Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The right path?

Trask: Sir, you are out of order!

Slade: Outta order? I'll show you outta order! You don't know what outta order is, Mr. Trask! I'd show you but I'm too old; I'm too tired; I'm too fuckin' blind. If I were the man I was five years ago I'd take a FLAME-THROWER to this place! Outta order. Who the hell you think you're talkin' to? I've been around, you know? There was a time I could see. And I have seen boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there isn't nothin' like the sight of an amputated spirit; there is no prosthetic for that. You think you're merely sendin' this splendid foot-soldier back home to Oregon with his tail between his legs, but I say you are executin' his SOUL!! And why?! Because he's not a Baird man! Baird men, ya hurt this boy, you're going to be Baird Bums, the lot of ya. And Harry, Jimmy, Trent, wherever you are out there, FUCK YOU too!

Mr. Trask: Stand down, Mr. Slade!

Slade: I'm not finished! As I came in here, I heard those words, "cradle of leadership." Well, when the bow breaks, the cradle will fall. And it has fallen here; it has fallen. Makers of men; creators of leaders; be careful what kind of leaders you're producin' here. I don't know if Charlie's silence here today is right or wrong.

I'm not a judge or jury. But I can tell you this: he won't sell anybody out to buy his future!! And that, my friends, is called integrity! That's called courage! Now that's the stuff leaders should be made of. Now I have come to the crossroads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew. But I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard. Now here's Charlie. He's come to the crossroads. He has chosen a path. It's the right path. It's a path made of principle -- that leads to character. Let him continue on his journey.

Happy New Year

This is where people go to celebrate the new year in Rio de Janeiro.
Every year is the same.
Boring, boring and boring.
I used to go when there were not all these lunatics and all these fires.
We could even see other people because it was not so crowd. We could walk along the beach. Then the thing became... market.
I guess you all know damn well the power of money.
In 2009, Chinese New Year will begin on January 26th. This is the year of the cow.
Happy New Year. I don't know why all this fuss about it all but that's the way we were told time has to be counted and I don't know why we have to start counting on the day the earth starts another orbit around the sun or is it the end?
This is immaterial. Why not celebrate while it is on the middle of the orbit?
I believe humans are too obsessed with beginning and end.
What about the middle? What about in-between? Why not a daily celebration to the earth's orbit? Why not celebrate every day?
Give me a break.
Happy new year....
Addendum: It's 11 pm. The new year has just arrived and everybody is happy. Daylight saving time. You see? Now it's a little more clear what I'm trying to say.

AstraZeneca and Nobel Prize Organization

I don't know why I'm shocked. Anyway...
December 19, 2008
David Charter
"The integrity of the Nobel prize was called into question last night after it emerged that a member of the jury also sat on the board of a pharmaceuticals giant that benefited from the award of this year’s prize for medicine.

Prosecutors were studying whether AstraZeneca, the London-based multi-national pharmaceutical company, could have exerted undue influence on the award.

The joint winner of this year’s Nobel Prize for Medicine, Harald zur Hausen, was recognised for his work on the human papilloma virus (HPV), which can lead to cervical cancer. AstraZeneca has a stake in two lucrative vaccines against the virus.

Two senior figures in the process that chose Mr zur Hausen have strong links with the pharmaceutical company, which has also recently begun sponsoring the Nobel website and promotional subsidiary. The company strongly denies any wrongdoing."
(continue reading)
Perhaps one day we'll be hearing about the Nobel Pfizer.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mind UK - Making sense of coming off psychiatric drugs

Gianna has post today Making sense of coming off psychiatric drugs that has some good informations:

Making small reductions
If you find you have to withdraw very slowly, it can be difficult to make small enough reductions in your dose, especially if your drug comes in capsule form. Sometimes it’s possible to break open the capsule and remove some of the content to lower the dose. You should always take care doing this, though, as the contents (for instance, fluoxetine) are sometimes irritating to the skin or the eyes. A pharmacist should be able to tell you if it’s safe to do so. Some drugs are obtainable in liquid form, which can be diluted to make small reductions in dosage. You would then need to be very sure what the concentration of the liquid is, and how much water to add to achieve the dose you wish. You may want to ask a pharmacist to help you with this. Drugs that are available in liquid form are listed on p. 31. (The lowest available doses in solid form are also in the tables on pp. 26-30.)

What sort of support should I look for?
Loss of self-confidence is very common among people who have been taking drugs for a long time, partly due to the effects of the drugs themselves, and partly due to being in ‘the sick role’ and dependent on a doctor’s prescription. This can make it difficult to make the decision to come off the drugs and to stick with it. The support of friends who have been through the same process and know just how it feels can be immensely valuable.
There are only very few organisations with expertise in coming off medication. (See Useful organisations, on p. 34, for more
details.) If you are very lucky, you may have a local group near you – for example, in a local Mind association. The majority of people will find that the best source of support and information is the Internet, particularly for SSRI antidepressants, although less so for those coming off antipsychotics or mood stabilisers. (emphasis mine)

Trust your own perceptions
If you feel that something you are experiencing is a side effect of medication or a withdrawal effect, take your perceptions seriously. Doctors may tell you that ‘it’s your illness’, but you know your body and its responses better than they do. If you are following a programme of slow dose reduction, and you reach a difficult phase, don’t be afraid to slow down, or to stop at the dose you are on for longer than you had planned; adapt your plans to fit your experience. (emphasis mine)

Wyeth tablets are not on Brazilian market since 2007

Effexor tablets

I used to take the tablets and all I need is to take them again.
Since October 2007 the tablets are no longer available in Brazilian market.
I was forced to use the XR version.
Side effects got worse and now
I'm feeling dizzy which is the worst of all symptoms and is affecting my life. I've send another e-mail to Wyeth in Brazil with a copy of this e-mail I wrote and Gianna was kind enough to send it for me.
The two versions are available in US, UK, Canada and I believe that in other countries.
I know what's going to happen: nothing. I'm the only one who is complaining and I'm the only one who felt side effects get worse and is feeling these new side effects.
I have no idea how Brazilians are getting off of Effexor XR and I guess I will have to feel this way for the rest of my life.
Who cares about patients?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My SSRI withdrawal hell - Repost

These are two posts I wrote on my Effexor withdrawal:

This is another comment that I left on SocialAudit during the 19 months I was tapering off Effexor.
It was written on July 29, 2005:

