This post links to Bob Fiddaman’s Forty Winks last week.
Insomnia is one of our all time biggest problems. We all need Kind Nature’s Chief Restorer to knit up the ravelled sleeve of care. There is all sorts of health advice out there about how you owe it to yourself to get a good nights sleep, that its dangerous not to, and that whatever is today’s hypnotic of choice is a lot safer than the pills like Doriden we used to use but now recognize as dangerous.
Today is no different to the 1950s – perhaps even worse. Turning to one of today’s pills can make the original problem a lot worse.
Katinka Newman’s book The Pill that Steals Lives brings out how stress leading to a poor sleep can lead to a pill that triggers an earthquake – volcano – avalanche – pick your word for something that sweeps the person away.
The disaster that struck her once she figured on helping herself by getting something to help her sleep to tide her over a stressful situation comes through very clearly also in a compelling Medicating Normal Interview she gave recently.
Miranda Levy’s Insomnia Diaries tells a very similar story of a very normal, more competent than average woman, having a Descent into Pills – something to rival Dante’s Descent into Hell.
Another book telling this story all too well is Laurie Oakley’s Crazy and It Was, which outlines a similar dynamic and in particular how doctors are almost completely blind to the havoc they are causing. This led to a further series of 5 posts by Laurie in January and February 2016 on Pharmaceutical Rape.
Several of the compelling narratives in Medicating Normal begin from the same point – normal people who have had a sleep problem which is rabbit-hole through which they slip, like Alice, into a crazy underworld.
Its normal to have broken sleep with stress. Its also common for a lot of women to have broken sleep in their fifties – perhaps caused by a changing physiology or perhaps linked to taking stock of a life. (It’s easier blame hormones). An innocent sleeping pill taken for a few days looks like it will be and often will be no worse for many than having a drink.
Katinka and Miranda’s cases though bring out that even this simple and seemingly harmless move has an element of roulette linked to it.
Taken for longer than a few days the problems really start. A doctor may want to change you over to something that is not habit-forming like an antidepressant, an SSRI in all probability or perhaps a sedative antidepressant like Mirtazapine – Remeron, Trazodone, or to Quetiapine – Seroquel.
Or if you have been put on a short acting hypnotic like Zopiclone, or Zolpidem you may tell her/him you are falling asleep quite well but not staying asleep and s/he may add something in to help with this. Always adding.
Many doctors are now petrified to prescribe benzodiazepines – these include the Z-drugs used as hypnotics. The guidelines tell them not to give them for more than four weeks. Many doctors dish out opioids a lot more freely than they given benzos and figure Benzos are more dangerous than Heroin.
They have been told that poor sleep is a cardinal symptom of depression and have been encouraged to treat the underlying problem rather than the superficial symptoms of insomnia or anxiety.
This led Don Schell’s doctor to give him paroxetine, when he came complaining about poor sleep. Forty eight hours later he put three bullets through the head of his wife, his daughter and his grand-daughter before killing himself.
This is where you risk entering the weird dystopian world of antidepressants and sleep.
Most of the posts on RxISK that have attracted the most comments have been by contributors (like you), and in particular posts about sleep. Its not just the posts from people descending into Hell, like those above, there are also those whose sleep was okay to begin with but who wake up to find themselves in a Sleepless Hell.
Bob’s Forty Winks made me aware of sleep paralysis and sleep apnoea, and before it Night of the Living Cymbalta made me aware of the horrific nightmares many SSRIs can cause both while on them and on coming off them. In the same way Sleep Problems after Stopping Antidepressants has changed my clinical practice completely.
Some of the problems antidepressants cause like nightmares and sleep walking or paralysis are totally predictable. We know that these drugs act on the mechanisms that control our cycling through the various stages of sleep and this means they can cause nightmares – or perhaps an awareness of nightmares we would not otherwise be aware of – and other things that happen on the borderland between sleep and wakefulnes like paralysis, hallucinations and sleep walking (somnambulism in the Table below).
