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Andrew Solomon's "Noonday Demon" was adverse reactions to psychiatric drugs


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Often cited as as an example showing the need for psychiatric drugs to treat depression, and the effectiveness of the drugs, Andrew Solomon's book The Noonday Demon has become famous in psychiatric literature.

But -- did Andrew Solomon have true "depression" or was he suffering from adverse effects of the drugs themselves?

In a January 12, 1998 New Yorker article, Anatomy of Melancholy http://www.ucdenver.edu/life/services/counseling-center/Documents/Anatomy-of-melancholy.pdf , Solomon details that after a hospitalization for kidney stones in September 1994, he was taking sleeping pills. That's when he "sank lower" and "night terrors began."

(Here, he's likely describing adverse effects of the sleeping pills and a rebound or paradoxical reaction.)

He then saw Dr. Alfred Wiener, a psychopharmacologist, who prescribed a series of antidepressants, plus Xanax.

"....The spring of 1995, I stopped taking drugs cold turkey. I knew that this was dumb, but I wanted desperately to find out again who I "really" was. At first, all I was conscious of was the awful withdrawal symptoms from the Xanax. I couldn't sleep for four days, and my eyes and stomach hurt, and my sense of balance was off. Unrelenting nightmares seemed to penetrate my wakefulness, and I kept sitting up abruptly with my heart pounding. ....

At this point, I entered what is commonly called "agitated depression." I developed in rapid succession all the typical symptoms — hatred, anguish, guilt, self-loathing. I stopped speaking to at least six people. I took to slamming down the phone when someone said something I didn't like. I criticized everyone. It was hard to sleep, because my mind was racing with tiny injustices from my past: irritability kept me awake every night, and the lack of sleep made me more irritable still. It is not unusual for really depressed people to have no deep sleep at all. ...."

He then went on to more psychiatric drugs, plus Xanax, "a lifesaver," and, at the end of the article, is looking forward to a lifetime on psychiatric medications.

Those of us familiar with withdrawal syndrome, particularly what happens when you go off benzos cold turkey, will readily recognize the symptoms not of "agitated depression" but of severe benzo withdrawal syndrome. It's likely Solomon started down the psychiatric drug rabbit hole when he had an adverse reaction to sleeping pills.

 

POSTSCRIPT Andrew Solomon is the son of Howard Solomon, CEO of Forest Labs, manufacturer of Celexa, Lexapro, Viibryd, Namenda, and Saphris, as well as other drugs  http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2002-05-26/a-ceo-and-his-son

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

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He bought into the concept he was mentally ill when he simply was having classic benzo withdrawal symptoms. I'm surprised with the rebound insomnia and racing thoughts his good doctor didn't give him the new diagnosis of bipolar along with the list of more drugs. You're right, Alto, he has fallen down the psychiatric drug rabbit hole.

Poly drugged for 18 years with every psychiatric drug in the PDR. C/t off Seroquel, tapered trazodone, celexa, dalmane, ativan (among others) and have been drug free for years. I thank the heavens I survived.

Link to my Introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2477-aria-my-psych-journey/

Reading my psychiatric records: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5466-drugged-crazy-reading-my-psychiatric-records/

My Success Story is listed under "Aria's Recovery".

 

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Sadly, even if he hadn't bought into the concept that he was mentally ill, the doctor most likely would have convinced him since according to psychiatry, withdrawal symptoms only last a maximum of two weeks. :rolleyes:

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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wow!

 

I've read about him and watched his interviews. It was sad to see he was so, so ill (still), despite taking an awful lot of psychiatric medications. didn't seem good for me then, but now, knowing what I know and after reading "anatomy of epidemics" I feel like he's a victim of psychiatry. 

in 2002- 0,5 tablet cipramil for half a year, ended it uneventfully. in 2006 - citalopram for half a year, ended in horrific state, ditched the drugs CT. 2007-2008 not feeling well but drug free. in 2008 prozac 20mg + quetiapine 25mg. 2009 tried to stop, ended up in hole after couple of months, started zoloft. 2009-2011 zoloft 50mg. went to 25mg in 2011 summer, it resulted in half a year horrible suffering. reinstated, changed drugs, nothing happened. by 2012 beginning suddenly felt great and CT meds. after 4 months came suddenly most horrible human suffering that's possible. was started on prozac and questiapine. started tapering slowly, GFCF diet and Hardy Nutritionals vitamins in 2013 summer. 

current medications: 1) fluoxetine and quetiapine since Aug 2012; 2) Daily Essential Nutrients by Hardy Nutritionals 7 capsules / since May 2013 + omega3; 3) Gluten-free-casein-free diet since june 2013

 

Started withdrawing slowly since april 2013. Mostly around 10% cuts. 