"Just to give you an idea that there's an end after this long and winding road that leads to Our door.Today I'm feeling fine. Now I have to taper the last 3/4 of 75 mg last pill. I cannot believe.
After 1 year and four months tapering 225 mg I have overcome the hell I was. For the first time I can believe I'll reach the end of the process. If everything goes right I hope next week I'll be able to taper another tiny little bit. So, I will finally be tapering half the pill.
The funny thing is that ours lives became this fight against this drug. My parameters are totally different from other people at the moment. When someone says to me that is tired I feel like laughing. I remember the days while on Effexor and when the tiredness was not because I had worked a lot or played a lot or anything a lot.
I could not wake up from bed. When someone says that is sad I also want to laugh for after being on chemical sadness that let me in total despair, the chemical suicidal ideation and all the sorrow, pain and strange feelings I felt and perhaps will still feel, everything connected to feelings that has a reason, that is part off living became almost irrelevant. Of course I suffer from my own problems but the priority is side effects, withdrawal symptoms when will I have my mind and body back, how many time will I have to wait after the last day off Effexor and so on…
Guess I’m getting after all…. crazy. I feel like asking: “ – Do you really know what sadness is?”
“ – Do you really know what tiredness is?” “ – Do you really know what it means the world is falling apart?”
Let me give you an address where you will find out: www.socialaudit.org.uk . There are others but here you will have a large number off testimonies.
I believe that maybe we get traumatized by all these. I keep on wondering when my life will start again. As if we could divide before SSRIs/after SSRIs. Only those who are here or somewhere else trying to get help knows what I’m talking about.
Everybody think that we are doing nothing. They have no idea what kind of work we are doing to save ourselves. Searching the Internet, having to find a way to get out off the drug for most off us had no help from physicians. Suffering the hell under the drug and the hell off side effects and withdrawal symptoms.
I started to write a message of optimism but it turned out into something else. But I guess it is important to realize that this struggle made us a little bit apart from the world.
But I believe that human beings are at the same time very fragile and very strong.
Now I was watching the news and the financial market reported that GlaxosSmith shareholders can sleep in peace for they are selling a lot. And ironically it appears these pills, millions of pills being manufactured.
And I keep on wondering when will it stop? Still naïve. But the question is still in my head: “All this suffering because others have to make profit?” Maybe the Pope could help. Perhaps he is also a shareholder. Surely he is."


My withdrawal story is on SocialAudit discussion board as I have already explained here. I've found out this outburst after three months off Effexor. The last 35 mg was the hardest do withdraw which caused me a lot of anguish because I thought that it was the contrary.
I could never imagine that reaching the end of the withdrawal it would be more difficult and that 3 months after being off the drug I was going to feel so many withdrawal symptoms that living was no longer possible and I had to go back to the drug.
Perhaps if I kept on with the 35 mg for a long time... I don't know. Neither did the psychiatrist that at the beginning of the process, when I told him that I was tapering off he first 35 mg, said:
"-Good you're withdrawing because Effexor is what makes you feel all you're feeling."
He forgot he said this.
I did it all by myself and with the help of Socialaudit friendship.
Here is a comment - it's more an outburst because I was feeling terrible and was diagnosed... depressed by the same psychiatrist who said the above.
It was written on March 2006. I've read it now and I feel amazed how terrible I was feeling. I don't remember it clearly. I only remember that it was hell.

"I went to a psychiatrist for I have quit Effexor three months ago and I'm experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. I am apathetic, despair crisis in the morning that are unbearable, still feel dizzy and headaches and other "ailments". He said I was... depressed. He asked me if I would like to try another SSRI. I asked him about all the testimonies of Persistent Adverse Neurological Effects and about people reporting having all kind of terrible problems after years off SSRIs. He did not say a word and shacked his head saying "No". But this "No" meant to me: "We do have anything to do with it; we are aware but we are supposed to prescribe these drugs; we do not know what to do; don't you dare to mention this... and many other things".
I went home and felt like... I do not have words to express the feeling.
I keep on asking myself: "What on earth is this? So a bunch of people come here in this site and many others to say all these lies? Is it a new disease a kind of collective neurosis that is making people have the same symptoms? Am I crazy, finally I have reached dementia and it has affected my reading comprehension and all I read here are wonderful testimonies but my craziness makes me read the opposite?"
For those of you who have experienced this kind of inconsiderateness, and there are many reports here, trust yourself.
It hurts like hell. I was talking to a psychiatrist, someone whose duty is to help people being healthy, give support, comfort and above all listen to their patients and, at least, give an answer aloud "-No, never heard about that. Never saw that on the Internet and in my clinical experience never had a single patient who had this kind of problem. I do not know where you find these sites and these reports. All my patients on SSRIs are very happy and having a great life."
As you can see I'm very indignant. Every time I read someone reporting that their physicians answer "It is all in your head... 'That's not the way it is...' 'You must accept that...'" it makes me feel as if… I do not know what to say.
The right word for me to describe it is hypocrisy. But when it comes from a physician… I really do not know what values are left in this world in which we live.
I'm sorry for this long outburst. But I believe it express of what many people feel.
For how long this silence about this huge problem will last? How many people will have to suffer? How big is the greed and how much money will it take till they at least stop prescribing these drugs? I no longer believe that this will ever be unfold for it involves many people and issues. But nobody else should be expose to these drugs that causes much more harm than benefits."

Effexor XR side effects are hard to endure

I'm feeling dizzy, migraine and my ears are buzzing. Impossible to concentrate.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Dr. Daniel Carlat reflexions 6 years after speaking for Wyeth

This is an amazing article Dr. Daniel Carlat wrote in November 25, 2007 about his experience when...

"On a blustery fall New England day in 2001, a friendly representative from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals came into my office in Newburyport, Mass., and made me an offer I found hard to refuse. He asked me if I’d like to give talks to other doctors about using Effexor XR for treating depression. He told me that I would go around to doctors’ offices during lunchtime and talk about some of the features of Effexor. It would be pretty easy. Wyeth would provide a set of slides and even pay for me to attend a speaker’s training session, and he quickly floated some numbers. I would be paid $500 for one-hour “Lunch and Learn” talks at local doctors’ offices, or $750 if I had to drive an hour. I would be flown to New York for a “faculty-development program,” where I would be pampered in a Midtown hotel for two nights and would be paid an additional “honorarium.”

"How many doctors speak for drug companies? We don’t know for sure, but one recent study indicates that at least 25 percent of all doctors in the United States receive drug money for lecturing to physicians or for helping to market drugs in other ways. This meant that I was about to join some 200,000 American physicians who are being paid by companies to promote their drugs. I felt quite flattered to have been recruited, and I assumed that the rep had picked me because of some special personal or professional quality."


"Naïve as I was, I found myself astonished at the level of detail that drug companies were able to acquire about doctors’ prescribing habits. I asked my reps about it; they told me that they received printouts tracking local doctors’ prescriptions every week. The process is called “prescription data-mining,” in which specialized pharmacy-information companies (like IMS Health and Verispan) buy prescription data from local pharmacies, repackage it, then sell it to pharmaceutical companies. This information is then passed on to the drug reps, who use it to tailor their drug-detailing strategies. This may include deciding which physicians to aim for, as my Wyeth reps did, but it can help sales in other ways. For example, Shahram Ahari, a former drug rep for Eli Lilly (the maker of Prozac) who is now a researcher at the University of California at San Francisco’s School of Pharmacy, said in an article in The Washington Post that as a drug rep he would use this data to find out which doctors were prescribing Prozac’s competitors, like Effexor. Then he would play up specific features of Prozac that contrasted favorably with the other drug, like the ease with which patients can get off Prozac, as compared with the hard time they can have withdrawing from Effexor.

