btdt

Marriages destroyed by SSRI SNRI - Topix

492 posts in this topic

There use to be a thread on a site with this title it helped a lot of people it was started in 2007 by a man named Roy who's wife took one of these drugs and had an extreme personality change... destroying their marriage.  He started this self explanatory thread and over 12000 posts were made to the site over the next few years.  The site has been deleted and I was thinking maybe the people who were there and now need a forum could come here and use this site. 

 

It has been closed for months now but just in case some of those people or new people who are dealing with this antidepressant issue could use it to find help and learn what they are up against. 

 

Over the years we found one person in the scientific community who understand this problem and explains why it happens her name is Helen Fisher.  There are plenty of links to her on the internet but I will post the one where she explains the issues clearly.. tho not very in-depth. 

Share this post


Link to post

Helen Fisher these drugs kill you ability to stay in love and to fall in love... kill the sex drive ... ect
she gets emails all the time... from folks who are having issues like this 
She knows it now but people will not listen. 

here's Helen

 

How could all this happen and your doctor not know... 

a doctor tells us here

https://www.ted.com/talks/ben_goldacre_what_doctors_don_t_know_about_the_drugs_they_prescribe

Share this post


Link to post

Hey Bt. I had to start a new account. Apparently my info got lost etc. 

Glad you started this thread. 

I Just wanted to note, though... it wasn't the 'site' that got deleted, it was THREADS in that site. A LOT of threads were deleted that talked mainly about these ill effects of the drugs. Ironic as it sounds, it could be 'controlled' in a manipulating way. No one will ever convince me that these drugs can't change the very essence of people and what makes them who they are. So with that said, it will be equally impossible to sway me from believing that Big Pharma etc (or SOMEONE) could be trying to control the outing of these drugs. 

Share this post


Link to post

As I know little of the internet or how it works really... I am sure you right.  For me I am trying to get a point across that a useful thread has been lost... this one in particular had a huge draw much more than the other threads in what was mostly an Effexor withdrawal section of that site... I don't know the semantics to discuss this properly... I know that so I will make mistakes about those issues for sure expect them and correct me so others get it ...in case it is important to them.  It is not important to me, maybe it should be but it simply isn't.  There were other threads withing the "Effexor withdrawal" section of that site... that were as important to me as that thread... 

Now that I think about it I find it odd that the marriages thread ended up with the effexor withdrawal issues that seems odd not looking back for whatever reason it did and tho I was not in a relationship when I was on effexor I completely got how this could happen as I had a complete personality change on Effexor. 

I guess it was all happenstance in the end.  

Still here we are NOW and life goes on and plenty of people will need to know the issues relating to these drugs and this subject.  I wish I had done this long ago when the site or whatever you want to call it was deleted as I think it served a good purpose. As for how or why it went ... I don't care... anymore the thing is the good of that information ... the support and the healing for people around this issue needs to START yesterday.  To begin that journey they need to get the information that applies to the their issues and where else are they going to get it? 

There is a sad lack in this area I hope you stick around and help those who come here. I am sure they will come sooner or later.  I hope too that others who added so much in research and study to the old site ... one day look up the title and find this space... as their are plenty of them who cycle in and out... they have a wealth of information and personal experience. 

You and I well we have been forged by fire so we may appear opinionated in these areas lets hope we are as tough as metal and can forge new lives for ourselves too.  I hope so all the while helping those along the way who may need the truth shed.  We can't make them know we can present and let them see for themselves. I also hope this or maybe a side thread like will become a place where SO who used the drugs and lived thru the affects of destroying the things they loved... while altered... can share and heal too.  We have a great shortage in this area I know the shame and doubt are both huge hurdles but maybe some day they too will come and collect the peace that should have been theirs all along. 

Hope that was not too long and that it made some sense...

peace to you.

Share this post


Link to post

Btdt-

 

I think this is an important topic... It choked me up a little when I stumbled upon it. I have little doubt that along with what I call 'blunting my emotions', Prozac not only took away my ability to grieve, it took my ability to love deeply for many, many years. Even if I knew the love was there it was like I couldn't feel it in my heart, if that makes sense.

 

At the low dose I am at now I have begun to feel things more deeply, which is a bit un stabilizing because I'm still not sure if it's "too deep" or just unfamiliar to feel again. It feels like I feel more for my friends and family than I have in... I don't know how long. My desire to see them and be in contact with them is stronger. So your thread here had me think about all this and I wonder if these deepening feelings are normal feelings that are indicating a sort of healing... That maybe I will be able to love deeply again.

