By Rory Tennes
I was asked by David Healy to write my own story after he read my comment on another RxISK story. I agreed but have been surprised how hard it was to sit down and do it. I knew the story, the words were in my head. Yet I avoided getting started. Perhaps it was because of the painful emotions I knew it would bring to the surface. Or maybe because it reminds me of the pain and suffering my family had to endure, how much we lost and the fact that I may not be able to do anything about it. Or it could be my frustration from the cognitive difficulties I still have, making writing a difficult task that drains what little energy I have.
My trip started this way: I was ill, injured and in pain. I went to my doctors for help, and they proceeded to drug me into oblivion. My PCP or “family doctor” diagnosed me with fibromyalgia. I don’t think he really knew what I had, but once he put a name on my symptoms, he started throwing drugs at them. I was in constant pain, chronically fatigued and began to have severe bouts of anxiety. For four years I saw doctor after doctor but none of them could tell me what was wrong, or why I was getting worse not better despite all the drugs. It turns out I had autoimmune arthritis. I’d had it for 30 years, and since it was misdiagnosed and untreated for so long, my spine was a total wreck.
I have worked in construction for 38 years, as a skilled tilesetter with my own business. I love the work but it can be rough on the back. I am now on disability due to a combination of my disease and the multiple toxic “treatments” I was put on.
From the beginning of my four-year search and the two years following my diagnosis I was on an ever-changing cocktail of drugs that kept me off balance constantly. I was at that time unaware of the drug companies’ influence on medical practice, and I trusted that my doctors knew all about the drugs they were giving me. Big, big mistake! They knew very little about the drugs and the “side effects.” They, like me, believed what we are told about side effects – that they are “mild and rare.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
My drug list started with Wellbutrin, Trazodone and Flexeril. When Lyrica and Cymbalta were added, the real trouble began. At the end of six years my list of drugs included, among other things, FIVE major drug interaction WARNINGS for serotonin syndrome. FIVE! Not to mention seven warnings about an increased risk of seizures. And not one doctor saw that as a problem. If they did, they didn’t say anything. I carried my drug list to every appointment, so all my many doctors had my updated list. None of them said anything about the dangers. Neither did my pharmacists.
Being somewhat of a health seeker, I really didn’t like taking all those drugs and worried what they might be doing to me. I asked friends about it. They said “The doctors know what they are doing, trust them, take the medications.” My meditation/self hypnosis counselor said, “I have several clients, some of them pro athletes, who take multiple meds. I tell them to concentrate only on the positive effects of the medicines, not on the negative effects. That way your body will know what to do with the medicine.” Hmm, that didn’t work out very good for me.
Before my trip through the Pharma looking glass began, I had quit drinking altogether. I had been sober for five years, solidly sober and liked it. In October 2010 I was on Trazodone and Wellbutrin. When Flexeril and Naprelan were added, within weeks I suddenly had strong urges to drink, which had been totally absent until that point. I now know that Flexeril (cyclo-benzaprine) acts just like a tricyclic antidepressant and should never be mixed with trazodone or Wellbutrin. The urge and the thoughts of drinking came on suddenly and very strong.
I made two trips to alcohol rehab, attended AA regularly but could not stay sober to save my life. I had numerous run-ins with the law as well. My behavior had become so bizarre, unpredictable, unstable and dangerous that I thought I had lost my mind and myself completely. I had no control over my thoughts, emotions or behavior, no matter what I did or how hard I tried. I watched my family suffer horribly in fear and confusion at what was happening.
Now I know why. Drugs can drive people to drink for relief from the agonizing akathisia that they cause. Couple that with the disinhibiting effect of the drugs, and it’s a recipe for alcoholism. That’s not just true for the antidepressants, but Lyrica too. The warning on Lyrica says that “People who have had a drinking problem in the past may be prone to abuse Lyrica.” It really should say: “If you take Lyrica you may have strong, uncontrollable urges to drink.” Lyrica can cause alcohol abuse, I have no doubt. So can Cymbalta, Zoloft and several other drugs I was on. I didn’t have a chance in hell to stay sober on those drugs.
By April 2014 I was at the end of my rope. My life and my mind were coming completely apart, and I and everyone else who tried to help me was helpless to stop it. I went to my PCP or family doctor, whom I had not seen in quite a while. I explained what was happening and told him that I could not go on this way. “One way or another, this is going to stop,” I told him. He understood what I was saying.
I handed him my medication list and asked if he saw a problem. By that time it included 12 drugs: Cymbalta, Lyrica, trazodone, Trileptal, gabapentin, Wellbutrin, tramadol, Soma, Amrix (more cyclobenzaprine), Etodolac, lisinopril and Sprix (ketorolac). Some were for physical pain, some were for bipolar disorder, and some were for both. The lisinopril was for blood pressure.
He immediately became alarmed, saying “Who prescribed all this!? You can’t take all this at once! This is lethal! Serotonin Syndrome. You have to stop!” He had sent me to a psychiatrist a couple years prior to this because of my behavior problems, depression and what he thought might be bipolar disorder. The shrink added more drugs, never suspecting that my problems were all drug-related. The more he drugged me the worse I got. He blamed me – it was my worsening mental illness, he said.