The American Medical Association is also a key player in prescription data-mining. Pharmacies typically will not release doctors’ names to the data-mining companies, but they will release their Drug Enforcement Agency numbers. The A.M.A. licenses its file of U.S. physicians, allowing the data-mining companies to match up D.E.A. numbers to specific physicians. The A.M.A. makes millions in information-leasing money.

Once drug companies have identified the doctors, they must woo them. In the April 2007 issue of the journal PLoS Medicine, Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman of Georgetown teamed up with Ahari (the former drug rep) to describe the myriad techniques drug reps use to establish relationships with physicians, including inviting them to a speaker’s meeting. These can serve to cement a positive a relationship between the rep and the doctor. This relationship is crucial, they say, since “drug reps increase drug sales by influencing physicians, and they do so with finely titrated doses of friendship.” "


I still allow drug reps to visit my office and give me their pitches. While these visits are short on useful medical information, they do allow me to keep up with trends in drug marketing. Recently, a rep from Bristol-Myers Squibb came into my office and invited me to a dinner program on the antipsychotic Abilify.

“I think it will be a great program, Dr. Carlat,” he said. “Would you like to come?” I glanced at the invitation. I recognized the name of the speaker, a prominent and widely published psychiatrist flown in from another state. The restaurant was one of the finest in town.

I was tempted. The wine, the great food, the proximity to a famous researcher — why not rejoin that inner circle of the select for an evening? But then I flashed to a memory of myself five years earlier, standing at a lectern and clearing my throat at the beginning of a drug-company presentation. I vividly remembered my sensations — the careful monitoring of what I would say, the calculations of how frank I should be.

“No,” I said, as I handed the rep back the invitation. “I don’t think I can make it. But thanks anyway.”
(read the whole article. There are valuable informations)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,
This is the first time I write to you.
I understand it was not possible this year. I hope that along the next year you can help our voices be heard. All we want is preventing people to be hurt by taking medicines that are causing too much harm. I don't think it's too much to ask. Look at all the side effects these drugs are promoting; look how difficult it's to withdraw and how seriously these medicines are affecting people's lives. Some people take theirs lives and the lives of others due to drug-induced violent behavior. We are telling it over and over again but it's been so difficult! I hope that by the end of the next year at least children can be saved from taking antidepressants, antipsychotics or benzos while they are developing.
Next year Santa, next year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Unhappy Christmas

Yep! You've read it right.
Some people don't like this time of the year, Period.
You don't have to be happy.
We have the right not to be happy on Christmas. The idea of a family united and happy looks like science fiction or a Seventh Heaven episode to you?
You're not alone.
Are you alone? You are not alone.
Let yourself go, relax and join the club.

Merry Christmas

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

I wish you all a very merry Christmas. This is the song that is always in my heart during this time of the year.
Let's hope 2009 is a good one
Without any fear

Monday, December 22, 2008

I am grateful...

... happy and very moved.
I've received a lot this year from all of you. Last Saturday I've started to write a post on it:

"Today was a great day and I'm feeling happy.
First it was Fiddy who made a Tribute to the Lady Campaigners to fourteen amazing women. I was one of them.
It was A Hoy's

Ana inspires me every day, with her passion for humanity based on her own struggles. Because of what she has lived and witnessed, she advocates for others with compassion.
Determination, Indomitable spirit, and no small intelligence. It takes a great deal to keep going when one is complaining about something that people have a vested interest in not changing - there's nothing very satisfying about talking to a brick wall!
A wealth of information, is Ana's blog, and a thoroughly decent person, is Ana."

I didn't finish the post. The two comments above are two votes to Weellsphere. I don't care about the votes. I never thought I was being seem this way and it makes me... I don't know.
I'm starting to have some amazing people coming to my blog.
I have to confess that the blog
New York on Time by Jorge Pontual - the last on my A Hoy list - is very special for me. He's a Brazilian journalist who lives in New York for 10 years. I'll talk about him later. I thought that it would take months to hear from him. He answered on Saturday.
Yesterday Susan called me.
Her sweet voice is still in my mind and soul.
I'm so overwhelmingly moved that once again I'll not finish this post.
I'll publish it this way and try to catch up later.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

PSSD - SSRI-sex group - I urge psychiatrists to join

I've joined SSRI-sex group. I would like to ask psychiatrists to join the group and study. If their clinical experience is not enough to make them see that something is going wrong perhaps by reading these testimonies and seeing patients trying to find a cure for their iatrogenic condition they can start to have some questions.
This is one of the polls. If people are reporting these kind of symptoms and their physicians close their eyes and remain silent I believe that something quite strange is going on.
Take a good look at this:
(To have real access to this poll you have to be here at SSRI-sex group. It's just a copy.)

This is a poll to determine how common specific sexual symptoms are. If you are suffering from a symptom, please check the box to the left of that symptom. You may check more than one box. Please do not answer if you are still taking SSRIs.

You can change your vote until the moderator closes this poll.


Inaugural A Hoy Awards



There I go.

Oh! My accent!
breath, breath, breath...)

"I want to thank Matthew Holford for creating this award and for inviting me to be a co-founder and Tracy for the great artwork.
I'm very excited because I believe it's a great idea to unite people and make them see that their work is being appreciated.
I'm delighted to announce my contribution to the first raft of
A Hoys to be awarded:

1. Reading Adventures by Marg
2. A Daily Dose of Architecture by John Hill
3. Pmokeefe by Patrick O'Keeffe
4. Artversussport by Yrsa R. Fannberg
5. People and Nature Journal by Steve Chase
6. New York on Time by Jorge Pontual

Now it's time to say why I've chosen these blogs. Instead of giving details of each one I rather stress what they all have in common:
they are passionated by their work.
Thank you for being so damn good!"
(I just hope this teardrop doesn't show)


Rules for Making an Award

1. Pick five blogs that you consider deserve this award based upon any criteria - for example, the quality of the commentary, wit, humour, artwork, overall design, value to you of the information being provided, and so on.

2. The awarding blogger should choose at least two blogs not on his or her own blogroll, the purpose being to encourage variety of reading matter, and to have the person making the award think about what they like to see and read.

3. Your five choices must be published in a dedicated post on your own blog. This post must contain the name of the author (which may be their logon name), and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone. This post should contain brief details of what attracted you to the blog. Details may also be posted in the comments section of "What is a Hoy?"