The nightmares can be particularly horrific and can lead to dangerous sleep behaviours – Night of the Living Cymbalta. The comments afterwards are worth reading in addition to the post. The disturbances to sleep can endure for years after stopping – this is something no doctor ever tells a patient. See Sleep Problems on Stopping – and particularly the comments afterwards.
There are other things though that I would never have guessed. Until Forty Winks if you’d asked me can antidepressants cause Sleep Apnoea, I’d have said no. Not an easy matter to tell Bob Fiddaman he’s wrong though – especially as it turns out he’s right. Sleep Apnoea turns up very commonly on all SSRIs.
Sleep Apnoea is even commoner than the reports below suggest in that FDA let people report Sleep Apnoea, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and Apnoea so this breaks up the numbers – just as people are let report sedation, lethargy, malaise, sluggishness etc which may well be all the same thing. And both nightmares and abnormal dreams which again are likely the same thing.
We are told we have to get our sleep problems treated because we won’t be able to function, or will be dangerous when doing things during the day if we don’t. When Prozac was being sold to us, Lilly told employers that it would reduce presenteeism – workers who were there in body but not able to work efficiently and in fact dangerous.
Well the reports to FDA in the Table suggest the effects of these drugs may be just the opposite – they cause presenteeism. People are reported as less functional at activities of daily living and as having impaired work abilities,
|Abnormal Dreams||0.6%||0.6%||0.4%||0.7%||0.5%||1 %||0.4%|
|Home Function Impaired||0.4%||0.5%||0.3%||0.3%||0.35%||0.3%||0.3%|
|Work Function Impaired||0.3%||0.5%||0.2%||0.24%||0.2%||0.3%||0.25%|
|Poor Sleep Quality||0.3%||0.3%||0.25%||0.3%||0.3%||0.25%||0.2%|
Bob generated the figures for the Table below and the Images below that. In terms of interpreting this Table, every 1% equates to 1000 reports. This is rough and ready rather than absolutely accurate.
The actual figures are in the images below – with the Paroxetine figures in Forty Winks.
Sleep is essential – It is as important to our bodies as eating and drinking.
Seroxat (paroxetine) took my sleep.
It made me gain weight through excessive eating.
When I came off (cold-turkey) I drank a lot of water.
So, the one thing it didn’t do was take away my ability to drink.
The manufacturer, therefore, would probably claim that my lack of sleep was due to a full bladder and/or full stomach.
People, particularly prescribers, will glance at these tables and shrug their shoulders. ‘Meh, the figures are low so only a minimal risk’.
Mental Health KOLs would probably suggest a lack of sleep is a small price to pay when treating a ‘disease of the brain’.
If a pill can take away or induce anything outside the ‘norm’ then it needs to be looked at and challenged.
The list of side-effects on SSRIs shows risks outweigh benefits. In fact, the only benefit the MHRA could give me regarding Prozac was that it “raises the level of the neurotransmitter, serotonin, in the brain which can improve symptoms of depression.” – So, even in 2016, during my correspondence with them, they were, in essence, still touting the chemical imbalance hypothesis to justify the high volume of reported risks associated with Prozac.
The table in the following blog post should ring alarm bells for anyone that reads it.
It’s as important as the tables above but will be dismissed by prescribers with the line, “All drugs carry risks.” – We are seeing this line used in the Covid world we live in today.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose
Obviously I don’t expect an answer but as it’s my right (sick joke) and had a bit of time to do it have made a complaint to MHRA against the public pronouncements made by June Raine to guarantee the Coronavirus vaccines are safe and effective. As I cannot trust a word she states I cannot use the MHRA site to inform decisions , Telling us that the MHRA is there to protect us = is just blah
How to make a complaint about a service provided by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
Types of complaints we can help with
How to complain
Types of complaints we can help with
Use these procedures to make a complaint about the quality of service the agency has provided or about the behaviour of a member of staff.
If you have a complaint about the agency’s service you should email Customer Services at email@example.com.