April'13 - March'14: fluoxetine 40mg -> 19,5mg; quetiapine 50mg -> 40mg
April'14-March'15: fluoxetine 19,5mg -> 14,4mg; quetiapine 40mg -> 22mg

April'15-March'16: fluoxetine 14,4mg -> 7,4mg; quetiapine 22mg -> 15mg

April'16-March'17: fluoxetine 7,4mg -> 5,0mg; quetiapine 15mg -> 7,25mg

April'17-March'18: fluoxetine 5,0mg -> 4,0mg; quetiapine 7,25mg -> 0 (as of 1st Feb 2018)!!!!

April´18-March´19: fluoxetine 4,0mg - > 2,3mg. Jumped off fluoxetine 1,4mg due to pregnancy in July 2019. Oct 2019 severe withdrawal syndrome started.

Took mistakenly a complex for hormonal support that included pregnenolone dec2019-april2020. Stopped it april 2020 and immediately severe akathisia started. Have had life threatening akathisia since, 100% disabled, suicidal, very hard to hold on. 

 

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  • Administrator

Andrew Solomon is a poster child for what's wrong with psychiatry. Given that he's done so much speaking touting psychiatric drugs, if this can go wider, it would be very helpful to revealing the flaws in psychiatric treatment.

 

I have nothing but compassion for him, he's been a dupe on two counts: via psychiatric treatment and via the pharmaceutical industry, which has made him and his family very wealthy. (He's also written an estimable book, Far from the Tree, about children who are "different.")

 

He is, however, a public figure who has revealed every detail of his care, which means discussing his personal circumstances is fair game. And, it might do him good to slowly taper off the drug cocktail he's still on.

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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do you know, has he ever wondered about drugs - that those may be doing harm or causing his depression go worse? or is he sure that it's "the illness" and "drugs are good"? I haven't followed up on him for some time. 

in 2002- 0,5 tablet cipramil for half a year, ended it uneventfully. in 2006 - citalopram for half a year, ended in horrific state, ditched the drugs CT. 2007-2008 not feeling well but drug free. in 2008 prozac 20mg + quetiapine 25mg. 2009 tried to stop, ended up in hole after couple of months, started zoloft. 2009-2011 zoloft 50mg. went to 25mg in 2011 summer, it resulted in half a year horrible suffering. reinstated, changed drugs, nothing happened. by 2012 beginning suddenly felt great and CT meds. after 4 months came suddenly most horrible human suffering that's possible. was started on prozac and questiapine. started tapering slowly, GFCF diet and Hardy Nutritionals vitamins in 2013 summer. 

current medications: 1) fluoxetine and quetiapine since Aug 2012; 2) Daily Essential Nutrients by Hardy Nutritionals 7 capsules / since May 2013 + omega3; 3) Gluten-free-casein-free diet since june 2013

 

Started withdrawing slowly since april 2013. Mostly around 10% cuts. 

April'13 - March'14: fluoxetine 40mg -> 19,5mg; quetiapine 50mg -> 40mg
April'14-March'15: fluoxetine 19,5mg -> 14,4mg; quetiapine 40mg -> 22mg

April'15-March'16: fluoxetine 14,4mg -> 7,4mg; quetiapine 22mg -> 15mg

April'16-March'17: fluoxetine 7,4mg -> 5,0mg; quetiapine 15mg -> 7,25mg

April'17-March'18: fluoxetine 5,0mg -> 4,0mg; quetiapine 7,25mg -> 0 (as of 1st Feb 2018)!!!!

April´18-March´19: fluoxetine 4,0mg - > 2,3mg. Jumped off fluoxetine 1,4mg due to pregnancy in July 2019. Oct 2019 severe withdrawal syndrome started.