 

While it may be a change in personality brought on by these meds, the other explanation maybe a change in ones ability to access emotion. If we can't feel love our behavior towards the person we are supposed to love will be exceedingly different than if the feeling were accessible... Does that make sense?

 

Anyway, thank you btdt for starting this thread.

Share this post


Link to post

Btdt-

 

I think this is an important topic... It choked me up a little when I stumbled upon it. I have little doubt that along with what I call 'blunting my emotions', Prozac not only took away my ability to grieve, it took my ability to love deeply for many, many years. Even if I knew the love was there it was like I couldn't feel it in my heart, if that makes sense.

 

At the low dose I am at now I have begun to feel things more deeply, which is a bit un stabilizing because I'm still not sure if it's "too deep" or just unfamiliar to feel again. It feels like I feel more for my friends and family than I have in... I don't know how long. My desire to see them and be in contact with them is stronger. So your thread here had me think about all this and I wonder if these deepening feelings are normal feelings that are indicating a sort of healing... That maybe I will be able to love deeply again.

 

While it may be a change in personality brought on by these meds, the other explanation maybe a change in ones ability to access emotion. If we can't feel love our behavior towards the person we are supposed to love will be exceedingly different than if the feeling were accessible... Does that make sense?

 

Anyway, thank you btdt for starting this thread.

Your welcome.

" a change in ones ability to access emotion"

Yes I think it is somewhat the same... makes sense to me and I am sure we may all experience this to different levels and in different ways with the same sort of results. 

I had a feeling I was shut off from a sense of who I really was and changed my life completely doing things I would never in a million years have drempt I would do ... like becoming a stripper at 44 years old quitting my job.. gambling.  So many things while I was drugged on full dose of celexa 40mg and 150 of Effexor. 

I think I may have been an extreme case there are others like me.  I do wonder how many ended up too damage to ever make it to a place like this.  Looking back I can see how that could have very easily have happened to me. Digging out of the mess one has made of a life is another ball game... I have not been able to do it not really. 

What I can identify with from the comment I quoted is something I wrote once to explain to a significant other trying to explain to them what the change was like ...how I could not access my consciousness... I was functioning as some lower brain level then I have become accustom to using without drugs.  I could not get there I knew something very big was wrong but I could not reach a level of conscious awareness long enough to think it thru.  My brain would literally shut down I would have a glimpse of myself and the shade would be drawn.  

 

Recently I posted a comment about a persons experience abusing effexor... and he had titled his comment as "separation from self"  that for me was exactly how it was to live for years drugged... I could not get back to me.  

 

I sure hope we all get back the ability to love normally I think we have missed enough. 

 

I read the "other" site sometimes I don't want to miss anything important... and there was a post on there today about this from a person who just does not love her bf any longer. ... there are other reports of women not loving their kids ...feeling removed and far away... and they know something is wrong... I wonder how many think they are mentally ill and that is why they can't feel they don't think it is the drugs. 

I have had a ton of conversations about this over the years with people at topix a few with people like me who lived it ...but mostly with partners who could not understand it. 

 

It is of course not just spouses people lose feeling for but all things even self. 

 

It is enough for some to deal with the withdrawal... for me this has been apart of my healing since about 2008 when another named Charlie helped me see it I was still far away from me then.  

Maybe this thread could be call something different as it affects a lot of areas of life not just marriages.  We will improve as much as we can... I don't know what that will look like yet not really I keep hoping for more I am greedy about this one.  I did feel closer to my family after a good long time healing but I feel it is hit and miss... I often feel kind of autistic still not nearly as bad as before but it is there.... still. I hate it at the same time I am grateful I am not still drugged. 

peace to you ... 

Share this post


Link to post

...a change in ones ability to access emotion...shut off from a sense of who I really was... doing things I would never in a million years have drempt I would do ...

These things and much of what you wrote resonate with me. I wish they didn't but they do. And of course there are the consequences of do those things we never thought (or dreamt) we'd do.

 

 

...feeling removed and far away... and they know something is wrong... I wonder how many think they are mentally ill and that is why they can't feel they don't think it is the drugs. 

There are probably many who think it's something inherently wrong with them and don't realize it's the drugs.

 

I honestly don't know when I made the connection of not being able to access my emotions to Prozac, but it was only more recently that I made the connection to my past behavior. Not that I think Prozac caused the behavior directly, but that it squashed those feelings that sort of keep us within our own moral code of conduct.

Share this post


Link to post

Yes there are a lot of factors to think about but really where the rubber meats the road if we did not take these drugs whatever con line was used on us to get the drug into the body life would have been different. 

