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How antidepressants ruined my life


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http://cepuk.org/2015/07/18/rapid-withdrawal-misprescribing-benzodiazepine-leads-1-35m-settlement-luke-montagu-cep-co-founder/

 

The UK Times Magazine today publishes a long article describing CEP founder Luke Montagu’s terrible experience with antidepressants and sleeping pills:

When he was first prescribed these drugs at 19, Montagu was not depressed and had never been diagnosed with depression. He was a student at New York University, and had recently undergone a general anaesthetic for a sinus operation that left him with headaches and feeling, as he puts it, “not myself”. Without carrying out any tests, a British GP announced that he had a “chemical imbalance of the limbic system” and prescribed Prozac. Montagu, “impressionable and in awe of doctors”, swallowed them unquestioningly.

 

However, he didn’t feel any better and 
over the course of the next five years saw various doctors who, no less than nine times, switched him to different drugs. Montagu was given a variety of different diagnoses, with no two medics seemingly able to agree. “One doctor said it was anxiety, another suggested conversion disorder. None of them seemed to accept what I knew – and would point out quite heatedly – which was this was all a consequence of the sinus operation and the chopping and changing of the various drugs.”

 

On a couple of occasions, Montagu had tried to quit, but always felt so bad that he quickly resumed the drugs. “I thought it was because I needed the medication; now I understand that it was because I was going into withdrawal each time I tried to come off the drugs. But the doctors never spotted that,” he says.

 

“When I restarted the drugs, I would feel better, at least initially. At the time, I didn’t realise that I was just like a junkie who needed a fix – my body and brain had become dependent on these chemicals. My life was going well otherwise: I was living in Kensington with a girlfriend, extremely busy with my internet business. Eventually, I decided just to stay on the drugs and only went to the doctor for repeat prescriptions; I kept taking what was prescribed and managed to keep functioning even though I didn’t feel 100 per cent.”

 

At the end of 2008, however, Montagu, by then 38, resolved that enough was enough. He was on a new antidepressant, Effexor, that made him feel wired. To counteract this, he’d been prescribed sleeping pills, clonazepam, but they made him forgetful. He decided to start the new year clean.

At the time, he was seeing Dr Mark Collins, a psychiatrist at the Priory Hospital in southwest London, whose patients had included Princess Margaret, Ruby Wax and the Marquess of Blandford. “Dr Collins went to Eton; he was from a similar background. He seemed to be somebody I could trust,” Montagu says ruefully.

 

On Collins’s advice, Montagu checked himself in to the Priory, where his clonazepam was taken away (he stayed on Effexor). “I thought I wouldn’t sleep for two or three nights, then I’d be so tired I’d crash out. Instead, it felt like my brain was torn into pieces.”

 

Collins, he later learnt, had made a dreadful mistake – long-term users of sleeping pills need to taper off over months, or even years. Over the next few days, Montagu experienced a “tidal wave of horrific symptoms”.

Initially, he couldn’t walk. “I couldn’t coordinate my body or judge distances, I didn’t know how far things were away from me. There was this incredibly loud ringing in my ears. I couldn’t see – everything was blurry and I was having flashback after flashback of distant memories, things dredged up from years gone by. I was crying for no reason, sobbing hysterically.

 

“It was like the detox hell I’d seen in films like Trainspotting. I thought, I’m just going to have to ride this out and it will get better in the same way heroin withdrawal eventually loses its grip. But I had no idea that withdrawal from long-term use of sleeping pills can take months and sometimes years.”

 

A few days later, Montagu discharged himself. “I was in a state of absolute terror. I just wanted to get out of the hospital because I knew that something dreadful had been done to me. Somehow I made it home, but there I realised everything was different. I’d left the house as one person, but returned as another. In a quite literal way, I had lost my mind.”

Since then, Montagu has endured seven years of what can only be described as hell. A softly spoken man with a gentle demeanour, he is mainly calm as he describes his ordeal, but occasionally his voice wobbles.

 

Back home, he found himself unable to focus. “I could barely put a sentence together, remember who I was or what I was supposed to do. It was as if parts of my brain had been erased. For the first couple of years, I had to try to pretend to be the person that I was, while knowing inside that that person had gone.”

 

[His business] needed him, but he couldn’t function. “I’ve always been very good at getting things done and knowing what to say, but now I’d sit in a meeting without knowing what to do next.” At a board meeting he burst into tears in front of his fellow directors. “I had to say, ‘I just can’t do this. I’m really not well.’”

 

He realised he could no longer work. For the next three years, Montagu was stuck at home in agonising physical and mental pain. Horrified by the risk of additional drug harm, he decided to wean himself very slowly from the Effexor, leaving him with severe burning nerve pains, like pins and needles, all over his body, that continue to this day.

 

…As he slowly began to feel better, Montagu poured his energies into fighting back. Knowing his experiences would be dismissed as anecdote, together with various credible medics, he co-founded CEP, the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry, which gathers evidence of the harm caused by psychiatric drugs in order to lobby politicians and medical bodies. To give others hope, he uploaded short films of recovery stories to the website. They have become a popular resource.

 

“It’s pretty shocking that there are virtually no NHS resources to help people get though the hell of withdrawal, particularly since the problem has largely been caused by NHS treatment,” says Montagu, still measured in his speech but his passion rising. “It’s getting worse – more than 57 million prescriptions for antidepressants were issued in England last year. That’s 7 per cent more than 2013 and 500 per cent more than 1992.”

