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Recent NYTimes articles on death rate increase among white middle class Americans


Orangecat
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This is big time armchair journalism and speculation, but if I can't do it here where can I do it? I've been reading with sadness and interest the articles of today and yesterday's NY Times on death rates rising among white middle class Americans, in particular from opiate and alchohol addiction and suicide. Obviously this has happened in the context of the recession and jobs in rural areas shutting down. I'm not in denial about that. But could one contributing factor also be use of antidepressants without any counseling or other concurrent support in order to cope with this broader context?? It does make me wonder if inappropriate antidepressant prescriptions or long term antidepressant use have worsened the problem. I know prescriptions have risen rapidly in the past decade plus, and many people get no guidance on how to use them or how to stop. I would be curious to see a study on this.

Found this site for real in 2015. Decided to taper slowly.

** I should mention that anytime I haven't been in a wave, I've felt pretty amazing! I only record the waves to look for patterns : ))**

50 mg Zoloft 6/2015, with intermittent fish oil

6/9/15 alternated 50 mg/37.5 mg - doc's idea (she meant well) 6/17 terrible morning anxiety and rumination, flu symptoms, and prickles in legs. 6/18 up to 45 mg liquid Zoloft. 6/26-29 cortisol mornings and bad anxiety. 6/30 started to take mag 100 mg and fish oil regularly with med 7/4 44 mg. 7/8 42.6 mg. 7/16 40 mg. 7/23 39 mg 8/1 32 mg (bad idea).

8/5 fatigue, anxiety, can't sleep, depressed. 8/7 36 mg resolved to be patient and try to keep to THE THREE KIS's. 8/13-15; 8/17- 23 painful physical and mental wave. Started light therapy 20 m in am. 8/25 34 mg, added 80-100 mg liquid mag during day. great window til 8/29 2 day down stretch 9/8 32.8 mg 9/11-14 wave added acupuncture 9/22 31.5 mg teeny wave 10/6 30 mg small grumpy wave 10/19 28.5, same pattern- small wave at day 5. A few tough weeks. Held around 29 until 11/18 when dropped to 28 mg; 11/22 the usual fluey fatigue. 11/30 27 mg 12/14 25.75ish mg "hold til Xmas club" (in my case New Years) Xmas was tough, kept holding: by 1/15, feeling good again. 1/25/16 Mirena IUD out after nearly six years- I think it was affecting my mood and taper- feeling super great! 2/2 down to 24 mg. symptoms much less severe. One day, not too bad wave on 2/8. 2/15 down to 20 mg from 24. A week later, two restless mornings and one morning of brain fog. 3/2 from 20 to 16 mg! Wish me luck.

 

Medicine History:

Currently tapering from 50mg Zoloft. Ten years of SSRI's including Celexa, Prozac and Zoloft, as well as a stretch with Wellbutrin added to the Zoloft. When I started on Zoloft (4 years ago?) I was on 100 but was able to taper down to 50 via 25 mg increments slowly around 2013. Have used light therapy and fish oil intermittently since around 2013. Have tried unsuccessfully to get off the meds since then in what I know now to be too large a taper (for example, jumped from 25 to 12.5 and that did not work). Motivated to do this slowly because that's the only way it will happen.

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I'm somewhat doubtful that the opiate part is highly related to the recession.  For one thing, I thought a lot (most?) of that was behind us.  Largely it seems unlikely that people losing their jobs, houses and savings would use the last of their remaining money on toxic, addicting drugs.  Not that people are always rational.  From what I have heard, heroin use is rapidly increasing nationwide in many environments, much to the concern of public health officials and law enforcement et al, so I don't think we can ascribe it to any one cause.

CTiB

 

All of the AD's I've tried have been uniformly ineffective, and I took none longer than ~2 months, so I don't feel listing them would contribute anything - not to mention that I don't have records.

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There are many studies showing that a significant amount of people experience suicidal and/or homicidal ideation as a reactive symptom to starting AD's . . . . corroborated by reading people's experiences on this site.

 

"In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a black-box warning on antidepressants indicating that they were associated with an increased risk of suicidal thinking, feeling, and behavior in young people.

 

In retrospect, it seems that the FDA had little choice but to issue its black-box warning. The agency had conducted a series of meta-analyses of 372 randomized clinical trials of antidepressants involving nearly 100,000 participants, which showed that the rate of suicidal thinking or suicidal behavior was 4% among patients assigned to receive an antidepressant, as compared with 2% among those assigned to receive placebo,"   (from here http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1408480)

 

That is , there was a 50% difference in suicidal ideation between those on ad's and those on placebos.