4. In the same dedicated post, each winner has to show the award and acknowledge the blog that has given him or her the award.

5. Both those awarding and receiving A Hoy must show the link to A Hoy blog, so that everyone will know the origin of this award.

6. When publishing details of the blogs to which you have made your awards, these Rules must be published for recipients to follow.

Friday, December 19, 2008


As strange as it may seems I never realized how lonely I've been.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

US blog friends - Help me addressing a message to US Wyeth

Dear blog friends,

I would like to ask for your help. As I've already reported here I'm feeling terrible side effects because Effexor tablets are no longer available on Brazilian market and last year I was forced to take the XR capsules. At the beginning side effects I already felt got worse. Now I'm feeling more side effects. The worse is the dizziness. It's almost impossible to know when it's going to happen and I've already done all kind of exams and my GP can't find a way to help me. My psychiatrist agrees that I have to low the dose I'm taking -150 mg - but he doesn't know how to help me taper it without the tablets.
I've already tried to talk to Wyeth in Brazil but it's useless.
I would be very grateful if any of you could send the message below through this page of US Wyeth.
Thank you very, very much.

Dear Sirs,

I have already wrote to Wyeth in the Brazilian site but I'm finding difficulties to have answers. So I'm trying to talk to US Wyeth not asking for medical advise but to raise this serious problem Brazilians consumers are facing not because of any Brazilian regulatory issue but because Wyeth has decided to take away from the Brazilian market Effexor tablets.
I'm relying on some US citizens to help me and using the only contact that US Wyeth have on it's site.
Last year my psychiatrist informed me that Effexor tablets were going out of Brazilian market and that I was forced to change to the XR capsules.
I've started taking the XR version and not only old side effects got worse but I started felling new side effects. For the last ten months I have migraines, tinnitus and constant dizziness which is affecting my life in a terrible way as well as other side effects.
I have to low my dose but it's not possible to taper the XR capsules.
Wyeth has already advised the Brazilian regulatory agency, ANVISA, that Effexor tablets are no longer be on the market.
Since the withdrawal from Effexor has to be done very slowly and it's impossible to withdraw 37,5 mg without cutting the tablet I would like to know what is the method Wyeth has planned for Brazilians for the withdrawal process because me and my physician don't know how to do it.
The tablets are available on US market, UK and other countries. I cannot buy it online from an US pharmacy because it would cost me the double and I don't have credit card.
Sincerely yours,
Ana Lima

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An Analysis of Use of SSRIs in USA 1988--2002 - FDA and Suicides

You can download this paper "An Analysis of Use of Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft in USA 1988--2002" by Graham Aldred here. Some excerpts:

Long Term Use
"Although the majority of patients are forced to drop out during the first year of use, many patients remain on SSRIs for many years, some out of choice, but some become dependant and cannot withdraw. GSK have now been forced to admit that 25% (not 2% as they previously claimed) of patients will have “difficulty” in withdrawing (June 2003).

Other long term patients confuse their drug induced withdrawal symptoms and believe that these are their own original condition and that therefore the drugs must be making them well. The lack of thoroughness of coroner investigations and the inadequacy of post-mortem analyses means that there is no data to indicate how many suicides may be triggered by attempted SSRI withdrawal."


Table1 shows that, in 2002, 7.8 million Americans became new users of either Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft and therefore they faced a net risk of induced suicide that is not likely to be lower than 32/100K and very probably is higher than 104/100K. Nevertheless, even using these cautionary rates, somewhere between 2500 and 8200 excess suicides may have occurred in 2002 alone due to these drugs. Whatever the value of the suicide rate, it was not zero. At least two thousand Americans may have died in 2002 who were not warned of the possible lethal outcome of their SSRI medication. This is the consequence of a dysfunctional drug safety regulation system in which the drug manufacturers have not only failed to disclose evidence of great harm but also have infiltrated virtually every organisation that could criticise, study and report on their drugs with scientific objectivity. This is compounded by the doctors who continually fail in their duty to report possible adverse effects, (i.e. suicide within days of starting the drug), associated with the dangerous drugs that they prescribe so frequently and so readily for virtually all the problems of life, culture and society.
But the spotlight must now fall on the FDA (together with the other national regulators,) to explain why it has been so unreactive, unaware and in such positive denial of the possible harm and deaths caused to the American population by the drugs that it has approved since 1988.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Businessman and the fisherman

Once a fisherman was sitting near the seashore under the shadow of a tree, smoking his cigarette. Suddenly a rich businessman passing by approached him and inquired as to why he was sitting under a tree smoking and not working. To this the poor fisherman replied that he had caught enough fishes for the day.

Hearing this, the rich man got angry and said: "why don't you catch more fishes instead of sitting in shadow wasting your time?"

Fisherman asked: "what would I do by catching more fishes?"
Businessman: "you could catch more fishes, sell them and earn more money, and buy a bigger boat."
Fisherman: "what would I do then?"
Businessman: "you could go fishing in deep waters and catch even more fishes and earn even more money
Fisherman: "what would I do then
Businessman: "you could buy many boats and employ many people to work for you and earn even more money."
Fisherman: "what would I do then?"
Businessman: "you could become a rich businessman like me."
Fisherman: "what would I do then?"
Businessman: "you could then enjoy your life peacefully."
Fisherman: "what do you think I'm doing right now?"

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Rights of the Reader - Daniel Pennac

The French author Daniel Pennac has this wonderful book. I would like to share it with you. The poster is illustrated by Quentin Blake. The last phrase is "Don’t make fun of people who don’t read—or they never will." I'm reading and liking it a lot.
The book is thin and some chapters has only one or two paragraphs. It's quick to read but I'm not telling you to read it. Or you can read skip pages, dip in... I don't know. Do as you like.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm feeling more and more sick because of Effexor side effects

Jennifer of Philadelphia PA (08/23/08)
" have been taking Effexor 37.5 mg for many years. I have tried, unsuccessfully, to taper off. When I do, even slowly, I get crying jags, I feel out of control, incredibly anxious, dizzy and nauseous. In the past year I have been getting sick from actually TAKING the drug, so much that I was prescribed the anti-nausea medicine Compazine. I now have to break the pill in tiny pieces and take it over the course of the day. If I even take half, I vomit. I feel that I am trapped in this vicious cycle, can't take the medicine, can't get off of the medicine.
I am spending approx. $600 or more per year (I do not have prescription coverage) to take a medication that does nothing for me, and makes me sick. I was diagnosed a couple of months ago with an ulcer, and I cannot imagin that this medication is helping. I am wastig money and I am literally sick from this."