I stopped five of the drugs my PCP had checked off on my list that day—cold turkey. The doctor did not warn me about what might happen if I stopped all at once, and I didn’t have a clue this would be a problem. The next few weeks were torture, but I made it. I don’t remember much about that period, and maybe that’s a good thing. I do not know why I was able to stop that many psychoactive drugs at once and survive, but I did. Several doctors and counselors have commented that I was either very tough or very lucky, or both.
After about two months I noticed I was different. I was sober, and I stayed that way with little effort. My anger, irritability and restlessness had come way down the scale. I could actually think, read and comprehend what I was reading. Something had changed, and I wanted to know why. I started researching; behavior change, causes. I found that chronic pain, chronic fatigue and many physical illnesses can cause behavior changes.
Then I found the RxISK.org site. The most surprising thing I found was how prescription drugs could be responsible for severe and uncontrolled behavior problems. The very same problems I was having! So why did none of my doctors recognize this? Did they not know this about the drugs they were giving me? If they did, they did not tell me.
What some are saying about drug companies running the information show and hiding the truth about their chemicals appears to be very true. Very few doctors are aware of the risks involved in the drugs they so willingly hand out. My shrink was the worst offender. He obviously did not have any clue that all of my symptoms were drug-induced. He followed the DSM to the letter and I was at the point of suicide. I know that to be true since all my symptoms have miraculously disappeared since I stopped taking the drugs.
Imagine that. I didn’t need the drugs after all. They were not helping, they were hurting me!
When I went back to my PCP after coming off most of the rest of the drugs I had been taking, I took along a RxISK report for Lyrica. I asked him to read it, and sign it if he agreed that my symptoms could be from Lyrica. That is what is suggested on the RxISK site: take the report to your doctor. I had multiple reports for the different drugs, but decided to take just the one since he was so insistent that Lyrica would help me and that I keep taking it. My RxISK score was 8 out of a possible 9, meaning it was very, very likely my problems were connected to Lyrica.
He read it and said he had never heard of any of this about Lyrica. He knew nothing about mood or behavioral side effects from that drug. He would not sign the report, out of fear of being sued, I guess. He acted very nervous and apprehensive. He asked if I was going to sue him, or sue someone. He kept asking about RxISK: “What is it? What do they do? I’ve never seen this before.”
His response to the RxISK report dampened my willingness to do that again. However, I may now have the will to take the rest of the reports to him and my shrink. That would be very interesting to see the look on his face, my shrink. I might just do that.
Recently I talked to the doctor who treats my autoimmune condition about that medication list. I had showed it to him back in April 2014, right before I saw my PCP and stopped the drugs. To my surprise, he said, “I saw that list and I remember thinking, how is this guy even standing in front of me today? Why is he not dead?”
I asked him why he didn’t say anything at the time. He said, “I can get into a great deal of trouble by criticizing the prescribing habits of other doctors. Legal trouble.” WOW. I did not know how to respond, so I didn’t. I just thought about it for a while, what that means for patients. Your doctor might not look out for you, even if your life is in danger, for fear of legal trouble.
I have taken my med list to my pharmacists also, and asked them for their opinion. All of them said it was way too much medication, with several duplications—two meds that do the same thing. I asked why they did not say something to me as I was getting these prescriptions filled. They said, “Well, your doctor prescribed it, so I guess he thought it was OK.” Another said, “You didn’t ask.”
What writing this has done, I hope, is renewed my willingness to pick up the ball and continue spreading the word about pharmaceuticals and the dangers. I am planning on taking the RxISK reports to the prescribing doctors and to pharmacists. There seems to be so much lack of knowledge and apathy about drugs from the people who prescribe them and sell them.
Every time I hear on a drug commercial, “Ask your doctor,” it reminds me of just how bad the situation really is, and how ridiculous the phrase is. Ask your doctor about ________. Really?
Hi there. I don’t know how it makes you feel, but I worked as a pharmacist in two countries, and pharmacists in both countries required by professional ethical standards to report any relevant interactions and unusual doses to both the doctor and the patient. They can be professionally and I suppose legally held responsible if the dispense drugs that show serious interactions. One of the five most important ones is serotonin syndrome. (We are even not to dispense any further doses of statins at all if the patient reports persistent muscle pain or memory problems before a doctor reviews the patient.)
However, pharmacists need to have experience to develop a good working relationship with the doctors. Another sensitive part of the job is when you need to inform the patient without causing compliance issues. It is a thin line.
I also have to admit that despite of the rigorous initial and ongoing training pharmacist can be incompetent, negligent or having a bad day and miss something important. Having a good relationship with a good pharmacist can prevent many problems though. it is worth to invest some effort in finding a well trained, ethical, experienced pharmacist and become a regular client – preferably taking your prescriptions to the same place without exception.
The excuses your pharmacists made are not acceptable to professional standards at least in the places I know.
Thank you for your honesy. I went to a psychiatrist when I was in school because of a fear of public speaking. It started off with one antidepressant. Each med-check follow up another was added if I said I didn’t feel right. At one point seven drugs, including 4mg a day of xanax. It was an alert pharmacist that said, “this is way too much Welbutrin! this could damage your liver.” I asked my psychiatrist about it on my next visit. He said what’s the alternative? If you stop taking it you could go into a deep depression and kill yourself. You can never STOP taking these drugs. It was 10 years of hell. Thank God I lost my health care coverage. I quit cold turkey because I couldn’t afford $600 a month in pills. It took 3 months to come out of the fog and the body shocks to stop. I think it has had lasting effects on me mentally and physically. I don’t think I would have began to question anything if it wasn’t for that pharmacist.
