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TheRoadLessTravelled: A long story of a perfect storm


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When I was 15 years old I asked my parents to bring me to a doctor who can help me with the depression that I was experiencing.  So I was brought to a psychiatrist who was recommended by my pediatrician at the time. I saw this psychiatrist weekly for a few months before anything was prescribed.  The depression worsened, and I wanted to try medication. My psychiatrist decided to put me on Risperadol (in 10/2001)... for reasons I still have yet to discover (as of this writing in 2018) because he didn’t keep my records,  regardless of him being legally required to do so.    Was it something that my parents said when I wasn’t in the room? Was it a conclusion or a misinterpretation that he came to that was not accurate? All I know is that I never experienced any symptoms of psychosis.   Regardless that is what he prescribed. When he first broke the news to me I asked him, “Is Risperadol an antidepressant?”  His response to that question is still deeply etched in my memory today.... he said, and I quote, “It’s an antidepressant with a little something to help with anxiety.”   Obviously Risperadol is an antipsychotic, but as a 15-year-old kid I had no clue and I trusted him.   So I first started antipsychotics in October 2001, and an antidepressant (Zoloft) was added approximately January 2002, and my story only goes downhill from here on until 2009.


I guess I will share more of my story in bits and pieces, but an essential piece is that the side effects I experienced on Risperadol put me in a deep depression which quickly made me unable to attend public school.   My child study team, who was provided by my Township, decided to send me to an outpatient day-program which provided intense therapy and minimal school work so I could receive credit for classes.   At this program I was assigned to a clinician who abused me... he abused me for two straight years.  


So as a 15-year-old I tried to get help for depression... and due to a series of very unfortunate events and decisions that were made for me, I was put on an antipsychotic, an antidepressant, and a mood stabilizer for eight years.  And from June 2003 to June 2005 I suffered from abuse that left me with a very complex case of Post Trumatic Stress Disorder.  

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to TheRoadLessTravelled: A long story of a perfect storm
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Welcome, TheRoad.


I am very sorry that you've had these terrible experiences. Have you reported this? You're in your 20s now?


Are you still taking those drugs?

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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Hi Altostrata,


Thanks for the welcome!


In 2009 I called two senior administrators at UMDNJ and to report what happened, and they completely swept it under the rug.  They claimed that they did a formal investigation, but found no wrong doing.   When they told me this,  I was frozen with sadness and anger.  - - At that moment I found out what it was like to be a part of those coverups that you periodically hear about on the news.  At that instant my mind began to recollect the situation where Sandusky, at Penn State, abused kids for so many years and so many staff members knew about it and did nothing. All reports got swept under the rug and great effort was put forth keep all information away from media. - -   It’s an eerie feeling to become aware that you are a part of something that others will go to great lengths to deny.   Taking legal action is still within the realm of possibility, and something I am working towards, but I am not strong enough yet nor have I recovered enough to face what would unfold during the process. 


Currently I am 32 years old, and have been off of antipsychotic medication since 2009, so for almost 10 years.   The withdrawl was absolutely horrendous.   Also there is strong evidence that it had a lasting impact on particular regions of my brain; one region being the prefrontal cortex, and specifically the orbitocortex and infralimbic cortex.    I saw a functional neurologist who gave me some great neurological exercises that have helped tremendously with rehabilitating suffering areas of my brain.   I still have a very long wait to go in my recovery (neurologically and psychologically), but I am naturally a very optimistic person and going to keep plugging away at it. I’m hoping that some of the things I’ve stumbled upon that helped me can also hopefully help others.  


Currently I am on Trintellix, a newer antidepressant.  It helps make my PTSD more bearable, even though I definitely feel some side effects.  I’m hoping to get off of it sooner rather than later.   I also take Minipress, which is actually an old blood pressure medication, but it is used off-label at times for its Alpha-blocking effects in order to help with night terrors.



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  • Administrator

I would give it another shot at at UMDNJ, and take a lawyer friend or someone from an abuse survivors' organization.


As a matter of fact, look at this http://caresinstitute.org/services.php  at the former UMDNJ. I strongly urge you to talk to them.


What kind of side effects do you have from Trintellix? Are you taking any other drugs? Are you seeing a therapist to work through the PTSD?

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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 Thanks, I will give it some thought. There are a few reasons that make the case extremely difficult. First, I have no trust in the organization whether it be former UMDNJ administrators who are still on board, or new Rutgers (UMDNJ was bought by Rutgers University a few years back) administrators who currently oversee their mental health services.   When I originally made a formal complaint I was in contact with the two administrators I mentioned for a number of weeks.  Afterwards, one of them called me with their conclusion of their investigation, and she point-blank told me that she thinks I’m making it up.  Another reason is that there was no physical abuse. There were many patients in addition to myself who were daily bullied, tormented, intimidated, gaslighted, coerced, and were at the receiving end of this narcissist’s rage.... but no physical abuse to prove it.  Just my word against “his”.   In addition I also tried contacting many of the psychologists and staff members who also worked on the unit, including some who were forced off from working on the unit by the abusive therapist when they butted heads with him.   The typical transgression of making these contacts was an initial commitment to either meeting with me, or going on the record and also formerly making a complaint.   But one by one they all backed out, a few of them even saying they aren’t willing to get involved. 