I feel almost the same. I feel dizzy, my head aches... plenty physical symptoms. Its impossible to withdraw because there are no tablets available and I cannot cut XR capsules. I don't feel like doing anything. I wonder if the tablets were available how would I stand withdrawal if I'm already feeling all these symptoms.
I don't know what to do.
I'm scary and in despair.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It's hard to accept psych-drugs harms

I'm feeling very sad. It's been very difficult to deal with the harms psych-drugs has caused. I'm still trying to understand it.
I believe that's not the right way. I only have to accept it and live in peace. First I have to grieve. Now it's time to take the three pills and sleep the chemical Seroquel way.

100 neurotransmitters in the human brain

These are some facts that puzzle me:

Here: "Neurotransmitter is a specialized messenger cell that transfers or sends information from one type of cell to another. Scientists have managed to identify over 100 neurotransmitters in the human brain alone, but evidence suggests we have significantly more than this number. An unfortunate aspect of not being able to identify all neurotransmitter cells is that researchers, especially those developing medications to act on specific messenger cells, can’t always determine why or how medications work or fail to work.

You’re probably familiar with some of the identified neurotransmitter names. These include dopamine, GABA, serotonin, acetylcholine, and norepinephrine. Each of these performs some specific functions in the body. For instance serotonin is indicated in mood stability, emotional response, and temperature control. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that allows for the person to willfully or voluntarily use his or her muscles. While researchers can suggest the possible effects of certain neurotransmitters, they not only haven’t identified them all, but also are nowhere near determining all effects of the messenger cells that have been identified."

Here: "The neurotransmitters work by interacting with receptors. These are minute areas on the nerve or other cells that make the cell respond in the appropriate way. Some psychiatric drugs block these receptors, reducing the effect of a neurotransmitter. Others increase the level of a neurotransmitter, so its effects last longer. Because they all interact, changing the level of one neurotransmitter will change others; so however well a drug is targeted towards a particular receptor, it will have a knock-on effect on the whole system. One knock-on effect of many psychiatric drugs is to suppress acetylcholine, and this causes some of the side effects people experience."(emphasis mine)

Here: "The SSRIs are not selective for anything except that they act on all serotonin in the body.
Only 5% of this is in the brain. Five per cent. The other 95% is found throughout the body with large amounts being found in: the digestive system (stomach movement); the cardiovascular system (blood flow); blood cells (clotting); reproductive system (genitals); hormonal system (widespread effects on lots of physiological processes). All of which is acted upon by the drug. All of it."

Here: "
Since we don’t understand the precise mechanism of each neurotransmitter or the true number of all that exist, we also can’t understand how medications, foods, or environmental exposure may affect these chemical messengers. Scientists and researchers must make educated guesses based on what is known, but the plethora of unknown information on these cells equates these theories to trying to playing darts in total darkness. Sometimes the guesses are pretty good; SSRIs for instance are reasonably effective for a lot of people. Other times these theories fail to work, since we’re guessing about what is essentially undiscovered territory, and we have no idea what other effects might be caused by raising or decreasing levels of certain chemicals made by the body."

Are you confused?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Some people are using my work to sell drugs

My work is being used to promote sales online.
When I search Google for justana i've found not only the one I've already reported but others:


there are more!
They put a link on Zoloft or any other drug or medical condition to sites that sale drugs online.
This is unacceptable to say the least.

These are two of online drugstores that are using my posts:

PS: Gianna just told me it happens to her daily. I was thinking to delete this post but I'll leave the two drugstores that are doing it as an example of how low these people go.

The Girl from Ipanema - now and then

Why has she turned blond? :(

Medical Recipes on Health - No ethical site

It's beyond comprehension people's behavior. This post I wrote was copied without any reference to my blog and is full of links promoting Effexor and other drugs online sales.
This is the page.
I want this person to take away my post immediately.
I don't understand how Livejournal can support such abuses.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Charles Nemeroff - Paxil/Seroxat good for children, adolescents and many diseases

I just came across with the book preview of "Essentials of Clinical Psychopharmacology" By Alan F. Schatzberg, Charles B. Nemeroff. Published by American Psychiatric Pub, 2006.
Every drug on the market has a chapter describing all the benefits every drug promotes. Paroxetine's chapter, pages 59-88, is authored by Keith D. Herr M.D. and Charles Nemeroff M.D., PH.D.
It seems that Paxil/Seroxat/Aropax is the miraculous pill.

"A study of 26 patients with bipolar I and II disorders receiving a mood stabilizer (lithium or devalproex) at the time of the study evaluated the addition of a second mood stabilizer or paroxetine for the treatment of depression (Young et al, 2000). Both treatment conditions were found to be effective, although patients in the mood stabilizer plus paroxetine group experienced fewer side effects and were more likely to complete the study. Paroxetine was not associated with a switch into mania or hypomania in any of these studies."

"In a double-blind, randomized study of children and adolescents (age 8-17 years) with SAD, paroxetine (10-50 mg/day) was found to be superior to placebo, on the basis of the number of treatment responders who had a CGI-1 score of 1 (very much improved or 2 (much improved) at the end of 16 weeks (GlaxoSmithKline, data on file, 2002). In the intent-to-treat population (n= 319), treatment responders were seven times more likely to have received paroxetine than placebo. These preliminary findings point to paroxetine as an effective treatment for SAD in children and adolescents." p. 72

SAD= Social Anxiety Disorder.

Sunday! TV shows memory lane

I used to see them all.
"Good night John boy!"
"Good night Mary Helen."

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Wyeth - 145 countries

This is from the Wyeth site:

Effexor® (venlafaxine HCl) Tablets
  • Neuroscience
Effexor XR® (venlafaxine HCl) Extended-Release Capsules
  • Neuroscience

The following information is intended for use only by residents of the United States. Countries outside of the United States may have regulatory requirements or medical practices that are different than those in the United States and may require reference to different or additional information. Therefore, this information may not be appropriate outside of the United States.
If you are a resident of a country other than the United States, please visit
Wyeth Worldwide to find information about our offices around the globe.

The Effexor tablets are for sale in US. Wyeth is proud of their global presence which means 145 countries.
On the US site they only accept American citizens questions.
I should write once again to the Brazilian Wyeth report that there are no tablets on the Brazilian market and have the same explanations I had last month that there are tablets for sale. They just forgot to say where.
I will not do it because it's useless. Is it too much asking to be able to go to withdrawal hell?

I'm feeling a huge headache and I hope it last

I'm feeling a huge headache and it's great! The dizziness went away and it's far more easy to cope with headache than dizziness.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Effexor - Wyeth Impossible to withdraw XR version

I've already said that Wyeth no longer sells Effexor tablets in Brazil. They only sell the XR (extended release).
All data available on SSRIs and SSNIs withdrawal methods uses the tablets. Here is one site on withdrawing Effexor. Joseph Glenmullen and David Healy don't talk about extended release.

