Posted 06 May 2017 - 04:59 AM
Hi there keepinghope, I do appreciate you taking the time to feed back and I completely understand your frustrations and the anger you feel at the harm caused. You are right, there are many that are permanently damaged by ssris/benzos/opoids and other drugs but equally, there are many that, with the proper tapering support, could come out unscathed from this. We need to represent the whole community as best we can. The podcast and the petition have their place in raising awareness but I've never pretended that they were a solution or that they would change anything on their own. I am all too aware of my limited abilities in this regard but they do have a place in raising awareness of damage and harm. You have every right to feel as you do and every right to take action that you feel is appropriate.
We also have to realise that many of these campaigns won't benefit us but will benefit people in the future. There is change in this but the wheels turn very slowly. There is room in this campaign for those that want the damage recognised and for those who want help for the future, we all come at this from slightly different angles and different places. As for the doctors, most are so frightened of being sued that they won't engage with anything that admits harm, not just for antidepressants but other drugs too. It's a difficult situation to challenge, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.
It's not a direct comparison of course, but there are many that are permanently damaged from drinking and from smoking, and many fatalities too. For years the alcohol and tobacco manufacturers fought any kind of limitation to their actives and refused to help pay for treatment/rehabilitation and support. They now fund rehabilitation schemes like AA, their advertising is restricted and their products are seen much more now as harmful, none of that would have happened without people speaking out, sharing their experiences and demanding something was done. I don't expect Pharma to do this voluntarily, but I expect that, one day, legislation will compel them to act. Unfortunately I cannot say when this will be. I feel a need to try and do something, if I really thought about the futility of it then I wouldn't bother, at the very least, the people I have interviewed have told me that just sharing their stories has helped them. At this stage, that's good enough for me.
I am so sorry to hear of you experiences. I do hope that you continue to listen to the podcast but I understand if it just makes you more angry and frustrated, that certainly was not the intention when putting it together. My very best wishes to you and thank you so much for sharing your views with me, it means a great deal.
You're right James, we should try, and I'm sorry if I came across as belittling what you were doing at all - I greatly admire what you're trying to do and I have been listening to the podcasts - I wish I had your motivation! As someone else on here said, I've been especially enjoying the personal history podcasts for the sheer fact that they make me feel a bit less alone. If you're looking for anyone else to share their story I'd be very much willing to, and if it can help just one person it will be worth it. I have a bad tendency to look at the big picture with all it's obstacles and immediately give up, whereas I think you're doing the right thing, small steps to eventually grow a bigger movement/awareness, it's a tortoise and the hare game.
2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.