If your complaint isn’t resolved to your satisfaction you should write to:
No complaints would be handled satisfactorily by this lot It took a few months to get a response from J R in the case of a suicide Hint -if anybody wants to waste time complaining to see what the result would be -don’t write directly to June’s office or use the complaints line – choose other departments and ask them to forward it to her.
We will investigate your complaint and handle it confidentially and, where applicable, we will look for ways of improving our services.
(suggestions on a fag packet like sack them all)
If, following a response from the Agency’s Administrative Complaints Officer, you’re still unsatisfied with the way your complaint was handled, you may, via your MP contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. ( Parliament owns the MHRA )
They could Save even more – shed them all
MHRA to shed a fifth of its workforce in post-Brexit cost cutting drive
Omg I see it on the news today when they were talking about vaccinating 17 year olds one off the heads off the mhra was saying any problems with side affects not a problem one can file a yellow card report. Like that would solve anything I filed one after being damaged by seroxat it don’t mean s@it its not like they contact you and look into your adverse effects and offer you any help your just left maimed its denied they don’t give a monkeys. When I heard it come out off there mouth today I thought what a crock off s@it they come out with. I think people like us that have been harmed see through all the rubbish. A YELLOW CARD report as far as I’m concerned is about as helpfull as a bucket with a hole in the bottom off it. Unbelievable what does it do to help the sufferer nothing it’s just a statistic data for them to make them feel important there doing there job does it help resolve or assist in helping the person harmed NO. Do they really care I don’t think so.
Serious question = I was desperate to get some sleep so used a friend’s sleeping tablets which after a few days did the trick in getting back to some kind of normal sleep. MAybe I was lucky – could that be harmful if someone is using SSRIs?
You and me, both, and a legion, endured months nay years of sleep disturbance with the nightmares asleep or the nightmares awake from psychotropic drugs like Paroxetine.
Sleep, sleep, the one disadvantaged simple means – the one mainstay of something that these drugs took away.
To just Sleep, to sleep away the fears and terror theses drugs can induce and yet sleep was so much the major contributor to even start combatting all the other effects of theses drugs.
Without even one interrupted nights’ sleep how can such a horror even begin to be dissipated; how could we even contemplate yet another day and night thwarted with every sinew crying out for just a bit of relief with sleep.
Sleep and our circadian rhythm are vital to combat even the smallest assault from anywhere or anything and it is such a loss for it to be totally taken away.
Polar explorers denied sleep have all attested to severe cognitive decline when sleep deprived.
Cognitive strength became the only strength we had going for us, and so when this feature was taken from us it disabled us to the point that dismissing sleep deprivation allowed many doctors to quite forcibly use this against us and to suggest that our mental decline be treated not only as a disorder but as a means to drug us up as we appeared to be not quite in charge of our faculties.
It is pretty horrifying to be in a slumber-state and live-out a nightmare-type scenario and find yourself in a grip of something extremely surreal, and what are the odds on that happening as surely as purely it never happened before you took your drug and you didn’t expect to receive the assumption that your drug had anything to do with it…
Sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture –
With all the associated side effects, mentioned above, I am absolutely mortified! I am not quite sure how some of us, came back form hell to tell our story? I would rather suffer from insomnia than take a pill that promises better nights sleep with 20 or so added side effects. At least, once you get to the bottom of why you are not sleeping hopefully, desirable sleeping patterns can be achieved. Once a med induces other issues, some docs just keep compounding health problems upon health problems, in order to counteract what the previous med(s) induced. It just becomes your worst nightmare, in the end! A vicious cycle, that keeps perpetuating, which sadly for some, is very hard to undo!
Dying to Stay Alive! Review of Miranda
Ah, thank you, Tom. What a detailed and lovely review/ blog post. And you really did your picture research – going back over 20 years..! Good luck with your own book.
Dying to Stay Alive!@Dyin_2stayalive
Book review: The Insomnia Diaries – How I Learned to Sleep Again by Miranda Levy. Thank you for this wonderful creation which highlights so many important issues!
