. q day. I immediately started to feel some relief and was contented that I was headed in the right direction, when after 7 days I had the scariest experience of my life. I was lying on the sofa singing to my now 7 mo. old baby when suddenly my whole body felt as though I numb ( sort of like when I got the epidural ) I couldn’t breathe I was sure I was about to die. I called the paramedics , went to the ER to be told there is nothing wrong with me. They gave me 2 mg of Ativan and sent me on my way. I saw my MD 3 days later who said it was not a reaction to the Prozac and I needed a MRI to r/o MS (although he said MS doesn’t present like this) a bronchogram to r/o asthma and a 24 hr halter monitor to r/o arrhythmia’s. Well needless to say I quit the Prozac and didn’t return. I have had major anxiety disorder ( I’ve not had that Prozac severe panic attack except one other time…. when they put me on Paxil 10 mg. again 7 days of treatment and whamoo the same symptoms) My MD said its because I have such high anxiety that I reacted to the Paxil. meaning it wasn’t the drug it was my anxiety. So now I’m going through cognitive behavioral therapy, I am terrified of the meds, and I hope I can be emotionally healthy again.

So my question is this: Have you heard of this type of reaction and is there anywhere that this information is published? I’m a registered nurse and a human being that wants some validation so please help if you can.

Years 2000

This is Survivor Story number 71.
Total number of stories in current database is 96