I don't know how many other people would say their life would have been better had they not taken them but I for one can say mine would have been better...short of being hit by a train or something... I can't say for sure I would not have been hit by a train... and neither can anyone else.  Yet I know myself I know who I was and what parts of me would not have changed had I never taken any of these psychiatric drugs.  For me my life however it turned out would have been my doing since taking these mind altering medications I no longer feel I was making the choices with sound mind... or that I was actually choosing anything... I was not there and my life passed.  I have read other talk about this for years ... rather like I woke up 5 10 15 20 years have passed I don't know who I am... I don't understand what I have been doing all these years drugged.  I was just reading about this on "another site"  then there is the healing to get thru.  It is a lot for anyone to deal with.  

I am a bit amazed you had the presence of mind to join the no feeling with the drug... as I think this extremely rare and lucky thing to have occur.  

I think in all my time reading these sort of site I have seen this only one other time... a lady on effexor withdrawal on topix said she found if she did not take effexor she liked her husband... and liked to have sex with him... if she took it she did not like her husband and didn't want to have sex with him.  Strangely enough she took the drug for a bit and then stopped taking it when she thought or felt she was getting too far away from her husband.  By doing this she managed to stay somehow sane and she got off effexor once she found the site.  She would go back on it when she felt withdrawal.... off and on.. I think her dose was low... too bad the site is gone or I could send you a link to her story. 

For me I had no clue I thought I was just crazy... I did not see it.  

I wish you peace

Share this post


Link to post

It's funny that you say you're amazed that I had the presence of mind to know it was the Prozac blunting my emotions... I can't remember when I had this realization or if I'd heard it was a possibility and it made sense given my inability to cry or feel sad (or high levels of happy). What I do remember is having a very stressful period at work during which I was having some difficulty with a supervisor and I would get so angry. So angry that I think it punched through the emotional ceiling Prozac had set and tears would stream down my face and make it seem as if I were crying rather than being angry. It was a very strange disconnect. What I remember most was thinking that I would pop a few extra Prozac capsules to keep myself from crying during that period. I believe it worked, but I also ended up with a rash or hives. I did it again on maybe two other occasions... It was many years ago so I don't recall how much I bumped the dosage up or for how long.

 

I also recall thinking how easily I would cry during times I had CT'ed Prozac in the earlier years... Not that I was depressed, but that I would/ could cry easily, and how the opposit was true when I was taking Prozac. I wasn't any happier really, but I couldn't cry and I rarely laughed. I would fake laughter sometimes because I knew something was funny, even felt it was funny... But no laughter. Someone said to me once during a movie or something, " I can't believe you don't think that's hysterical." The thing was, I did. I thought it was funny, but it was weird because the laughter seemed to elude me. After that I was somewhat hyper aware that I wasn't laughing, so I'd fake it. But the lack of laughing was minor compared to the lack of tears or ability to experience emotions at any great intensity.

 

Btdt, when I read what you wrote I can't help but hear grief... Like your grieving over having lost site of yourself for many years. I wish you didn't feel that way... Of course I say that having also mourned and having thought I'd be somewhere else, made different decisions, or been further along in my career or what have you had I'd never popped that first capsule in 1988. I want to say that here we are, starting over in so many ways and have that be reassuring, but despite the truth in that statement I wonder if it's not simply patronizing to hear. Maybe knowing that you weren't crazy/are not crazy brings so e solace?

Share this post


Link to post

I have collected many (not all) stories from old Topix site (and from some other sources)

 

I have put everything in two Google Drive documents. Feel free to read it and use it.

 

 

Stories of SSRI users

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1V_y9LX-6WGaD4SfA4IZghBMEM3nqHdUluN2sAidGfzg/edit?usp=sharing

 

 

Stories of SSRI spouses

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/12F_yiwXqFdalDOs2JQR_y_uF-X8aAqcgqUJoUjrTIWY/edit?usp=sharing

Share this post


Link to post

Konjo!! Thank you so much for posting the links. The stories of the SSRI users are all too familiar... They are me. Were me. I sit here with tears wishing they hadn't been me. There are still times when I feel like my emotions are shut off, but the the improvements are significant.

 

Although I knew Prozac blunted my ability to experience to feel sadness, happiness, and any number of other emotions, I didn't equate it my loss of ability to feel love for my partner, my parents, family members, nor did I link it to my reckless behaviors until recently. The stories in those links confirms for me what I thought was probably true while at the same time scare the hell out of me.

Share this post


Link to post

Don't throw it all away.... 