I am so glad to hear that you are now getting a handle on what is really causing your discomfort, and that you have made it through the pharmaceutical maze alive!!
My mom wasn’t so lucky…
Make sure to take care of yourself first though!
Enlightening doctors and pharmacists about side effects and drug-interactions is a hard and thankless job with ~ at least in the short term ~ little result.
Wishing you all the best,
In Peace, AnneClaire
Am I correctly reading that alcohol had been a problem for you prior to becoming sober? What about recreational drug use? Are you aware of the chronic pain connection and substance abuse? Pain is controlled by the neurotransmitter serotonin. Both alcohol and drugs wash tryptophan out of the system and alcohol depletes B vitamins which are necessary dietary co-factors to serotonin production. Since you were prescribed SSRI’s, I’m wondering about whether you are a vegetarian or not or eliminate cooked carbohydrates? Years of substance use will deplete serotonin levels and this leads to chronic pain. Drugs do not produce serotonin, only food does and only food can resolve low serotonin issues.
So glad you wrote this. I can relate to much of it.
The Rxisk report seems to be a great tool to shine light on how little the systems that perpetuate this atrocity are willing to take responsibility for it. I agree with AnneClaire, that going back to the scene of the crime isn’t light work. Thank you for doing that and for sharing the outcome.
Drugs that act on serotonin (like most antidepressants) can cause drinking problems, whether you had a prior problem or not. They can cause alcohol cravings; they can also make drinking feel more euphoric, or lead to uncharacteristic “wild” drinking behavior. (Some people do say that antidepressants help them stay sober, by making them feel less depressed. It’s a complicated thing.) It’s scary that so few doctors are aware of the risks, and routinely give antidepressants to people in early sobriety who feel depressed or anxious.
Another thing we know: The same drugs that calm some people down, can make others unbearably anxious. It happened to Rory with Lyrica, and maybe Flexeril as well. I work in a workers’ comp law office and talk every day with clients on the same menu of drugs. Many have told me that either Lyrica or gabapentin (Neurontin), or Cymbalta, made them feel horrible anxiety. This can lead to drinking problems all by itself. Maybe people who have previously used alcohol to “unwind” and relieve anxiety are more at risk, I don’t know.
At least one client died this way. He’d been sober for 20 years before his injury. He began getting addicted to medical opiates and wanted to phase them out, so the doctor gave him Lyrica. He started complaining about “waves of anxiety and panic”, and within two weeks he’d started drinking again. He went to a treatment facility for help, but they ignored the Lyrica connection. Before long he was off on a cycle of anxiety, binge drinking and erratic behavior that got him diagnosed as “bipolar” and put on yet more meds. He finally died at 45 of cardiac arrest, caused by a grand mal seizure, caused by multidrug toxicity.
So Rory, I’m so glad you made it through in one piece! So many others haven’t. Thank you for telling your story – someone may read this and recognize themselves, or their relative or friend. Or their patient.
I am having a horrible time. Don’t feel like texting but need help. On paxil, trileptal, .5 ativan, zyprexa, propanalol. Have been on other meds. All started 12 yrs ago after surgery for a chipped and ruptured disc in my neck. Now 60yrs old. Trying to get off this stuff but so hard. Have a disabled husband to care for and can hardly do anymore. Never done illegal drugs or alcohol.
Just now saw your comment. I can only say please reach out to someone qualified to help you. There are several Facebook groups that discuss how to safely get off these drugs. There are also books about it. I would hope that you can find a physitian who can help you. You might try contacting the folks at CCHR, the human rights organization . They may be able to help you find a doctor or clinic in your area who can help. Keep looking until you find help ! There are many ppl willing to help.
Let me know how you are doing.
Isn’t it so revealing what happens when the dust settles.
I was mis lead so many times it almost doesn’t bear thinking about, but, after two horror situations and my dose of Seroxat upped to 40 mg (!), I was transferred to a new, very young, extremely pleasant psychiatrist who actually listened to me…..
We didn’t hit if off straightaway as she was so young and so attractive, I thought she was a medical student and I initially found myself somewhat mute.
Then, she appeared to take in everything I told her and told me she would talk to the hospital pharmacist. She understood the effecting cold turkey results from Paroxetine and thought she would investigate.
She and the hospital pharmacist devised a year long plan reducing tablets with liquid and this became an instruction for my gp to administer.
When this programme of withdrawal stopped, I was immediately struck with all the side effects of the previous year and my gp, in front of my mother, took Fluoxetine out of her handbag summoning up the courage to say “you need this”.
It was at this point I stopped cold turkey Diazepam, Lorazepam, Chlordiazepoxide and hundreds of Beta-blockers and it was at this point that although I respected the pharmacist and the young lady that I began to suspect rather sinister goings on from the people who seemingly were in charge of my emotional intelligence and my rather costly prescription based future…..
It almost seems like being drugged into oblivion and beyond is their answer to silencing us and top marks to Rory to not take this lying down.
Very impressive, Rory, and good luck with your venture into the world of medical denial.
