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panamagal

panamagal Dr. Peter Breggin re: "permanent brain damage"

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panamagal

I tapered off of various anti depressants 3 years ago.

I was prescribed ads off an on for 20 years.

I'm unable to relate if I am healed at this time, due to the fact that I am still

suffering through a protracted benzodiazepine withdrawal.

When I have a rare window, I feel "normal", fine and undepressed.

 

But tonight I read on Dr. Breggin's website, that anti depressants can cause permanent damage.

I believe he said that they can cause long lasting depression, even once you successfully withdrawn.

I also just read reviews on Amazon about Dr. Grace Jackson's book called "Drug Induced Dementia," where she claims

that antidepressants, etc.. can cause dementia and alzheimers.

On another web page she says that they can cause cancer and leukemia.

This has really scared me and made me extremely hopeless.

 

Has anyone out there successfully withdrawn from long term ad use - with no "long lasting, permanent depression", or other permanent issues?

 

I'd appreciate any help.

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starlitegirlx

I'm sure alto and others will chime in here, but the brain is capable of healing. I believe what dr. Breggin was talking about was depression during recovery from the AD WD. I think the percentage that suffer permanent brain damage is very small.

 

I never heard about cancer or leukemia as problems down the line. Not once has something like that ever even been mentioned so I'd love to see the actual data and correlations between these drugs and cancer. I suspect it is not any more likely than in people who never take these drugs.

 

Since you are in protracted withdrawal from benzos, all of this information is probably adding a lot more to stress to your system. I personally avoid all data or information that can negatively impact my recovery or that can add stress as that is the last thing I need during recovery and WD (window or wane part of the cycle). Most of it will add more stress and anxiety and slow recovery particularly while dealing with protracted withdrawal from benzos due to the anxiety issues people often have with them. In that case, it will likely only make your recovery worse.

 

The rule I tend to follow is to not look at the future. We have no way of knowing what the outcome will be and it can cause endless worrying which will only slow or hamper our recovery. So I focus on the present and what I can do at this moment, this day to feel best. That is the surest way to minimize issues now and probably in the long term as I would imagine that stressing the system with fears of future possibilities can likely do more harm than good. I understand it's very difficult to do this, especially when you've been dealing with it for years (going off ADs then Benzos and now in protracted withdrawal) but from my experience, every time I look at long term stuff, I get very upset and trigger more problems now than when I don't simply because the unknown and my current fragile state tend to cause more stress which slows my recovery and makes it worse in the now than it needs to be. The best thing you can do for yourself is to not look beyond today regarding recovery. To do so tends to be very self defeating. Focusing on today, however, can help you make today much better, even if in only small ways, and the long term effect of those days that are better will help your recovery. That has been my experience at least.

 

I hope you do feel better soon.

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Jemima

Welcome Panamagal,

 

I've been reading excerpts from the book on Amazon and I think Breggin is referring to a chronic brain syndrome that occurs while a person is on antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs and as they withdraw. Chronic doesn't necessarily mean permanent, just long-term. I agree with starlitegirlx that the brain heals and I don't see any factual matter in Breggin's book or on his website that supports the idea of permanent brain damage. In fact, I can't find anywhere that he says something like this, except by implication that some older people who've taken the drugs for decades may have some residual problems, but an overall improvement in quality of life. I suspect this may be because they simply don't live long enough for full recovery.

 

There is very little factual matter at all on antidepressants' effect on the brain during or after use. The downside to antidepressants is a very recent hot topic in the psychiatric field and there's not a lot of research on the subject. The idea that these drugs do great harm is still being resisted by the majority of mental health practitioners.

 

Keep in mind that this forum was started in March of 2011, so it isn't quite two years old. For some folks, victory over withdrawal can take longer than that and many people here are still tapering off or they're at the very beginning of withdrawal symptoms following a cold turkey off (which is a bad idea). People do heal, though. See the discussion of 'Recovery success stories'.

 

And please note that no two stories are alike. Two people on the same meds for the same length of time get over withdrawal at entirely different rates. It's a very individual experience.

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Altostrata

Welcome, panamagal.

 

It's a very good sign you have those windows. Have you read this topic http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/

 

I believe Peter Breggin's theories about chronic brain injury are highly questionable. If the future is unknown, it can be either good or bad. Since it's 50-50, choose to focus on a good outcome, it will help you heal, and stop worrying about a bad outcome.

 

I have moved the discussion of Peter Breggin's theories to http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3579-peter-breggin-avoids-addressing-post-discontinuation-symptoms/ , returning this topic to panamagal and her concerns.

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compsports

Welcome, panamagal.

 

It's a very good sign you have those windows. Have you read this topic http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/

 

I believe Peter Breggin's theories about chronic brain injury are highly questionable. If the future is unknown, it can be either good or bad. Since it's 50-50, choose to focus on a good outcome, it will help you heal, and stop worrying about a bad outcome.

 

I have moved the discussion of Peter Breggin's theories to http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3579-peter-breggin-avoids-addressing-post-discontinuation-symptoms/ , returning this topic to panamagal and her concerns.

 

Alto,

 

That is the best response I have read yet on long term outcomes. It acknowledges the fact that it might be negative but rightfully encourages us to be positive to since our chances are 50/50.

 

I know some people would think this is nuts as you should be positive but since I believe in what I call "realistic" optimism, your response suits me perfectly.

 

CS

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Iggy131313

So are the chances really 50/50 on wheather we can recover from this, would you say thats about right Alto?

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compsports

Alto,

 

My apologies for hijacking the thread when you moved the discussion.

 

Iggy, we need to go to the link that alto provided for further discussion on this issue.

 

CS

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Altostrata

I DID NOT SAY THE CHANCES OF RECOVERY WERE 50%.

 

What I said is when you don't know the odds, you might as well estimate them as 50/50. Since it could go either way, you might as well focus on the better outcome than torturing yourself with fantasizing a bad outcome.

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