Took mistakenly a complex for hormonal support that included pregnenolone dec2019-april2020. Stopped it april 2020 and immediately severe akathisia started. Have had life threatening akathisia since, 100% disabled, suicidal, very hard to hold on. 

 

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  • Administrator

You can see him on Youtube giving lectures about the benefits of psychiatric 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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  • Moderator Emeritus

"There are none so blind as those who will not see"  springs to mind! 

It is blatantly obvious to allof us that the poor man has been suffering because of the very

drugs that he thinks are keeping him sane, but I honestly remember when I was telling all 

and sundry how marvellous they were  :blush:

 

It would be lovely to see him here tapering with us and learning how good it can be off drugs.

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Alto fleshed the original post on this thread into a really great article which is now posted on Beyond Meds.

 

check it out:

 

Andrew Solomon, poster child for psychiatric misdiagnosis

http://wp.me/p5nnb-awR

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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"There are none so blind as those who will not see"  springs to mind! 

It is blatantly obvious to allof us that the poor man has been suffering because of the very

drugs that he thinks are keeping him sane, but I honestly remember when I was telling all 

and sundry how marvellous they were  :blush:

 

It would be lovely to see him here tapering with us and learning how good it can be off drugs.

Same here mammaP.    I was so spellbound by these meds that I thought my mother was crazy for trying to tell me they were bad news.

 

Unfortunately, when I started to withdraw from the meds, I sadly learned how right she was.

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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Alto fleshed the original post on this thread into a really great article which is now posted on Beyond Meds.

 

check it out:

 

Andrew Solomon, poster child for psychiatric misdiagnosis

http://wp.me/p5nnb-awR

Outstanding article GiaK.

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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On a related note, anyone remember Jane Pauley being diagnosed bipolar disorder due to adverse reactions from steroids that she took?   She now is on Lithium for the rest of her life.

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/5887567/ns/dateline_nbc-books/t/jane-pauley-shares-her-story/

 

CS

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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Interesting, cs. Want to write up a short article about that?

 

Gianna Kali posted a slightly longer version of my Andrew Solomon piece at http://beyondmeds.com/2014/03/02/poster-child-psych-misdiagnosis/

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 just wrote something and accidentally wiped it out.   Argh.

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

 

"There are none so blind as those who will not see"  springs to mind! 

It is blatantly obvious to allof us that the poor man has been suffering because of the very

drugs that he thinks are keeping him sane, but I honestly remember when I was telling all 

and sundry how marvellous they were  :blush:

 

It would be lovely to see him here tapering with us and learning how good it can be off drugs.

Same here mammaP.    I was so spellbound by these meds that I thought my mother was crazy for trying to tell me they were bad news.

 

Unfortunately, when I started to withdraw from the meds, I sadly learned how right she was.

 

 

Me three. I used to defend these drugs that were "keeping me alive" (because when I tried to stop taking them I became so suicidal, always my worst withdrawal symptom...although I was also suicidal a lot of the time when taking them, just not as intensely). 

 

Crazy how the drugs themselves can ruin your judgment so that you can't even see what they're doing to you.

 

I'm really enjoying slowly getting my brain back. Although I still have a ways to go. But already I am so much more sane and functional than I was during those years on those "medicines." Even tapering, having withdrawal symptoms, I'm more able to function at work and socially than I was when taking the meds as prescribed. That's just nuts.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Read the article. Nice job! Congrats Gia and Alto, excellent work!

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • 5 months later...

I just read Altos post in the comments on Andrew Solomon's Ted talk here

http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_depression_the_secret_we_share

Bravo Alto

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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I couldn't find the comment.  Alto, when you get a chance, could you repost it as I would love to read it?   Thanks!

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Too much time on my hands.... there are over 500 comments to that thread.

 

 

Alto Strata
Posted 7 months ago
 

Andrew Solomon's book The Noonday Demon is often cited as as an example showing the need for psychiatric drugs to treat depression, and the effectiveness of the drugs.

But -- did Andrew Solomon have true "depression" or was he suffering from adverse effects of the drugs themselves?