Dear Kim Minnick
Thank you for your comment. no i am not a vegeterian, i follow more of a paleo diet.
There areany factors that affect serotonin levels, food being one of them. truth is there is more that is not known about serotonin than is known about it. There is no way currently to measure accurately serotonin levels in a living person, only the “ash” left over in the spinal fluid of spent S that the body has metabolized. one thig known is drugs do affect changes in S and when this happens the body goes into trying to reach homostasis – trying to correct S levels back to that individuals particular normal level. this produses bounce in S levels and S receptors can be changed sometime permenently.
Yes i am aware of pain and it’s tendancy to produce substance abuse. i realize now that i drank in the past to self medicate for pain control. since my autoimmune arthritis was indiagnosed and therefore untreaded as i was looking for pain relief. AS is known to be at the top of the most painful arthritis conditions – very painful. however i did choose to stop drinking and was successful for 5 years.
Introducing multiple brain disabling drugs into a person in severe chronic pain , drugs that create grinding akatheisia and a state of diss inhibition is a recipe for alcohol abuse even for persons who did not drink before. it is well documented. The drug companies know it and the FDA knows it. Glaxo-Smith Klien has even published in writing that at least one of their anti-depresant drugs cause alcoholic behavior.
Thanks again for your comments and questio.
yes to all your comment thanks!
That is my hope, that someone will read this and put the pieces together for themselves or someone they know who may be going through something like i experianced and be helped by it. it is a horrible and dormalizing experience to go through the loss of your self control and not know why. worse yet, be blamed for your behaviors as if you are the one at fault.
Veronica, thanks for your comments. yes i thought that pharmacists were supposed to check for dangerous drug interactions and warn you of potential side effects that could be a problem. what i found is that like most doctors they are not aware of the frequency and severity of “side effects” . Drug companies have done an excellent job of disarming our built in self protection instincts by blatantly misinforming us of the reality of the problems. By using terms like “mild and rare” and side effect”. drugs don’t have “side effects”, they have effects. the term is intended to redirect our thinking away from the fact that it is an effect of the drug and it does occur. The effect is no less real or made impotent by calling it a “side”.
i used two pharmacies bc some of my meds were compounded. niether pharmacy, though i knew all the pharmacists very well due to the frequency of my visits, said anything about serious interaction warnings. They mentioned duplications and said that I was taking alot of medication, maybe too much. That is until i specificall asked them once my head cleared up after stopping the meds. Even then most of them did only a quick internet search and said “possible this possible that, but with no serious concern. when i produced more in depth information from the FDA and from rxisk they seemed surprised.
The problem is that most of healthcare professionals are not aware of the seriousness of the risks. That is why RxISK.org is so important. This is our megaphone to educate patients and professionals about the truth.
I couldn’t agree more. Pharmacists should know better and not all of them do. It’s easier to read colorful lines on shiny paper then work through the reviews in pubmed. Even if you do that (I do that), how much of the research is biased? Science, especially medical science is jeopardised by financial interests on the price of human lives – and quality of life. But let’s say you found good research (or use Rxisk), and you come up with something new to watch out for. If the national guidelines haven’t followed (often for decades), you are considered a shaman. And I am not talking about risky things, just offering some Magnesium with PPI-s or questioning the use of aspirin or statins in elderly. Honestly, pharmacy as a profession is stuck. At first I considered myself an important defence barrier between drug companies and the patients as a pharmacist, but now…
What I am trying to say is that your pharmacists weren’t acting up to standards. But even pharmacists who are over the standard is powerless to protect patients as they should. Poor us, people, patients.
It is indisputable that meds are over prescribed with frightening influence from Big Pharma. However, this problem has deep roots and even if pharmaceical greed could somehow be contained through government regulation, divine intervention, wizardry… 😉 the problems would not disappear. The vacuum would fill quickly with evolving problems arising from the same toxic interactions of factors inherent in current healthcare systems. A few examples: 1. Societal attitudes:
“I want everything to be all right NOW!”
“With enough money and perseverance there is a solution to everything.”
“If you don’t fix me, you screwed up and I’m suing.”
2. MD lack of patience time, willingness to communicate through the above; easier to give the person a pill to satisfy them.
3. MD buying into idea that doing something is always better than doing nothing.
4. Piecemeal medical care services from multiple specialists with no one coordinating care. PCP not reimbursed adequately to make this a priority. Specialists not willing to take time to consult with other MDs, providers without reimbursement.
5. Inadequate patient-MD time for comprehensive evaluation of pt status (including co morbid conditions and meds being given). Realistically no time to educate patients on medications, choices available, pros, cons (warnings, dangers).
I could go on… Lol!!!
I too was sober for 7 years until my psychiatrist first put me on Ritalin, then Klonopin for sleep. My alcohol use spiraled so out of control dealing with side effects, adverse reactions, and continual Klonopin interdose withdrawal that I turned into a raging, violent maniac. Of course at this time, I still believed my doctor was treating my ‘chemical imbalance’ so I blamed myself for everything: ending an 18 marriage. I was no longer a wife to my husband, but became his patient. I was no longer able to function in any sense of the word from the adverse effects from Klonopin tolerance withdrawal. I used to be very outgoing, fun loving person but soon became agoraphobic for years and never once attributed it to my 6 psychiatric drugs the doctor had me while correcting my chemically imbalance diseased brain (his words, not mine.) But it was the actual k-pin ‘cold turkey’ withdrawal that my mental healthcare workers said was ‘just fine’ to do is what almost killed me. Following a multiple Effexor, Trazodone, and Lithium withdrawal that threw me into every personality disorder listed in the DSM. Inclucing extreme suicidal attempts and homicidal strong ideations. It’s a miracle I didn’t kill anyone. Recovering is very difficult from all these drugs as there are no doctors in my area who were educated enough to help me. I gave my personal story to a group of professionals who sat during Dr. Peter Breggin’s Empathic Therapy Conference in Lansing this year. Was anyone listening. I don’t know. I doubt it.