When I've spent 19 months withdrawing 225 mg of Effexor the tablets were on the market. Because of withdrawal problems I went back to 150 mg.
I would like to know how am I going to withdraw. I've talked to my psychiatrist today and we are in a dead end here. I have to withdraw to lessen side effects.
Hello Wyeth! Thank you!

The three great problems of psych-drugs

It was in April, 2008 that I came across with Philip Dawdy's Furious Seasons. I've been searching the Web for some answers since 2003. But it was in 2005 that I've found sites and informations that deal with the patients problems with psych-drugs.
During the last 9 months I dedicated all my time on these issues. I've spend three months commenting on Furious Seasons and I decided to open this blog where I try to raise some of the concerns we all share.
What amazes me the most is how difficult it is to make people understand how side effects are debilitating. The list is long and the side effects are serious and I believe those who are trying to make others see it have came across with the phrase "these drugs destroy lives" at least a couple of times.
Unfortunately it's not too far from reality, at least the reality of those who are claiming that they were affected. Perhaps we are a minority, perhaps we were not lucky. I don't know.
Another problem is withdrawal. There are numerous testimonials on the withdrawal hell. However physicians are very confused in helping those who are withdrawing.
To make the whole picture: long-term harms experienced by some who have quit the drug but still experience side effects.
I believe that these are the three problems that we are trying hard to make people understand. I'm not only talking about those who were diagnosed with any illness that psych-drugs are supposed to help. Unfortunately psych-drugs are being over prescribed.
I'm sure that some physicians who are really concerned with their patients are aware of all of these. However it seems that patient's needs are far from being recognized or even validated.
It seems to me that those who are blogging, participating in groups to help each other, commenting on the good blogs would love to listen that side effects are not that easy to cope, withdrawal is hell and, Jesus, long-term harm is... I don't even know the right word to use since unacceptable is not a reality: some people will have to cope with them, accept them.
I hope that the next year we can have some good news. I hope so.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Being on psych-drug has affected your lives?

I've been for 20 years on therapy and it has finished this year. The issues that led me to this long process are quiet and don't affect me any longer. I was lucky finding the right person.
However the effects of being on so many psych-drugs are still troubling me and there's no therapy for that.
It has affected me in a degree that I believe that only those who suffered the same are able to understand.
I would like to know if you feel the same as me.
Thank you.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Charles Medawar - Do antidepressants Work?

Charles Medawar, has this great paper on antidepressants that can be downloaded here.

"There are no conclusions in this paper, but something of a hypothesis emerges from it: "depression" is fast developing as an iatrogenic disease and that, however much they are part of the solution, antidepressant drugs seem much more implicated in the problem of depression than is supposed. Moreover, the public's opinion that antidepressants are drugs of dependence seems much closer to the reality than the exactly opposite orthodox view." (emphasis mine)

"The long-term efficacy of benzodiazepines proved largely an illusion, but only after more than 20 years of extensive use. The reason most people stayed on these drugs turned out to be they couldn't readily stop taking them. They had become dependent on them, in rather the same way that people get dependent on alcohol: usually very subtly and sometimes to disastrous effect. It is a long, sad story, perhaps not over yet."

"If history were to be repeating itself, it would be both because and in spite of authoritative denials that any risk is involved. If antidepressants were in some sense drugs of dependence, but not recognised as such, it would increase the element of risk and lead naturally to an over-estimation of their effectiveness as well"

"The greatest mistakes are probably made not because doctors don't know enough, but because too often they behave as if they do." Lewis Thomas (1979) [Medawar, 1996].

Medawar C: The Antidepressant Web - Marketing depression and making medicines work, International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine, 1997, 10, 2, 75-126

Why do SSRIs cause violent behavior?

From a very long list of withdrawal symptoms these are some that make me believe that in some way SSRIs or SNRIs cause a profound impact not only in the body but also in the mind:

- Suicidal thoughts*
- Suicidal attempts
- Impulsivity
- Aggressiveness
- Homicidal thoughts or urges
- Self-harm or urges
- Feeling detached or unreal
- Excessive or intense dreaming
- Nightmares

These drugs are supposed to make people feel happy but side effects and withdrawal symptoms have more to due with sadness and despair. It's amazing that those who are promoting these drugs keep on covering it all up and no research is being done to explain all these horrors.

*The UK parliament review on "The Influence of Pharmaceutical Industry" has stressed that drug-induced suicidal ideation has no connection with depressive thoughts:
"Almost from the outset,there was concern about two main problems with SSRIs. First, there was suspicion (initially centred on Prozac)
that these drugs could induce suicidal and violent behaviour – infrequently, but independently of the suicidal thoughts that are linked to depression itself. There was also concern (centred on Seroxat) about a risk of dependence; some users found it impossible to stop taking SSRIs because of severe withdrawal symptoms." (emphasis mine)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cyber Monday - Say what?

Susan has posted on the Black Friday and Buy Nothing Day. I had never heard about it and to me it makes not too much difference because I don't use to buy everyday specially in December when people are crazy in Malls with Christian decorations - yes, we have the fake snow, Santa, trees, everything is the same here. Now on Fox TV I became aware that next Monday is Cyber Monday.
I did a quick research and found many sites with the ads.
A Louis Vuitton can be bought 20% off + free shipping next Monday on this site above. I'm sorry but I hate all this luxury. I don't need D&G or any other letter attached to my body to say who I am or empower me and a huge purse that costs $4,210.00 is beyond my comprehension. This is the cheap one for those who buy online. Men have to buy the most expensive car blah blah blah...
I don't know what to think or to do about it all.

Friday, November 28, 2008

This PC is driving me crazy!

It takes me 3 hours to do what would take 1 and a half hour. The thing freezes when I'm commenting and I have to do it all over again. I've bought a new computer but it was useless because it's a junk and many people are reporting problems but who cares?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Do it for her...

...and to try to stop it from happening again.
Sometimes I ask myself why I've chosen her photo and why I don't change it.
She took her life because of drug-induce suicidal ideation and I have experienced the feeling and will never forget it.
I'm brunette and there's something in her eyes, eyebrows and nose that have a resemblance with me.

I want you to think of me smiling although dealing with all of this bring tears to my eyes most of the time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

I wish a nice Thanksgiving Day to all my US friends.

GlaxoSmithKline kills 12 babies during vaccine clinical trials in Argentina

Babies die during vaccine trials in Argentina Thursday
July 10, 2008

Buenos Aires, Jul 10, 2008 (EFE via COMTEX)

-- At least 12 babies who were part of a clinical study to test the effectiveness of a vaccine against pneumonia have died over the past year in Argentina, the local press reported Thursday.

The study was sponsored by global drug giant GlaxoSmithKline and uses children from poor families, who are "pressured and forced into signing consent forms," the Argentine Federation of Health Professionals, or Fesprosa, said.

"This occurs without any type of state control" and "does not comply with minimum ethical requirements," Fesprosa said.