“As the weeks go by, my medication dose is lowered. And every day, I feel worse and worse. I feel antsy, deranged. I can’t sit still, moving from place to place, room to room, running up and down the stairs. I can’t concentrate on my chores. I just can’t ‘be’ with myself. I believe the word for this state is ‘agitation’ but that doesn’t do it credit. It’s like an unbearable psychic itchiness.”
Wendy Burn CBE (She/her) @wendyburn
· 26 Jul
Replying to @MISSDFoundation, @markhoro and @rcpsych
The bit I promised to do is in our training modules behind a paywall, extract below. Patient information talks about agitation as many people have never heard the word akathisia although we did use that word in our information on stopping antidepressants.
Replying to@recover2renew@shvogtand 6 others
It certainly does. Few would believe the best way to effectively communicate a life-threatening, drug-induced disorder is to AVOID sharing the term (#akathisia) and then muddy the water by throwing in the word #depression when discussing akathisia-induced #suicidality.
Replying to @MISSDFoundation@recover2renewand 7 others
1. Why is this life-saving information behind a paywall?
2. If people (healthcare professionals) have not heard of the word ‘akathisia’ , it’s high time they did. By not mentioning it keeps it, like many of its victims, buried.
‘That word’ …
Sadly, once a med induces other issues, some docs just keep compounding health problems upon health problems, in order to counteract what the previous med(s) induced. It just becomes your worst nightmare, in the end! A vicious cycle, that keeps perpetuating, which sadly for some, is very hard to undo!
“he was having troubling sleeping”
“sleep seems to be the main issue here”
“its all there in black and white”
“he came back with more medication”
“why not let his body rest?”
“He said his thoughts were multiplied by a thousand. He could feel almost things crawling on his skin…” –Colleen Bell, loving neice of the late Stephen O’Neill, discusses his prescribed demise on #Akathisia Stories. Listen. Learn. Share.
Very moving, extremely coherent,, as to what really happened to Stephen O’Neill, and the watch-word Aka-what…
These ‘so called’ organizations DO NOT take complaints seriously.
They deviously distort the facts and have an uncanny way of portraying the complainant as a fabulist.
They are malfeasance and take care of their lot.
They are dishonest and do not act in a moral way.
It is akin to changing the positions of the deck chairs on the same level of the titanic. Eventually it’s going to sink and the people will be scurrying under cover and eventually the dysfunctional mess will be uncovered.
Same people with the same futile outcome!
They lack leadership, integrity, are corrupt, have no moral conscience and are there to defend mainly those who will not accept accountability or responsibility for their misdeeds.
The rest of the puppets on a string are too scared to speak up just in case they feathered nests get ruffled.
What type of a show do these organizations run?
How long can they sustain this unintelligible standard of poor service?
The Coroner, Patrick McGurgan, ruled that Stephen “died by his own act whilst the balance of his mind was disturbed.”
All medical witnesses at the three-day inquest acknowledged Stephen had suffered a catastrophic reaction to sertraline.
But the coroner did quote evidence from psychiatrist Dr Pat McMahon that sertraline alone was not responsible for Stephen’s death.
The coroner said sertraline “possibly contributed, along with other identified stressors.”
“The System is Not Listening”
Posted on June 21, 2019 by Brian — 5 Comments ↓
On the second day of the inquest, world-renowned psychopharmacologist Professor David Healy (right) told the court: “I’m pinpointing Sertraline as the drug that produced the catastrophic reaction. When Mr O’Neill gets Sertraline he shifts states quantitatively.”
Dr Healy paraphrased Stephen’s attitude in the weeks leading up to his death: “He said, ‘This drug is poisoning me. It’s giving me problems I never had before’. He’s handing them the diagnosis on a plate, and the system is not listening.”
Dr Healy queried the safety of Sertraline, saying: “The evidence in SSRIs (the category of drugs to which Sertraline belongs) is that they cause more suicides than they prevent.” In support, he quoted the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which found more deaths among patients on SSRIs than among those on placebos.