I can’t thank Dr. David Healy for everything he does educating the public. But even as this is taking place I had to lose a step-son to an accidental overdose of prescription drugs and alcohol. Because they do go hand in hand. After I finally lived through 6 weeks of pure mental psychosis & seizures from that k-pin withdrawal I never took another drink. I didn’t need to. All the drug induced iatrogenic illness, anxiety, fear, and psychosis was finally gone. I even wrote a poem about it. It was named: Freedom.
Thank you for your story/input. That is heartbreaking. Such a waste, and all unnecessary ! Glad you are doing better now. Would you post your poem please?
thank you )
yep, agree to all of those causes. It could go on and on and on…….
Thank you for your story.
A friend, a senior, died recently of complications of polypharmacy.
He complained of neck pain a few years ago. His doctor prescribed a pain killer, then another pain killer. The side effect was constipation. He was given a stool softener, then another one. Then an antidepressant for pain relief. Another antidepressant followed – most likely to deal with the adverse effects of the first one. A benzodiazepine followed. Loss of balance was one of the side effects. He fell – a lot. A vertebra cracked, then another one. Hospitalization followed. Aricept followed. I didn’t tell him Aricept was a drug for Alzheimer’s and he certainly did not have Alzheimer’s. He did have Iatrogenisis. Here’s what Pfizer has to say about Aricept (donepezil): Adverse events reported during clinical trials: nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, fatigue, vomiting, muscle cramps, anorexia. Other (frequent) adverse effects observed during clinical trials: hypotension, fecal incontinence, dehydration, bone fracture, irritability, aggression, eye irritation, urinary incontinence, gait abnormality. He developed all of these ‘symptoms’. His doctors – by this time there were at least five of them – refused to look at the print-outs from RxISK. (50 pages or so)
Eventually he just stayed in bed and withered away. A few years ago he appeared to be a healthy active man with a complaint of neck pain.
Dear Maie Liiv
That’s a wrenching story, but one that is becoming all too common. Wow, refused to look at the RxISK reports. Wow. Refused !. Arrogant ignorance I guess. How can doctors who take an oath to “do no harm” be so flippant and stubbornly arrogant? Human condition i guess. Perhaps you could write a RxISK story about that case. ? Email it to Dr Healy and Joanne, they will edit/approve and publish it.
Thank you for publishing this instructive story by a brave fellow who has everyone’s support — go for it Rory! Meet with the medical professionals who harmed you, even if only for your own mental health and self-respect. Meanwhile, if enough people talk about this, step up for their own lives, and make waves, this will bring the corrupt Pharmaceutical-Medical-Industrial Complex down. Two points I wish to contribute in this essential conversation America is finally engaging in….Let’s watch the tendency to “blame the victim.” American culture is a weird mix of Sovereign Individualism and Social Responsibility in Commerce. I have heard many people air the idea that “if an adult does not want to take a drug, they have that choice,” or “doctors aren’t always right and therefore we should forgive them when they are wrong.” This is failing to recognize there is in fact, criminal culpability when a trained, licensed physician prescribes a for-profit, known-to-be-harmful drug, to his/her patient about whom he is being paid to consider the most intimate facts which might suggest drug mis-prescribing. Any physician who hears himself say the words: “I did not know,” is proving my point: the entire scientific-medical profession is indictable and must be held accountable for “not knowing.” It is in the JOB DESCRIPTION of every doctor to know the relevant facts of the case. If a physician lets him/herself weasle out of this PRIMARY function with your patient, this is the very definition of Criminal Professional Fraud — who else CAN “know,” the so-called Consumer of your medical services? Come on people, get right about this. Secondly, while I very much appreciate this writers forgiving tone, I hear this as a very understated personal crisis in the making with every single person reading this who values and needs whatever healthcare coverage they have. Here is what I mean by this: perhaps this writer did not come across this yet or perhaps he chose to not discuss, but are all handcuffed, gagged, and have no legal recourse because if we opt-out midstream, all prior medical insurance coverage will be null and void on the grounds of being AMA — Against Medical Advice. This very scenario has played out in my life multiple times. Insurance companies are in collusion with doctors and hospitals and pharmaceutical companies to prevent anyone from refusing “recommended” treatments. The recent passage of California’s so-called Mandatory Universal Vaccine law is the tip of the iceberg. I predict this model for medical tyranny will spread across the land like a metastatic cancer because, had Rory decided midstream to quit, guess what! This would have triggered much worse troubles beginning with medical bankruptcy, possible loss of business/income, and what typically happens in these cases, is divorce soon follows. We must address the problem, name the perpetrators, and face the monster. The Medical Profession has been taken over by outside interests — profit, professional gain, power, and I believe, Addictive Thinking. Do you realize that the medical profession is the highest drug-abusing profession in America? I think they have drunk too much of their own Kool-Aid.