 In terms of treatment, from 2010 to 2012 I went to a number of outpatient programs that I found mildly helpful.   One of the most frustrating aspects was that none of the outpatient program therapists were willing to discuss what happened at UMDNJ.   One of the psychiatrists in the Princeton House system even went as far as to tell me, and I quote, “I asked my colleagues who know of (the abusive therapist’s name), and they confirmed this guy is dangerous.  But if you ever repeat this, I will deny it.” 


At that time it was just a never ending battle of trying to prove to whichever therapists or psychiatrists who saw me that I didn’t have psychosis. They all were deeply incredulous until they spoke to me for the course of the outpatient program and saw that I simply don’t have psychosis... let alone paranoid schizophrenia, which was the official diagnosis that the abusive therapist gave me.


As for current treatment, I see a psychologist twice a week who specializes in trauma cases. It’s been a slow but steady recovery.   I also see a psychiatrist who prescribes the Trintellix, and also Wellbutrin.  Those two medications are the only psychiatric meds I’m currently on.   As for side effects experienced, I can definitely say that Trintellix is losing a significant amount of efficacy as time goes on. I know that’s fairly normal, but nevertheless frustrating.  It’s also been more difficult to control my overeating since being on it.  As for Wellbutrin, I don’t notice any pronounced side effects.  


Prior to Trintellix I was on Viibryd.  Viibryd gave me unbearable brain zaps that were very painful.  To counter the brain zaps, my psychiatrist tried to increase the dosage and spread it out more evenly throughout the day.  Those adjustments helped a tiny bit, but only for a few days, and then the brain zaps came roaring back. Fortunately, shortly after switching to Trintellix the zaps went away completely. 

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Also, I’d like to mention a few things I’ve discussed fairly recently with my current psychologist  terms of reporting the abuse.  Please let me know if you have any input in regards to the following.


My therapist suggested that contacting DYFS is an option. The abusive I had therapist was in contact with children, and actually still is in contact with children in a therapeutic modality in his recently opened private practice.   The other option is to register an official complaint with the board of examiners of New Jersey.   I believe that I need to take action and at least register a complaint as soon as possible so that no one else has harmed by this therapist. The biggest obstacle in doing so is that if they counter lawsuit or two and see you, such as me being sued for defamation  I believe that I need to take action and at least register a complaint as soon as possible so that no one else has harmed by this therapist. The biggest obstacle in doing so is that  I am in no shape to endure what would ensue if a counter lawsuit were to filed againt me under the grounds of me defaming his name - - even though I sought legal advice and was told it’s very unlikely a lawyer would take a defamation case against me, but not impossible. 


I was told that I can remain anonymous if I contact DYFS, but that they really prefer that the contactees disclose their name. 

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  • Administrator

Of course you don't trust them, why should you?


Personally, I've complained about my treatment at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) several times since 2004, each time getting a similar response: We've conducted an investigation and found no fault. But they won't tell me how they conducted the investigation and exactly what "no fault" means.


You can't expect vindication or corroboration from the authorities, they're not going to admit fault because they're avoiding a lawsuit. All you can expect is that a gray mark might go on somebody's record somewhere -- which we have seen has had a tendency to pile up -- and that some people will be made aware that bad practice has consequences.


Yes, you might at least make an official complaint with the board of examiners of New Jersey. This is the ideal time as there's a wave of concern about all kinds of child abuse right now. You can't be sued for making a complaint to the board, DYFS, or to Rutgers through their regular channels.


I would certainly go to the CARES Institute, present your case, and utilize whatever avenue of complaint or services they have. They might be able to connect you with someone at DYFS. You might get free therapy out of it.


I believe in exorcising demons. You need to work through your belief that you need confirmation from anyone else, this is tormenting you, and you need to feel entitled to be heard -- but not dependent on authentication by others. Simply writing everything down as objectively as you can can help settle repetitive thoughts that might be troubling you.


We have found many people who have been on and off psychiatric drugs and consequently have neurological instability do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see



A lot of people find them helpful. Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.


This is a site for going off drugs. If you want to minimize your drug burden, we can help you. For your own information, you might put ALL your drugs in the Drug Interactions Checker https://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.php

and copy and paste the results in this topic.


Also see New Jersey members, please check in here


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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