The vaccine trial is still ongoing despite the denunciations, and those in charge of the study were cited by the Critica newspaper as saying that the procedures are being carried out in a lawful manner.

Colombian and Panama were also chosen by GSK as staging grounds for trials of the vaccine against the pneumococcal bacteria.

Since 2007, 15,000 children under the age of one from the Argentine provinces of Mendoza, San Juan and Santiago del Estero have been included in the research protocol, a statement of what the study is trying to achieve.

"Only 12 have died throughout the country, which is a very low figure if we compare it with the deaths produced by respiratory illnesses caused by the pneumococcal bacteria," pediatrician Enrique Smith, one of the lead investigators, said.

In Santiago del Estero, one of the country's poorest provinces, the trials were authorized when Enrique's brother, Juan Carlos Smith, was provincial health minister.

According to pediatrician Ana Maria Marchese, who works at the children's hospital in the provincial capital where the studies are being conducted, "because they can't experiment in Europe or the United States, they come to do it in third-world countries."

"A lot of people want to leave the protocol but aren't allowed; they force them to continue under the threat that if they leave they won't receive any other vaccine," said Julieta Ovejero, great aunt of one of the six babies who died in Santiago del Estero.

Fesprosa's Juan Carlos Palomares said that "in most cases these are underprivileged individuals, many of them unable to read or write, who are pressured into including their children" in the trials.

According to Fesprosa, "the laboratory pays $8,000 for each child included in the study, but none (of that money) remains in the province that lends the public facilities and the health personnel for the private research." EFE

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Infinite Mind - disease awareness campaings?

As always I'm informed by Philip Dawdy and it was on Furious Seasons that I became aware of the radio show "The Infinite Mind" hosted by Fred Goodwin. According to this post the radio show reached 1 million listeners a week. You are all aware that Sen Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) went after Goodwin because he has received support of eight labs and the radio show is going off the air - read this post by Philip Dawdy.
I cannot help myself asking how is it be possible that a show on mental illness can reach 1 million listeners a week. Why on earth are people so concerned with it?
Depression is the first subject that comes to my mind. I've noticed that people are no longer sad or tired. We are depressed and stressed and both words are already part of daily vocabulary.
Words are powerful. Putting these words in circulation to describe normal feelings is of great help to turn them into diseases and make people think that there's something that could help them. Not fearing disease's name and even making them being repeated over and over again creates a culture where it's easy to believe that it's not a big deal being sick.
Almost the same has happened with bipolarity. So many celebrities are being claimed to be bipolar that the old manic-depressive psychosis lost it's sense and the division bipolar 1 and 2 is not known. Being bipolar sounds to be glamorous and cool.
I'm asking myself how many of those who have listened to "The Infinite Mind" have searched a GP or a psychiatrists because they thought they were depressed.
Perhaps "The Infinite Mind" has helped, without the intention, what it's described on "The Influence of Pharmaceutical Industry" on the topic they approach Disease awareness campaigns:

Disease awareness campaigns

247. Disease awareness campaigns encourage individuals to seek advice or treatment from their doctor for previously undiagnosed conditions. We received allegations that disease awareness campaigns can act as advertisements for prescription-only drugs, particularly where there is a particularly well-known brand of treatment.206 Such campaigns, which may be established by a drug company with or without the endorsement of a patient group or charity, often take place at the same time as the drug's launch and may involve aggressive promotion of a particular medicine to prescribers. Mr Graham Vidler, from Which? told us:

What those awareness campaigns will do is encourage the public to go and see their GP, often in quite strong terms, saying,"Go and see your GP. Be forceful. There is something that can be done." Simultaneously, the companies will be advertising specific drugs to those GPs, and … quite often it [is ] easiest for them to take the path of least resistance.207

248. Witnesses argued that the use of disease awareness campaigns, which in the past have involved conditions including depression, anxiety and obesity, play a major part in the “medicalisation” of our society; in short, “where disease awareness campaigns end and disease mongering begin is a very indistinct line ”.208 Dr Des Spence, representing the group ‘No Free Lunch', asserted that the bombardment of the general public and patients served, “to undermine our collective sense of well being”.209 Dr Spence was especially concerned about the ‘Defeat Depression Campaign ’ and its effect on prescribing patterns and the public’s perception of depression:
[That campaign ] led to us being told that a third of people were depressed, that we should screen for it, that we should start using antidepressants early, and we did. If I think back five or ten years ago, we were diagnosing large numbers of people with depression, and we were prescribing many antidepressants. As time has gone on, I have certainly begun to realise that in some ways yes, there are many people who do have depression, but lots of people are just unhappy and that is a part of life. So there is a whole generation of people coming up who almost feel that being unhappy is an abnormal state, which, of course, it is not.

249. The ‘Defeat Depression Campaign ’ (1992 –1997), which was run through the RCGP and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and sponsored by the manufacturers of antidepressants (who provided approximately one-third of the funding) targeted doctors as well as patients, in particular to emphasise that these drugs did not cause addiction or dependence.These claims have since been disputed and a warning about withdrawal symptoms is now included in the SPC.The Royal College of Psychiatrists provided supplementary evidence emphasising that the Defeat Depression Campaign had been intended to make it clear “that antidepressant treatment was not appropriate for mild to moderate depression, but effective only for severe or clinical depression ”.211 This important message evidently got lost; indeed there remains much confusion on this point today.212 The Royal College also told us it had recently reviewed its policies on accepting commercial sponsorship, and now aims to keep total income from these sources at around 5% of the College's annual turnover. Commercial sponsorship accounted for under £500,000 (5.5% on turnover of £9m) in 2003.

251. No witness suggested that all disease awareness campaigns were cynical attempts to increase drug sales, but many doubted that they were simply aimed at improving the lives of those with unmet medical needs. It is not acceptable for such campaigns to be veiled advertising for branded prescription-only medicines. (emphasis mine).

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Call to Action Alert for an Attorney

Please visit Soulful Sepulcher's post Enforcing the ADA: A call to action: Attorney needed for information on the current legal struggles of Stan Cavers of Is Something Not Quite Right With Stan who suffered Traumatic Brain Injury as a result of an assault on him at his workplace on June 13, 2008 and was then terminated by his employer the very next day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Matisse - Joy of Life

For all of us.

Stop drug ADs

I came across with this petition and decided to post it due to the Abilify TV ad.

Tell Congress: Stop Prescription Drug Ads

Each year, drug executives spend $4 billion on prescription drug ads for pills they say will make you feel happier, sleep better and improve your sex life.

The ads are not educational, and do not promote public health. They can be extremely dangerous, as the Vioxx tragedy shows.

The Public Health Protection Act will stop all direct-to-consumer drug ads. Thirty-nine organizations have endorsed this legislation.

Now we need your help.

