I’ve picked up this piece from Phil Lawrence, the film maker who’s filming his withdrawal from Paxil (Seroxat) for a documentary. I think Phil very often hits the nail on the head with his writing (I’ve previously posted other articles of his such as A Perfect Storm and Corruption? Glaxo? FDA?).
Been a while…
Time marches on and I wish I could say that I felt great and had a full recovery from my ten years of Paxil use – but, unfortunately, that’s not the case. I have tried to put the documentary project aside for a while in an attempt to regain some normalcy in my life. I was so consumed with everything related to antidepressants that it became overwhelming. I just wanted to be normal again.
So, for the past month or so, I have focused on work and my family and really tried to accept my new reality – and learn to live with it. What I have really struggled with is the inconsistency in the recovery from the drug. One day, I’m fine and the next, I wake up to the same physical symptoms like the ringing in the ears and electrical pulses. It’s a constant reminder of the long-term damage that was done to my mind and body. I am also struggling with an intense lethargic feeling that can hit at anytime, regardless of the amount of rest I have had. I feel like damaged goods – and that makes me angry.
For over six months, I have suffered more than I would wish on even my worst enemy – both physically and psychologically. Not because I have some disease or infection that won’t go away – no, I am suffering because I am trying to STOP a medication. An FDA approved medication that was supposed to help me. What a joke. What I – and so many others are going through – has nothing to do with depression, anxiety or any other disorder. IT IS WITHDRAWAL – PLAIN AND SIMPLE. It is withdrawal from a powerful and highly addictive drug that doesn’t “treat” anything in the first place. It is a drug that simply masks the problems people have – not help them get better.
Someone once told me that if I continue to talk about the dangers of these drugs, that I am jeopardizing the years of advances they have made in breaking down the stigma of depression – and by doing that, I would be keeping people from taking medication that they need. I’m not buying it. Not any more. Too many people are making too much money off of a very vulnerable and fragile group of human beings – and I can’t just sit here and do nothing.
I wish we could just dismiss this whole antidepressant craze as our generation’s “Snake Oil Salesmen” and laugh it off – but we can’t. This is no joke. Too many lives are at stake and too much damage has already been done. The “Snake Oil” they are now selling is filled with venom – and, this miracle drug that they have promised will cure you, may end up to be the very thing that kills you.
It’s good to be back.
I think you hit the nail on the head once again, Phil and I’m very much looking forward to your documentary.