I agree, the “I didn’t know” defense is BS and incriminating! How is it that a proffesional does not know about the tools and materials they use? No excuse.
And yes, there is much more to the story than what I wrote. To my surprise I found that what I endured falls under “standard practice” guidlines. Except for the parts about being fully informed consent and closely monitered. I was not fully inFormed nor closely monitered.
I also left out the part about my councilors. When I finally figured out what had happened and why I took the information to two of my councilors. One of them would not comment at all. The other was very interested and said “we are not taught this in our training”. I asked him, how can it be that a behavioral Councilor is not taught about these things that affect behavior? Things like chronic pain, illness, inflammation and drugs? All drugs, including prescription drugs? He replied “I don’t know but we need to know these things”
Part of the problem is the Bad Pharma double-speak. There are no ‘side effects’ any more – just ‘adverse events’ as if they just happen, out of the blue, like bad luck – no one’s fault, don’t you know!
And the state of drug testing whereby, if a particular trial is not going very well then it just drops off the record – and no obligation to mention it to anyone, including doctors.
Of course it doesn’t help that these companies are some of the richest in the world and not adverse to springing billions on their lawyer buddies – so they just keep repeating their sins with impunity.
It’s so depressing that nothing much happens – no lessons learned – just history repeating.
People need to take responsibility for their own health, do their own research and stop treating doctors like demi-gods.
Everyone needs to wake up – educate themselves – read Ben Goldacre’s “Bad Pharma” and realise that the conspiracy between Bad Pharma, hospitals, and doctors are still one of the leading causes of death and destruction, especially in the US. It’s not as if we don’t know this – it’s been going on for years.
The state of health in the US is appalling. Did you know, for example, that Cuba has less infant mortality than the US? Do you think Cubans pay their doctors more?
The biggest disappointment of my life occurred twenty years ago,when my wife died suddenly.I was very depressed obviously,and just could not get a handle it.I was referred to a psychiatrist,who spent about ten minutes with me and prescribed Prozac. I told him I knew why I was depressed,and was looking for some guideline how I could get through this without a drug.Iwas amazed at his answer”you are understandably depressed,and the only option was medication.Needless to say,I was very intolerant of the drug,and had to stop it.I culled the literature and found cognitive therapy,and also vigorous excercise were suggested,with some good research.I elected vigorous excercise,with excellent results,plus the great healer TIME! Best thing no side effects except stiffness in muscles the next day?Is that how you train your fellows? I am,by the way a physician!
Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you got away from “treatment” with drugs and glad you are doing well. So many ppl don’t escape the horror of “treatment” and some perish. My dad was one who didn’t escape. I’m planning on writing about him next.
I first got depressed when I was 18 and I was sent to see a psychiatrist after the medication my GP tried me on didn’t work. Anyway, I thought a psychiatrist was a psychoanalyst and would talk things through with me. But when I got to see him he just asked me all sorts of questions about my symptoms for for about 45 minutes, but nothing much about my psychology. After that he lent across his table and prescribed a medicine and told me to come back in month. As I walked down the road my despair went through the roof because i wondered how could a tablet help sort out my life time of shyness and feeling inadequate which led to my depression starting in the first place. But the tablets did not work so he put me on other ones which did not work either.
At the clinic, which was also a centre for the very mentally ill, I would sit in the waiting room to see the psychiatrist but many of the mentally ill inpatients would come and hassle me. ‘Have you got a cigarette’, they would constantly beg, and others would rub their bellies and say that they were hungry and would keep asking me if I had something to eat. They shuffled around and wriggled constantly. Many of them were overweight and unattractive and I found it all very disturbing. I thought it was their madness that made them like this but now I know it was due to the really horrible medications they were put on. Drugs that gave them tardive dyskinesia, and also made them feel uncomfortably hungry all the time so they craved lots food, and also lots cigarettes and tea in a desperate attempt to raise the pleasure chemical dopamine in their brains which their medications had seriously reduced.
My tablets never worked so the psychiatrist put me on lithium saying that i was a manic depressive who stayed in the depressed half all the time. I had atypical depression which is the downside of bipolar illness, apparently. I had recently bought a book on depression where i learnt that bipolar was a serious psychotic illness, like schizophrenia, and is a form of madness that can only be controlled by the use of drugs – usually forever!
I started freaking it even though i had never had manic episode in my life. Many of the inpatients at the clinic where I had been sent to were manic depressives and schizophrenics, and now I was told that i was one of them. Really scary or what? What I really had was Generalised Anxiety Disorder so I was terribly worried about this.
Six months later a consultant took me off lithium and i was so relieved, but they then tried me on another antidepressant and within two weeks I went manic. Fortunately I soon realised that I was as high as a kite and I managed to calm myself down. But I never told anyone because I didn’t want to be labelled a mad person and put on serious drugs, and I thought I might be able to control it, or even cure it by myself. I had no idea that the antidepressant I was prescribed was causing my manic episodes.