Under cross-examination, Dr Healy robustly queried the response to Stephen’s distress: “The system, in Mr O’Neill’s case, did not know what it was doing and was flailing around.”
This is SENSATIONAL
Stephen’s niece Colleen recounted the last six week’s of Stephen’s life, and the ordeal of his inquest, on the website of my friend Bob Fiddaman. At the end of her account, Colleen asks: “How many more times do we have to hear families who have been torn apart by medication-induced suicide say ‘If only we knew then what we know now’?”
Fiddaman Blog – Hgmail.comome | Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com › FiddamanBlog
Fiddaman Blog. 685 likes · 133 talking about this. More than 2 million hits. The Fiddaman blog has many notable visitors such as GlaxoSmithKline, the… (‘they’ are keeping an eye on things -means they have concerns most of which won’t be being aired publicly – )
The Insomnia Diaries – discussion on R4 today 2nd Aug can be heard on Sounds playback
Pitiful road to never ending rabbit warrens and snake pits. You never know when you are going to end up being entangled in a fox trap.
Some of these organizations proclaim to assist you however, once you have been bitten, they send you on a Indiana Jones Temple Of Doom Mission = A dead end mission which never yields any satisfactory results!
Thank you David Healy, for standing up to these bull dogs and saying it the way it is!
“The evidence in SSRIs (the category of drugs to which Sertraline belongs) is that they cause more suicides than they prevent.” In support, he quoted the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which found more deaths among patients on SSRIs than among those on placebos.
If the evidence is quite substantiated, why are many professionals still proclaiming this fact to be anecdotal?
After so many deaths, why on earth are they still flailing around? ~ pass the buck!
Thank you for highlighting your concerns on, August 4, 2021 at 10:09 pm.
It is a crime against humanity mandating a vaccine, that we are not well informed about.
Do Governments, Epidemiologists, Pharmaceutical Scientists, Pharmacologists, clinicians etc…….. inform patients about the following:
– side effects
– adverse reactions
– side effects or adverse effects with people who have pre-existing health conditions
– side effects or adverse effects when combined with other medicines or vaccines
There are just too many complications and unfavourable outcomes, that I can foresee. Too many wish washy responses that hardly carry any substance or weight!
There is no such thing as transparency or accountability.
How many deaths are being attributed from these vaccines?
How many deaths are accurately reported, world-wide?
Are the autopsies documented or recorded accurately?
Why has the Government given clinicians and other health professionals who administer the vaccine, indemnity if the Covid-19 vaccine causes you harm or death?
Why have the Governments given pharmaceutical companies an indemnity for any claim related to injuries and deaths their vaccines may cause?
If pharmaceutical companies had trust and confidence in their vaccines, why on earth would pharmaceutical companies have a Government indemnity as part of their protocol?
There is NO such thing as properly regulating medicines or vaccines in this country, as far as I know. It happened to me!
There is no such thing as Democracy or Basic Civil Human Rights especially, when it comes to injecting something in our body, where we have very limited information/knowledge, relating to the vaccine concerned.
All the hard work our forefathers fought for, (basic civil human right), is being eroded by archaic/draconian policies.
If these vaccines are harming and causing unnecessary deaths, people should make noise and have their Basic Civil Rights to sue their Government.
Propaganda and cover-ups are part of the agenda and if people are not being told the TRUTH the people who are responsible should be held accountable and be prosecuted.
Many people in positions of leadership lack the integrity and fortitude to do what is morally/ethically right.
What is the point of having a yellow card if there is NO action being taken, when maiming or death results? I like the analogy you used Karl:
A YELLOW CARD report as far as I’m concerned is about as helpfull as a bucket with a hole in the bottom off it. ~ (Indeed, totally FUTILE!)
Where there is smoke there is fire and I hope those who harm innocent beings are prosecuted and held liable for deceit and misleading information.
If we are not FULLY INFORMED we should not be giving CONSENT without knowing what we are signing up for!
What are the hidden agendas/motives, behind their strategic plans?