1.23.2007

The Perfect Storm

As the days start to blend into weeks – and then into months – I have to say, I may actually be starting to adjust to a life free of antidepressants. Friday will mark three months since I took my last dose of Paxil. While I still have good days and bad days, I have to think (hope) that the worst is behind me.

Would I say that my story has a happy ending? No way. I may feel okay most days – but I know it’s not over. The effects of the withdrawal - and years of taking Paxil - will more than likely remain with me for years to come. I still have sensations of electrical short-circuits in my brain - and my ears still ring like a thousand television sets screaming at me.

I do have to say that I feel lucky to have lived through it (so far!) and to have the ability to tell the story. There are so many people out there – just like me – who need help, who need to talk – and to deal with real issues in their lives. It’s just so unfortunate, and quite frankly, tragic, that the very treatment that we looked to for help, could cause so much pain, suffering and confusion. It’s the ultimate irony – you feel down or anxious so you take a pill to feel better – and in the end, that pill only makes you feel worse - and even intensifies the very issues that caused you to seek help in the first place.

I’m starting to think that antidepressants are like the “perfect storm” – everything came together to create the ultimate moneymaker. You’ve got the perfect consumers – people who desperately want and need help. You’ve got the perfect illness – one that cannot be scientifically proven and is subjectively diagnosed. You’ve got the perfect marketing scheme – huge advertising campaigns in magazines and on television that play directly on the consumer’s fears and desires to get better. And, you’ve got the perfect pushers – government regulators and a professional community that have bought into the whole thing hook, line and sinker. The result of this “perfect storm” is a tremendous amount of power and influence that allows the industry to keep the wave rolling.

It’s intimidating – and a little overwhelming to actually fight the storm and try to get someone to listen - or make a change, or for that matter, tell the truth – but at this point, what other choice do we have?


7 Comments:

At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Sara said...

On the theme of "perfect storm" it's even worse than you describe because there is a window of time when antidepressants make a lot of people feel "better than well". You said you experienced this yourself. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are actually stimulants of a sort. In his book Glenmullen quotes antidepressant users who have also used cocaine as describing it like an attenuated form of cocaine. Thus there's a product that does produce the very feeling that one is so desperately craving when one is down, but it doesn't last and it's artificial! By the time it wears off, your emotions are so blunted or your judgment so impaired you don't even realize that the product is doing you more harm than good and you've become chemically dependent. This is so seductive and insidious, the perfect product for a greedy corporation. It's a real tragedy of our time and our generation.

But hey, you're doing great and it's only going to get better. You have the insight and the knowledge now to pull through. I'm sure you're going to make it. And don't regret those years too much. You would never be doing this rewarding project if they hadn't happened. You never know what twists and turns life is going to bring your way but they're all capable of adding profound meaning to the journey.

 
At 5:29 PM, Blogger S said...

exactly! exactly. antidepressants are bank loans that MUST be repaid...with interest.

 
At 4:40 PM, Anonymous JP the survivor said...

Hi, i'm a 32 year old french Canadian. At the age of 23, i started severe anxiaty trouble and came very close to commit suicide. I've been lucky enough to have a friend to help me and take me to a doctor. I started taking Paxil 30mg in 1999.

This drug saved my live. Everything that i've been able to do for the last 10 year, i owe it to Paxil. I tried to quit 2 times, after 1 year and again after 3 years, my troubles immediately came back.
YES, there are withdrawal symptoms, but they can be controled, everyone who had troubles withdrawing either stop to fast or did not follow the method.

The reason that i'm writing this is to alert you that your documentary can scared poeple who really need medication to survive. Someone who had just been prescribed Paxil is likely to search google to find about the pros and cons, when they come across a site like this, they can choose to not take the medication, wich can be extremely dangerous for their life.

I quited Paxil a year ago and, even if some withdrawal symptoms are very hard to support, i can say that Paxil saved my life and i would recommend it to anyone i love. I'm not a scientist saying that SSIR are a good thing, i'm just a survivor saying that they are necessary for a lot of people, until a better drug hit the shelf, we must live with this one and learn how to live with the withdrawal symptoms.

Please act responsively and don't scrared poeple that are fragile and need medication to survive.

JP from QuebecCity Canada

 
At 4:41 PM, Anonymous JP the survivor said...

Hi, i'm a 32 year old french Canadian. At the age of 23, i started severe anxiaty trouble and came very close to commit suicide. I've been lucky enough to have a friend to help me and take me to a doctor. I started taking Paxil 30mg in 1999.

This drug saved my live. Everything that i've been able to do for the last 10 year, i owe it to Paxil. I tried to quit 2 times, after 1 year and again after 3 years, my troubles immediately came back.
YES, there are withdrawal symptoms, but they can be controled, everyone who had troubles withdrawing either stop to fast or did not follow the method.

The reason that i'm writing this is to alert you that your documentary can scared poeple who really need medication to survive. Someone who had just been prescribed Paxil is likely to search google to find about the pros and cons, when they come across a site like this, they can choose to not take the medication, wich can be extremely dangerous for their life.

I quited Paxil a year ago and, even if some withdrawal symptoms are very hard to support, i can say that Paxil saved my life and i would recommend it to anyone i love. I'm not a scientist saying that SSIR are a good thing, i'm just a survivor saying that they are necessary for a lot of people, until a better drug hit the shelf, we must live with this one and learn how to live with the withdrawal symptoms.

Please act responsively and don't scrared poeple that are fragile and need medication to survive.

JP from QuebecCity Canada

 
At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil..keep on going!! Yup, the "perfect storm" is exactly what this is.

 
At 9:31 PM, Anonymous lsyorke said...

The perfect storm is exactly what this is. And like the perfect storm in weather, this is taking lives too.

 
At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

c'mon phil, update! update!

 

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