In a January 12, 1998 New Yorker article, Anatomy of Melancholy http://www.ucdenver.edu/life/services/counseling-center/Documents/Anatomy-of-melancholy.pdf , Solomon details that after a hospitalization for kidney stones in September 1994, he was taking sleeping pills. That's when he "sank lower" and "night terrors began."

(Here, he's likely describing adverse effects of the sleeping pills and a rebound or paradoxical reaction.)

He then saw Dr. Wiener, a psychopharmacologist, who prescribed a series of antidepressants, plus Xanax.

"....The spring of 1995, I stopped taking drugs cold turkey. I knew that this was dumb, but I wanted desperately to find out again who I "really" was. At first, all I was conscious of was the awful withdrawal symptoms from the Xanax. I couldn't sleep for four days, and my eyes and stomach hurt, and my sense of balance was off. Unrelenting nightmares seemed to penetrate my wakefulness, and I kept sitting up abruptly with my heart pounding. ....

At this point, I entered what is commonly called "agitated depression." I developed in rapid succession all the typical symptoms — hatred, anguish, guilt, self-loathing. I stopped speaking to at least six people. I took to slamming down the phone when someone said something I didn't like. I criticized everyone. It was hard to sleep, because my mind was racing with tiny injustices from my past: irritability kept me awake every night, and the lack of sleep made me more irritable still. It is not unusual for really depressed people to have no deep sleep at all. ...."

During severe Xanax withdrawal, he went back on psychiatric drugs. At the end of the article, is looking forward to a lifetime on psychiatric medications.

 

There may be other comments but this is the first I found. It recaps the info at the start of this thread. I admit to looking for and reading anything written by Alto.

 

Read back through this thread as there is a link to more of Alto's comments.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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Yes it is the same I was secretly hoping some people not as paranoid of having there email out there would vote up here post :)

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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  • 4 months later...

Often cited as as an example showing the need for psychiatric drugs to treat depression, and the effectiveness of the drugs, Andrew Solomon's book The Noonday Demon has become famous in psychiatric literature.

But -- did Andrew Solomon have true "depression" or was he suffering from adverse effects of the drugs themselves?

In a January 12, 1998 New Yorker article, Anatomy of Melancholy http://www.ucdenver.edu/life/services/counseling-center/Documents/Anatomy-of-melancholy.pdf , Solomon details that after a hospitalization for kidney stones in September 1994, he was taking sleeping pills. That's when he "sank lower" and "night terrors began."

(Here, he's likely describing adverse effects of the sleeping pills and a rebound or paradoxical reaction.)

He then saw Dr. Alfred Wiener, a psychopharmacologist, who prescribed a series of antidepressants, plus Xanax.

"....The spring of 1995, I stopped taking drugs cold turkey. I knew that this was dumb, but I wanted desperately to find out again who I "really" was. At first, all I was conscious of was the awful withdrawal symptoms from the Xanax. I couldn't sleep for four days, and my eyes and stomach hurt, and my sense of balance was off. Unrelenting nightmares seemed to penetrate my wakefulness, and I kept sitting up abruptly with my heart pounding. ....

At this point, I entered what is commonly called "agitated depression." I developed in rapid succession all the typical symptoms — hatred, anguish, guilt, self-loathing. I stopped speaking to at least six people. I took to slamming down the phone when someone said something I didn't like. I criticized everyone. It was hard to sleep, because my mind was racing with tiny injustices from my past: irritability kept me awake every night, and the lack of sleep made me more irritable still. It is not unusual for really depressed people to have no deep sleep at all. ...."

He then went on to more psychiatric drugs, plus Xanax, "a lifesaver," and, at the end of the article, is looking forward to a lifetime on psychiatric medications.

Those of us familiar with withdrawal syndrome, particularly what happens when you go off benzos cold turkey, will readily recognize the symptoms not of "agitated depression" but of severe benzo withdrawal syndrome. It's likely Solomon started down the psychiatric drug rabbit hole when he had an adverse reaction to sleeping pills.

 

POSTSCRIPT Andrew Solomon is the son of Howard Solomon, CEO of Forest Labs, manufacturer of Celexa, Lexapro, Viibryd, Namenda, and Saphris, as well as other drugs  http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2002-05-26/a-ceo-and-his-son

Just found this thread. This was a perfect post, Alto.