Six months earlier, before being treated by doctors, I was a happy young man chasing the girls, like all my friends were, but then a lost a lovely girlfriend to my best friend and I became very upset. I was very rejection sensitive, like people who go on to suffer atypical depression usually are. I was then sent to see a psychiatrist but they did me nothing but more harm increasing my misery, and they further destroyed my self esteem by making me feel like a failure when their drugs didn’t work, the very opposite of what good therapy is supposed to do.
Psychiatry was anti-therapy. I went in with depression and came out having a full scale nervous breakdown. I was utterly terrified.
Psychiatrists eventually gave up on me and I gave up on them. But I got repeat prescriptions every month for a year or so, but when I stopped the medication my manias completely went away. Phew! But the chronic unbearable hunger that the drug caused me to suffer went on for years. Due to enormous stress I had become as tense as a rock, and with all that tension the drug seemed to put my body semi-permanently out of kilter. It was a nightmare.
The worst thing that ever happened to me was being treated by a psychiatrist. They destroyed a large part of my life. I was only 18 and what I really needed was someone to talk to, but no one talked to me. I was left largely on my own with a bottle of useless pills, and I would only get to see the psychiatrist once a month. Lots of despair!
Yep, your story is similar to mine and far to many other ppl. We go to a Dr for help and we get betrayed, mistreated and wind up suffering needlessly. What is this psychosis these doctors have? How can they not see what they are doing?
Just goes to show how wrong ppl, doctors, professionals can be.
The Brain Changes When You Become Addicted To Something
I don’t think the pharmaceutical companies ever warned consumers about the dangers of ingesting antidepressants.
Like drugs, antidepressants subtly work on the brain by inducing addictions.
When people are on antidepressants, they are not aware of addictions that may follow:
All these addictions are created by the very medicine that is suppose to heal our mind.
Like drugs, antidepressants impact areas of the brain that lead to lack of inhibition and ‘out of control’ behaviours.
Did your doctor ever warn you what would happen if you ever tried to come off these antidepressants ‘cold turkey?’
I am assuming, they already know but some fail to warn their patients.
Why is this warning not placed on the antidepressants?
I have never tried recreational drugs however, I have knowledge in knowing that many become ‘psychopathic’ whilst on them.
Like drugs and alcohol, antidepressants should come under the same category.
The fact that addictions leads to reward for the consumer, it is a repetitive behaviour that can lead to malfunction in life.
Then there are the disorders that are induced.
If they proclaim to heal depression why are so many people developing anxiety disorders, such as:
– mood disorders
-weird sexual tendencies
-obsessive compulsive disorders
There are so many that I have not added to the list because I am just mentioning the ones that come to my mind.
Antidepressants also induce disease. That is something the pharmaceutical companies didn’t warn consumers about, either.
Diseases such as:
-Auto immune disease
Anything with ‘itis’ on the end is an indication that there is war within the body. Inflammation which is induced by drugs, is no fun way to live life.
You have to watch what you eat, drink and do.
Your life will never be the same.
You are trying to fight the diseases that the drug had induced by trying to keep ‘flare ups’ from occurring and that can be a hard task to overcome.
We all have a choice in life to do the right thing by our body.
Recreational drugs and alcohol are a free choice.
Prescribed medicines are a free choice, also.
Once your body has been abused, becomes a toxic waste dump, has been aggravated, assaulted, confused or attacked, it is very hard to get it back to the natural status of good health and well being.
Mental health, is a delicate subject matter.
Like drugs, we should also include in the educational regime the harm that antidepressants can do to our mental and physical well being.
No point denying that problems can occur.
Just google the citizens Human Rights Commission.
This will be your first point of educational awareness about antidepressants.
There is a whole world of educational information waiting to be explored.
I wish someone had ‘opened up my eyes’ and had given me these tools, before I ingested a pill. I would of been very grateful.
I believe, that you can never eliminate this drug out of the brain matter, long after you have ingested it.
Like children, who have been impacted by vaccinations, it lodges itself in the brain and stays there for the rest of your life.
The pharmaceutical companies don’t warn you of this, either.
Our brains have been delicately wired and anything you put into your mouth can be harmful to the brain.
Many people resort to pills because our ‘modus operandi’ has been to trust and rely on synthetic products that will heal.
I am not one to scare anyone out of taking a pill for anything.
This is your choice, body and mind.
I was once a consumer like you.
Believed and trusted doctors.
Believed everything the consumer information pamphlets told me.
Believed that a magic cure could be found in a pill.
I had that same mentality as 90% of the population.
Let me tell you something, after what I have been through, I am glad I turned my back on Western Medicine.
My body/health/mind have been through hell and back and I never want to go back there again.
It is great that everyone does their bit by promoting mental health however, it is also crucial and imperative that we make people aware about the other spectrum of drugs/prescribed medicines.
My life could be your life, one day.
What happened to me could happen to you, as this site is a testimony that we are not pathological liars.
Before ingesting anything, it is wise to be informed and be armed with ‘set backs’ that can happen, also.
If I had known, I would have had a BETTER QUALITY of life today.
It is what it is and trying to CHANGE the mindsets of people who are pro antidepressants is very challenging.
Unless, an unfortunate incident, never happens to you, it is very hard to comprehend what I am trying to relay. I understand this!
If all the information is not out there, we are leaving things to chance.
I would rather be well informed than play Russian roulette.
We would all like to benefit from something that heals but if the delicate brain matter is being affected and people are not noticing the subtle behavioural changes, it can become quite a scary experience.
