It’s now August of 2009, just past a year after being discharged from the psychiatric hospital. I’ve been off Zoloft since March 2009 and am finally feeling like a human being again. Fortunately, I don’t seem to have any neurological damage, memory impairment, concentration troubles or other lasting symptoms.
I’m 48 years old and my introduction to Zoloft began when I was 34. I’ve since learned that the symptoms of fatigue and difficulty sleeping and concentrating that I was having at that time were due to over-work and adrenal exhaustion. That doctor had me fill out a questionnaire and then spent maybe 10 minutes with me before giving me free samples of Zoloft. Had I known then, what I know now?… And I must forgive the past and not dwell on it in order to heal.
In June of 2008, my nutritionist who was treating me with amino acid therapy took me off Zoloft abruptly. This caused me to go into a manic state, which I had never experienced before. It also brought up a lot of anger. After about a ten days, my wife and I figured out it was the discontinuation of Zoloft that was causing all these problems, so I went back on it.
Because of all my weird behavior, I had left the house and was staying at a hotel. My wife got my sister involved and she stayed with me for a couple of days but didn’t bring along her bi-polar medications. I remember distinctly the night of July 13th: I slept from about 9pm to 5am, went for a work out and did my meditation. I was definitely stabilizing.
Then my sister took me into town, my wife and I had another fight and, in my anger and frustration, I broke the rear view mirror off my sister’s car. This caused her to freak out. We had picked up her meds and agreed to go back to the hotel and take a nap. I later learned that she had already called the police.
When we arrived at the hotel, the cops came to my door (hands on their holstered guns) and ordered me out of the car. They hand cuffed me, searched me and put me in the squad car. Then, as I later learned, my sister and wife had a discussion about “wether or not to tell the police that I had threatened her.” My sister told the police a lie, that I had threatened her with a gun and I was hauled off to the ER where I was doped up with an injection.
Later I was taken to the psychiatric hospital where I was asked to sign a bunch of forms and “releases.” How absurd! I was only semi-consicouss at the time.
At the hospital I was taken off the Zoloft and diagnosed as bi-polar. Of course, this through me into another withdrawal episode and made me manic and aggressive again.
I want to point out that I have no history of violence, have never been in any sort of brawl, have never been arrested, have never before been put in handcuffs, no DUI tickets and even a clean driving record.
The hospital changed my drugs every few days. Zyprexa, Lithium, Depakote, Abilify, etc. After 20 days, I was discharged. The insurance and family money was expended, so I was well, right?
Far from it: My wife filed for divorce. I lost access to my home, which was also my office. She cleaned out the company bank account, etc.
Eventually, I lost pretty much everything and got saddled with all our debt and received none of the assets due to a waiver of “appearance” I signed 3 days out of the hospital. We had agreed on a negotiated, one lawyer divorce, but I ended up getting totally screwed.
Over the past 12 months, I’ve lived in 5 states. I’ve had a couple of “room and board” jobs and stayed with friends. Fortunately, my mother has been able to give me some financial support, so I haven’t been without the basic necessities of life. Through a friend, I found Ann Blake-Tracy and she helped me understand what happened to me and gave me phone support while I finished the detox from the Zoloft these past few months.
Now, I’m well enough that I’m looking for a job again so I can restart my life.
I’m certainly not bipolar. What a bunch of total bullshit. All I’m taking right now is 0.5 mg of Klonopin (Clonazepam) twice a day to help with anxiety and sleep.
I used to have a pretty normal life. I made a six figure income. My wife (18 years of marriage) didn’t have to work. We had a nice house and the swimming pool I had wanted since I was a child. Now, all that’s gone. All because of a stupid little pill and all the people that don’t know what the hell their doing with all these powerful drugs.
During the 13 years I was on SSRI Antidepressants, I saw several different psychiatrists and doctors. They experimented on me with many different drugs: Effexor, Celexa, Abilify, Alprazolam, Clonazepam (Klonopin), Depakote, Lunesta, Trazodone, Xanax, Zyprexa and of course Zoloft (Sertraline).
Of all the drugs, Lamictal was the worst. Once the doctor increased the dose from 50 mg a day to 200 mg a day (I’ve since found out that is NOT an increase in accordance with the manufacturers instructions) I had horrible, disgusting nightmares every single night and became highly suicidal. This happened in October of 2008, and freaked me out so much that I went back on Zoloft and some other drugs so that I could get my sleep.
During all these crazy times, I have survived because of my spiritual faith, the generosity of my mother and some good friends and Divine Grace. Also, because of the various nutritionists I’ve had over the years, I’ve learned how to eat well and take the right supplements. Cenitol by metagenics is magnesium supplement that has been especially helpful with relaxing me and helping me sleep. I order that online at: http://www.janethumphrey.meta-ehealth.com.
Lastly, I would like to mention that none of these doctors I saw gave me any sort of what I would call informed consent. I was never informed about all the adverse reactions and side-effects that I’ve now learned were well known back then. None of the doctors explained that, according to their view of brain chemical imbalance, I would need to stay on these SSRI Antidepressants for the rest of my life. None of the doctors EVER explained discontinuation syndrome etc, etc, etc.
These drugs manufactures and the doctors that push these drugs are all involved in a horrible scam, the tragic consequences of which yet to become fully manifest.
My intense gratitude to Ann Blake-Tracy and the good work she is doing!