2009: Cancer hospital said I had adjustment disorder because I thought they were doing it wrong. Their headshrinker prescribed Effexor, and my life set on a new course. I didn't know what was ahead, like a passenger on Disneyland's Matterhorn, smiling and waving as it climbs...clink, clink, clink.

2010: Post surgical accidental Effexor discontinuation by nurses, masked by intravenous Dilaudid. (The car is balanced at the top of the track.) I get home, pop a Vicodin, and ...

Whooosh...down, down, down, down, down...goes the trajectory of my life, up goes my mood and tendency to think everything is a good idea.
2012: After the bipolar jig was up, now a walking bag of unrelated symptoms, I went crazy on Daytrana (the Ritalin skin patch by Noven), because ADHD was a perfect fit for a bag of unrelated symptoms. I was prescribed Effexor for the nervousness of it, and things got neurological. An EEG showed enough activity to warrant an epilepsy diagnosis rather than non-epileptic ("psychogenic") seizures.

:o 2013-2014: Quit everything and got worse. I probably went through DAWS: dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I drank to not feel, but I felt a lot: dread, fear, regret, grief: an utter sense of total loss of everything worth breathing about, for almost two years.

I was not suicidal but I wanted to be dead, at least dead to the experience of my own brain and body.

2015: I  began to recover after adding virgin coconut oil and organic grass-fed fed butter to a cup of instant coffee in the morning.

I did it hoping for mental acuity and better memory. After ten days of that, I was much better, mood-wise. Approximately neutral.

And, I experienced drowsiness. I could sleep. Not exactly happy, I did 30 days on Wellbutrin, because it had done me no harm in the past. 

I don't have the DAWS mood or state of mind. It never feel like doing anything if it means standing up.

In fact, I don't especially like moving. I'm a brain with a beanbag body.   :unsure:

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Reading this thread jogged a memory about author William Styron, who noted in "Darkness Visible" (another book offering a writer's description of depression) that the suicidal descent he portrays in that book was triggered by the sleep medicine Halcion. (A quick link to a NYT article about that connection: http://www.nytimes.com/1992/01/20/us/finding-a-bad-night-s-sleep-with-halcion.html.) 

1990 - mid-2000s: on and off several ADs, including Prozac, Effexor, Celexa, and Wellbutrin. Many side-effects and hard withdrawals. 

1990 - mid-2000s: Klonopin 0.5 mg per day prn for sleep & anxiety.

mid-2000s - 2011: switched dosing to Klonopin 0.25 twice-daily for the above plus back pain (!) Never increased dose.

2011 - began taper with missteps; then @ 5% of current dose every 2 wks, using combo of pill and compounded liquid.

2012: yearlong hold at 0.165 bid to undergo specialized PT for pelvic floor syndrome, prob triggered by high muscle tone from taper.

2013: resumed taper @ 5% of current dose per month, from 0.165 down to 0.155 bid.

3/2013 - 6/2014: another year+ hold due to bad foot fracture & family trauma (sudden deaths).

6/2014 - 1/2015: resumed taper at 5% month; from 0.155 down to 0.125 bid (half original dose; or 1/4 of 0.5 tab). Held two months.

3/2015: Started 0.125 compounded tablets pure clonazepam, twice a day.

Supplements: fish oil, probiotics, cranberry, Vit C, Vit D, turmeric, magnesium powder, tablets, oil. Also occasional baby aspirin.

Exquisitely sensitive to meds. Working full time. In my late fifties. My intro thread:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8733-brighids-intro-my-slow-mo-clonazepam-taper-hits-a-speed-bump/?p=145214

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I read that book in the 80s, around the time my graduate advisor was taking both Halcion and Dexedrine. She'd confided in me that not being fat was her main goal in life. She had a psychotic episode similar to one of Styron's, and had amnesia afterwards. I had to find a new advisor. Soon after, Halcion was finally banned in the US. So pharma was messing up my life before I ever popped a pill...and my former advisor got tenure. She was very pretty, and slim. She has accomplished nothing of value in the last 30 years, I should add.