I want to have control over my mind, body and well being.
I can do that to some extent but it will never be the same.
Am I still mourning?
Yes, I am. I suppose it is the same thing as when someone looses a part of their body such as a : leg, arm, eye, kidney etc
Just because you can not visually see the extent of harm, the harm has been done to parts of the body that were functioning quite well before I ingested that one fatal pill.
There always has to be a safer way to remedy a problem.
Research and take the time before you decide to ingest a pill.
Thank you for the reply. It is very accurate and informative. No, I don’t think I will ever be the same either, I just try to be the best I can be. It’s hard for others to understand this, especialy if they have not been through it. It is a hard battle to convince people also but we must keep trying. That is my mission, to educate and inform as many as i can.
Reading your reply again I notice how concise and accurate your knowledge of these drugs and the wole “system” that allows this to happen. Are you in the field of healthcare?
Also, would you mind if I share your comments? This could be very helpful to others.
Thank you for understanding and appreciating how these dangerous medicines can have a devastating impact to our health.
You hit the head on the nail.
Unless, you never experience the harm that these medicines induce, one will never make the connection or completely understand the ‘tsunami’ of residual destruction it leaves behind.
Only, the one who suffers, understands what they have to live with.
I am sorry, you will never have the ‘healthy’ you back.
Like you, I grieve.
I hope the grieving will come to a halt one day ~ I really do.
Like you said, Rory, we can only do our best and this is all we can do.
When I have to deal with my health issues, I am constantly reminded of how delicate our bodies are.
Everything is interconnected.
The mind, body, spirit are so delicately interwoven and when ‘one’ of these are ‘out of balance’, the whole wellbeing suffers.
I have reached a stage Rory, where I don’t have to prove anything to anybody.
It is what it is!
Firstly, I am a human being.
I am someone’s: daughter, wife, mother, sister and friend.
My professional trademark is: dental nursing.
I have knowledge about teeth but love to make patients feel safe and very welcome.
My experience and knowledge comes from reading and research.
Long days and nights go to researching.
You would think I don’t have a life and that I am a hermit.
This is my life.
Passionate and hungry to learn about everything concerning this subject.
One subject lead to another.
Then I stumbled upon David Healy and he was my greatest teacher.
I wanted to understand my health issues and ‘why’ some people are the way they are.
I want people to know what I know so that they can make a better informed decision.
Rory, I would appreciate it immensely if you spread the word.
Every person I meet leads them to this forum.
I am not ashamed of my experience.
I embrace it especially, knowing that my experience may help someone to gain an awareness and knowledge of what these medicines are capable of inducing.
I might save a life or two.
It gives me great pleasure in knowing that one soul leads to another.
The biggest fight we have on our hands today is: big pharma and nay sayers.
It has been one hell of a journey.
David Healy has given us the opportunity to speak our minds and say it as it is.
Exercising my authenticity, experience and knowledge about a subject matter that is considered ‘taboo’, frees me from people who have falsely judged/crucified me.
Rory, I don’t need any validation from anyone.
I have HOPE and FAITH in knowing that one day everyone will have the awareness and knowledge to do what is RIGHT for their spirit, mind and body.
David is trying to do the RIGHT thing and when we do the RIGHT thing there is a price to pay.
In the end, I know the rewards of speaking up, will benefit many generations to come.
I just wanted to say:
All the best to you and many others who are fighting for a better world.
The best form of POWER is EDUCATION.
If the medical professionals learn something from this website, I know David Healy is on to something GOOD.
If consumers benefit from knowledge, David Healy is giving everyone the gift of WISDOM.
Good luck, everyone.
The ripple effect can be very contagious.
It is reassuring and comforting to know that someone understands what I am saying.
I am proud that you are trying to do the best you can.
I have read that so many people get the disability pension due to not being able to work.
Unfortunately, I have received no kind of support due to my husbands income.
The medical profession have been very unsupportive and the commonwealth rehabilitation don’t want to know you unless I have a crisis at work.
Financially, we have been struggling for a long time and although my husband makes a reasonable wage, he still has to support my son and I.
I have not been able to go to work full time due to health issues.
It is a struggle for me.
The system has made it very difficult for our family despite the hardships we have endured.
They do not take into consideration that we have bills to pay and still have to live the best way we can.
I don’t understand how the system work.
If you don’t play the game, you are left in a ‘lurch’.
~ Education is a waste of time: people don’t want to know unless something unforseen happens to them
~ Some clinicians don’t want to know because they get great rewards from big pharma
~ Some lawyers don’t care because it is too damn hard to fight for the plantiff so they srugg it off
~ Some politicians don’t give a damn because they also get benefits and rewards form big pharma
Corruption is part of the system/processes and people don’t matter.
Its all about money.
Some people only get involved when there is something in it for themselves.
I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t.
Am trying to remain very optimistic despite all the corruption and unkind people I meet along the way.
What do you take us for? Stupid or incompetent!
I believe it is the other way around!
Yes, it is the other way around. They are the stupid and incompetent ones.
We were just ignorant for trusting the institutions and professionals.
Our education was costly. Very costly.
This is YEARS after the original poster wrote the story, but I’m wondering how things are looking in Rory’s world now. I won’t go into detail in case this is a dead comment section but am/have experienced much of the same.
Best to all