Tell your Members of Congress to support the Public Health Protection Act. Take action now.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I own you nice things

I Know I've been a bore the last weeks with all these data. I'll try to show you good things.
I believe Matisse is a good beginning.
Love you all.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

SSRIs side effects are not manageable diseases

I've came across with this site because someone has searched "effexor xr case reports of motion sickness" and found the post I've reported feeling dizzy.
I still feel dizzy but after trying to find help with physicians I've realized that there's nothing to do but live with it and hope it will go away. It comes and goes.
There are many reports of side effects related to SSRIs and other psych-drugs all over the Web. The great majority find no help to cope with side effects.
This is one report from the site:
"I have been on antidepressants for approximately 11 years. Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Celexa. I want to get off antidepressants altoghter. My reasons:
1. I developed vertigo ( possibly Menieres Disease) I wonder whether there is a correlation between anti depressants and vertigo &/or Menieres Disease?
3. I believe that other symptoms have occurred due to my lengthy stay on antidepressants: shingles, bells palsy like symptoms, vertigo, menopausal symptoms starting at age 36. Confirmed menopausal at aged 42.

I was also prescribed lamictal (few days bad reaction: rash over body and I could not move the right side of face. The doctor feared bells palsy but it did not last. Treatment was stopped immediately, I was sent to the ER for a shot to rid the rash. Apparently a very small percentage who take lamictal develop a rash. An of this small percentage, a small percent of this population will die from the reaction because there is no known antidote. My advice, never take lamictal, it is NOT worth the risk. For people who are depressed, they can not even make the correct decision to take or not take the drug. They are in the hands of their psychiatrist and NO known antidote is a NO option for the patient.
Posted by: jz at January 17, 2006 12:32 PM
I don't even know what to say about it all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

SocialAudit discussion - SSRIs withdrawal hell

I've just found the SocialAudit discussion thread on "problems with Effexor withdrawal" that I've saved. I'm reading the comments and I'm trying to find among many some that could give an idea of what kind of problems were discussed. It's hard. But here are five of them and the last one is from "Anon" someone who used to help a lot answering some of the biggest concerns in 2005.
It's heartbreaking reading all this suffering. There was a thread for every SSRI but the complains were the same.

By Roxan Brown on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - 01:49 pm:

I have a nephew who was on efixor and he tried to commit sucide by hanging is this a side effect can any one tell me?
By LEENA DUTRISAC on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 09:06 pm:

By Anonymous on Sunday, March 6, 2005 - 04:03 pm:

I have been off Effexor for about five years now, yet I STILL have one symptom that appeared either while on it or going off it, I don't remember: when lying in bed going to sleep or waking up, I hear a sudden whoosh sound, maybe every half minute, not regular. I remember five years ago I was going off Effexor and was hearing the same sound triggered by moving my eyes suddenly. There were some other symptoms such as dizziness when walking. I was having so much trouble going to sleep one night that it suddenly occurred to me that it might be related to going off Effexor. I got up and got on the internet and did some searching, and I found hundreds of testimonials about symptoms like mine from Effexor withdrawal. It was a relief, and caused me to do the withdrawal more gradually. After I was completely off it, all symptoms except this ear whoosh sound stopped. The whoosh has never stopped. I'm reasonably sure it appeared while taking Effexor, and was severe at that time. I keep having the feeling that there is something I think about that causes it. This morning I finally identified what I believe is the trigger for the sound: beginning to fall asleep, or conscious attention beginning to relax. Have you ever been driving and almost fallen asleep and jerked awake? Have you noticed that that jerk is accompanied by a sudden whoosh sound in the ears? That is EXACTLY the sound I hear now when relaxing in bed in the morning, every 5-30 seconds. I believe it was caused by Effexor, although I can't be certain. It is also possible, however, that Prozac also causes this, because Prozac has been my antidepressant of choice, and though I'm not on it now, I was about 3 months ago. I don't notice this symptom being any worse, though, when I'm on Prozac. I think Effexor is dangerous. I tell friends asking about antidepressants to avoid that one like the plague.
By Anonymous on Wednesday, August 31, 2005 - 07:30 am:

I recently discontinued using venlafaxine, after only nine months, due to certain impairments in my daily life such as; huge impairments in short term memory, complete loss of pleasure in reading when I used to be an avid reader, memory loss in the way of spelling and such, problems in recalling familiar words and speech issues (i.e. unablity to speak the words that I'm thinking of, occasional stuttering), and severe loss of inhibitions (i.e. no conscience), and reoccurances of psychotic episodes from childhood.
I've been about a off effexor for three weeks now and things aren't getting back to normal. Could this be frontal lobe damage or something and is this likely to be permanent? I am 18 thus my brain should be more elastic than someone older. Does anyone have any knowledge about this for it would be much appreciated.
By Anon on Wednesday, August 31, 2005 - 02:35 pm:

Hello. The deficits you list have been experienced by many, many people. Some people are finding that they have to live with long-term damage, however you have only just come off the drug and are highly likely to be in the throes of withdrawal... and withdrawal symptoms show a great deal of overlap when compared with the side-effects: including the memory problems, feeling detatched or unreal, confusion or cognitive difficulties, auditory and visual hallucinations, murderous urges, and manic-like reactions.

Time may prove to be a great healer. Lots of people suffering badly, withdrawal-wise, concur in stating the worst was at the 3 month mark.

I had all the 'huge impairments in short term memory, complete loss of pleasure in reading when I used to be an avid reader, memory loss in the way of spelling and such, problems in recalling familiar words and speech issues (i.e. unablity to speak the words that I'm thinking of, occasional stuttering), and severe loss of inhibitions (i.e. no conscience)'... myself, whilst on this category of antidepressant. And more. A lot of what I found helped me, in the immediate aftermath, turned out to be eerily similar to the advice offered over here.

Could it be frontal lobe damage? Well these drugs can certainly cause long-term damage, but it is a little more difficult to pin down the where and the how. Many of the symptoms do tie in with that theory, but that's a long, long way from fact. Many of them also tie in with hormonal damage, and dopamine receptor damage, and no doubt a host of other unknowns... I think that although 'the truth is out there', it's going to take some finding, especially given the significant lack of research. The book which addresses many of these issues is Joseph Glenmullen's 'Prozac Backlash' (equally relevant to venlafaxine).

Other people have posted to this board describing long-term after effects, if you use the search facility at the bottom of this page, you will find them swiftly.

You've been off them only 3 weeks. No time at all. You may find significant improvement occurs over the coming weeks, as your body adapts to its non-drug environment. Try a little mild exercise, a good old-fashioned diet (staying away from the additives & artificial sweeteners), and attempt to let yourself relax at least once in the day... easy to say, not so easy to do... give yourself as many advantages as possible: good nutrition, the exercise endorphins, stress reduction, natural sleep.

And time.