2009: Cancer hospital said I had adjustment disorder because I thought they were doing it wrong. Their headshrinker prescribed Effexor, and my life set on a new course. I didn't know what was ahead, like a passenger on Disneyland's Matterhorn, smiling and waving as it climbs...clink, clink, clink.

2010: Post surgical accidental Effexor discontinuation by nurses, masked by intravenous Dilaudid. (The car is balanced at the top of the track.) I get home, pop a Vicodin, and ...

Whooosh...down, down, down, down, down...goes the trajectory of my life, up goes my mood and tendency to think everything is a good idea.
2012: After the bipolar jig was up, now a walking bag of unrelated symptoms, I went crazy on Daytrana (the Ritalin skin patch by Noven), because ADHD was a perfect fit for a bag of unrelated symptoms. I was prescribed Effexor for the nervousness of it, and things got neurological. An EEG showed enough activity to warrant an epilepsy diagnosis rather than non-epileptic ("psychogenic") seizures.

:o 2013-2014: Quit everything and got worse. I probably went through DAWS: dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I drank to not feel, but I felt a lot: dread, fear, regret, grief: an utter sense of total loss of everything worth breathing about, for almost two years.

I was not suicidal but I wanted to be dead, at least dead to the experience of my own brain and body.

2015: I  began to recover after adding virgin coconut oil and organic grass-fed fed butter to a cup of instant coffee in the morning.

I did it hoping for mental acuity and better memory. After ten days of that, I was much better, mood-wise. Approximately neutral.

And, I experienced drowsiness. I could sleep. Not exactly happy, I did 30 days on Wellbutrin, because it had done me no harm in the past. 

I don't have the DAWS mood or state of mind. It never feel like doing anything if it means standing up.

In fact, I don't especially like moving. I'm a brain with a beanbag body.   :unsure:

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Reading this thread jogged a memory about author William Styron, who noted in "Darkness Visible" (another book offering a writer's description of depression) that the suicidal descent he portrays in that book was triggered by the sleep medicine Halcion. (A quick link to a NYT article about that connection: http://www.nytimes.com/1992/01/20/us/finding-a-bad-night-s-sleep-with-halcion.html.) 

Wow, thanks for sharing this as I had no idea.   Of course, doctors would claim that the med unmasked the depression.  :rolleyes:

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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The nytimes link didn't work for me, but here are search results on that site for Halcion and depression

 

http://query.nytimes.com/search/sitesearch/#/Halcion+depression/

2009: Cancer hospital said I had adjustment disorder because I thought they were doing it wrong. Their headshrinker prescribed Effexor, and my life set on a new course. I didn't know what was ahead, like a passenger on Disneyland's Matterhorn, smiling and waving as it climbs...clink, clink, clink.

2010: Post surgical accidental Effexor discontinuation by nurses, masked by intravenous Dilaudid. (The car is balanced at the top of the track.) I get home, pop a Vicodin, and ...

Whooosh...down, down, down, down, down...goes the trajectory of my life, up goes my mood and tendency to think everything is a good idea.
2012: After the bipolar jig was up, now a walking bag of unrelated symptoms, I went crazy on Daytrana (the Ritalin skin patch by Noven), because ADHD was a perfect fit for a bag of unrelated symptoms. I was prescribed Effexor for the nervousness of it, and things got neurological. An EEG showed enough activity to warrant an epilepsy diagnosis rather than non-epileptic ("psychogenic") seizures.

:o 2013-2014: Quit everything and got worse. I probably went through DAWS: dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I drank to not feel, but I felt a lot: dread, fear, regret, grief: an utter sense of total loss of everything worth breathing about, for almost two years.

I was not suicidal but I wanted to be dead, at least dead to the experience of my own brain and body.

2015: I  began to recover after adding virgin coconut oil and organic grass-fed fed butter to a cup of instant coffee in the morning.

I did it hoping for mental acuity and better memory. After ten days of that, I was much better, mood-wise. Approximately neutral.

And, I experienced drowsiness. I could sleep. Not exactly happy, I did 30 days on Wellbutrin, because it had done me no harm in the past. 

I don't have the DAWS mood or state of mind. It never feel like doing anything if it means standing up.

In fact, I don't especially like moving. I'm a brain with a beanbag body.   :unsure:

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