 

Given that ad's are now approved to be prescribed for a myriad of conditions other than depression , it's hardly surprising that suicides have increased.

 

I think you're onto something Orangecat.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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I think it could be a contributing factor, for sure. Of course it wasn't mentioned at all in the articles, although mental health issues and poor access to good mental health care was discussed vaguely. CTinB, rural New England is in the midst of a heroin epidemic right now. It's awful and use is on the rise. That's about all I know if it. But the opiates the articles cited as contributing to this are actually... prescription painkillers like Percocet, not illegal drugs : (((. It's tragic.

Found this site for real in 2015. Decided to taper slowly.

** I should mention that anytime I haven't been in a wave, I've felt pretty amazing! I only record the waves to look for patterns : ))**

50 mg Zoloft 6/2015, with intermittent fish oil

6/9/15 alternated 50 mg/37.5 mg - doc's idea (she meant well) 6/17 terrible morning anxiety and rumination, flu symptoms, and prickles in legs. 6/18 up to 45 mg liquid Zoloft. 6/26-29 cortisol mornings and bad anxiety. 6/30 started to take mag 100 mg and fish oil regularly with med 7/4 44 mg. 7/8 42.6 mg. 7/16 40 mg. 7/23 39 mg 8/1 32 mg (bad idea).

8/5 fatigue, anxiety, can't sleep, depressed. 8/7 36 mg resolved to be patient and try to keep to THE THREE KIS's. 8/13-15; 8/17- 23 painful physical and mental wave. Started light therapy 20 m in am. 8/25 34 mg, added 80-100 mg liquid mag during day. great window til 8/29 2 day down stretch 9/8 32.8 mg 9/11-14 wave added acupuncture 9/22 31.5 mg teeny wave 10/6 30 mg small grumpy wave 10/19 28.5, same pattern- small wave at day 5. A few tough weeks. Held around 29 until 11/18 when dropped to 28 mg; 11/22 the usual fluey fatigue. 11/30 27 mg 12/14 25.75ish mg "hold til Xmas club" (in my case New Years) Xmas was tough, kept holding: by 1/15, feeling good again. 1/25/16 Mirena IUD out after nearly six years- I think it was affecting my mood and taper- feeling super great! 2/2 down to 24 mg. symptoms much less severe. One day, not too bad wave on 2/8. 2/15 down to 20 mg from 24. A week later, two restless mornings and one morning of brain fog. 3/2 from 20 to 16 mg! Wish me luck.

 

Medicine History:

Currently tapering from 50mg Zoloft. Ten years of SSRI's including Celexa, Prozac and Zoloft, as well as a stretch with Wellbutrin added to the Zoloft. When I started on Zoloft (4 years ago?) I was on 100 but was able to taper down to 50 via 25 mg increments slowly around 2013. Have used light therapy and fish oil intermittently since around 2013. Have tried unsuccessfully to get off the meds since then in what I know now to be too large a taper (for example, jumped from 25 to 12.5 and that did not work). Motivated to do this slowly because that's the only way it will happen.

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  • Administrator

Also consider http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2015/11/03/Significant-increase-in-US-prescription-drug-use/4911446567191/released at the same time:

 

Significant increase in U.S. prescription drug use
Researchers suggest the increases are tied to the obesity epidemic that has ballooned in the United States during the last 20 years.
By Stephen Feller   |   Nov. 3, 2015

 

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- A significantly higher number of Americans are using prescription drugs now than were a decade ago, researchers report in a new study.

 

The study shows the changing needs of the population and advances in medical care, researchers said, suggesting assessments of prescription use be updated to reflect underuse, misuse and abuse as more people are treated with prescription drugs.

....

"Eight of the 10 most commonly used drugs in 2011-2012 are used to treat components of the cardiometabolic syndrome, including hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia," researchers wrote in the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "Another is a proton-pump inhibitor used for gastroesophageal reflux, a condition more prevalent among individuals who are overweight or obese. Thus, the increase in use of some agents may reflect the growing need for treatment of complications associated with the increase in overweight and obesity."....

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I'll tell you another interesting stat i have come across recently.

 

The number of people living alone in the last 12 years in america has gone from 8 - 30 % or thereabouts depending on which study is quoted.

I wonder what may be some reasons for this???

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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