 

CEP’s message upsets many, who retort that such drugs have saved countless people from suicide. Montagu shrugs. “Psychiatry is a corrupt and dishonest business: it treats so-called illnesses that don’t exist with drugs that don’t cure and can cause great harm. And once you have been harmed, it then diagnoses further illness and prescribes yet more drugs. I know they can help some people in the short term, but they’re just psychoactive like alcohol or cocaine – they can make you feel better initially, but over the long term they cause dependence and destroy your physical and mental health.”

Montagu eventually sued Dr Collins for the rapid withdrawal and long-term misprescribing of clonazepam, which led to a £1.35m out of court settlement, including legal fees.

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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If he can be seriously affected by these medications, than absolutely anybody can.  Terrifying.  It's literally become part of western culture.  How can anyone expect to escape this horror if even royalty cannot?  At least he had the financial resources available to pursue legal action against his doctor - many of us do not have that capability.  Good for him for getting a 1 million dollar settlement - IMO they should all be giving anyone who's taken these medications a share of their profits for life.

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Happy to hear such a story has been published in an important UK magazine. Nobody listens to normal people, but when a rich one is harmed, everything is different.

 

Anyway it is a wonderful new that more and more people are going to get to know about the dangers of these medications, and this way save the lifes of many.

About me ------------------------ College student with a history of anxiety, excessive worrying and health anxiety.

April 2014 - May 2015----------    Prozac 20mg On and Off.  Second time on it I developed apathy, changes in personality, asexuality.

May 2015  -   July 2015-----------------  Tappering off prozac. Still no feelings,anhedonia, apathy, no libido, asexuality.

Current symptoms--------  pssd (asexuality in my case). Anxiety and depression developed some months afer stopping prozac, could have been caused by obsessing and beating myself up too much when I found myself unable to like girls again. The best thing to do with pssd (which in my case is asexuality) is accept it and move on.

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"Reassurance that Montagu was not hypochondriac or junkie came from online forums, populated by thousands in similar withdrawal hell from prescribed drugs"

 

They are talking about us!

About me ------------------------ College student with a history of anxiety, excessive worrying and health anxiety.

April 2014 - May 2015----------    Prozac 20mg On and Off.  Second time on it I developed apathy, changes in personality, asexuality.

May 2015  -   July 2015-----------------  Tappering off prozac. Still no feelings,anhedonia, apathy, no libido, asexuality.

Current symptoms--------  pssd (asexuality in my case). Anxiety and depression developed some months afer stopping prozac, could have been caused by obsessing and beating myself up too much when I found myself unable to like girls again. The best thing to do with pssd (which in my case is asexuality) is accept it and move on.

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Wow Theon you are right i hadnt read the whole story and went and did so. I wonder if he was a member of sa or pp?

 

I think i might type out the whole thing because this guy has written my story. We were both given this poison for off label use and both told we had a chemical imbalance!

 

Check this out "There were two or three Christmas's he couldnt come downstairs....i remember both of us sitting in the bathroom upstairs one christmas trying to hold luke together ..."

 

This is exactly my experience also except i had no-one to hold my hand while i lay in bed wanting to die while everyone else was being sociable enjoying the christmas bbq and wondering why that nz11 wont come out and socialize with family!! 

 

"Invariably doctors deny that the drugs are the cause. So many of us were on the drugs with no underlying reason in the first place"

[Hes preaching to the choir here]

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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It's good for the cause because he obviously didn't sue for the money. But where is the money for everyone else?

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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I still think it's a damn shame that PP closed.  They should have sold that website to someone else to run it.  Maybe the administrators will realize their mistake and start it up again.  I certainly hope they didn't delete the servers and everything.   Now it's only SA left to defend the world against evil.  I actually like SA better than PP, but the sheer number of people and the duration of the followers on PP made it sort of a cultural mainstay.

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ok here's the buzz.....drum roll.......Luke Montagu is the Earl of Sandwiches son!!

 

Luke : Do you poison us, sir?

Collins: I do poison, sir.

Luke: Do you poison  us, sir?

Collins (to Gregory): Is the law of our side if I say ay?

Gregory: No.

Collins: No, sir, I do not poison sir; its all anecdotal sir.

 

Luke : You lie sir so i will sue sir.

 

Judgement to the Montagues to the tune of 1.3 million pounds.

 

Three cheers for the Montagues!! ..... and to the sword with those evil pharma-capuleticals!!

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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THanks NZ for the post!

Hope something similar happens in US soon and this global crime can be stopped.

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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  • 4 weeks later...

i was told by my doctor to come off diazepam in 3 weeks.i wonder if i could sue him for that ?

Sertraline 100mg amytrip 60mg diazepam 4mg (and when needed) since late 90's.Reduced all meds over 6 wks (too short) last doses 13 wks ago.Still having withdrawals.I would have done it differently

5th august 2015 reinstated 5mg amytripiline.increased to 10mg amtrip 9th sept 2015.

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anyone know of a UK solicitor that does this kind of work ?

Sertraline 100mg amytrip 60mg diazepam 4mg (and when needed) since late 90's.Reduced all meds over 6 wks (too short) last doses 13 wks ago.Still having withdrawals.I would have done it differently

5th august 2015 reinstated 5mg amytripiline.increased to 10mg amtrip 9th sept 2015.

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