I can't resist posting this... 

peace

Share this post


Link to post

Funny how the name Fisher keeps coming up this one is Canadian. 

"Although people experience love differently, the chemistry behind the initial rush of attraction shows us that there are biological explanations to feeling giddy, for example, during those blissful early weeks.

To start with, dopamine, which is created in the brain and adrenal glands, enhances the release of testosterone. Dopamine affects various organs, including the genitals, the sweat glands, and also the senses. Have you ever noticed that when you are in the early stages of lust or love, you sweat more? Or that the sky seems bluer? Dopamine, in this context of arousal, is partly responsibly. As a consequence of dopamine being released, mood and emotions are also influenced, leading to feelings of excitement and happiness. Meanwhile, testosterone increases sexual desire, but also increases aggressive behaviour and behaviourally, may push someone to pursue the one who is fueling this intense response.

 After this step, the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and PEA (phenylethylamine) lead to focused attention. Individuals start to ‘zero-in’ on the person they desire, and at the same time, often have a feeling of euphoria. Norepinephrine is a stimulant, so it also causes individuals to feel alert, potentially unable to sleep, and enables them to notice and remember even the smallest of details about their partners. PEA is responsible for the feelings of giddiness, and may cause the loss of appetite. If the relationship doesn’t last, and PEA levels fall and are partly responsible for the feelings of depression that can be experienced.

A feedback loop begins to form, with a brain reward system becoming involved. This reward system is influenced by the central nervous system and the contents of the bloodstream, such as the level of various neurotransmitters. The reward system sends chemical messages, via neurotransmitters, to various parts of the body, including the stomach, skin, genitals and other organs, which causes them to send messages back to the brain. To phrase it simplistically, if stimulation of the genitals feels good, for example, then the reward system receives this information and causes one to seek more of what was pleasurable. Interestingly, anticipation alone can cause a biological response and stimulate the reward system.

 During the initial stages of love or lust, this reward system is stimulated through very simple means; a lover’s touch, seeing their photograph, or even just thinking about this person can increase elevated mood and focused attention. Helen Fisher and colleagues (2005:http://www.helenfisher.com/downloads/articles/13JourCompNeur.pdf) found that when the brains of those who state they are passionately in love are scanned by an fMRI, the reward system is activated

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/loves-evolver/201302/the-science-behind-falling-in-love

 

and that my friends is how it all works I guess.

Share this post


Link to post

Courtship Blunting 

the two Fisher seem to join for this one

 

Do antidepressants smother romance?

Theory notes obsessive focus lost when brain chemistry is altered

Aug 10, 2007 04:30 AM

Susan Brink 
LOS ANGELES TIMES

Love's first rush is a private madness between two people, all-consuming and endlessly wonderful.

Couples think about the other obsessively – on a roller coaster of euphoria when together, longing when apart.

"It's temporary insanity," says Helen Fisher, an evolutionary anthropologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Now, from her studies of the brains of lovers in the throes of the initial tumble, Fisher has developed a controversial theory. She and her collaborator, psychiatrist J. Anderson Thomson of the University of Virginia, believe Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and other antidepressants alter brain chemistry so as to blunt the intense cutting edge of new love.

Fisher and Thomson, who describe their theory in a chapter in the book, Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience, aren't talking just about the notorious ability of the drugs to dampen sexual desire and performance, although that, they believe, plays its part. They think the drugs also sap the craving for a mate, perhaps even the brain's very ability to fall in love.

That would be bad news, given the widespread use of antidepressants.

Although they lack solid evidence that more people are having trouble falling in love, the scientists cite animal and laboratory science along with some human studies.

For one thing, there's brain chemistry. The chemicals involved in the heart-pounding fall over the cliff into another's life, including dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, are the very chemicals altered by many antidepressants.

Fisher cites animal studies showing, for example, that female prairie voles, naturally loyal to one mate, lose interest in him when dopamine is suppressed. Human romantic love is associated with increased activity in dopamine pathways. Antidepressants suppress that activity and are known to curb obsessive thinking. For these reasons, Fisher suggests antidepressants could jeopardize intense romantic love.

There are few studies on the effects of antidepressants on aspects of love beyond libido and sexual performance. But in an intriguing experiment, Canadian psychologist Maryanne Fisher (no relation to Helen) reported evidence in a small 2004 study of what she termed "courtship blunting" in women taking antidepressants.

Asked to rate the attractiveness of men's faces, women taking the drugs rated the men more negatively and breezed through the pictures faster than women not on antidepressants.

There is also anecdotal evidence, which Thompson collects. Although such stories may be anathema to hard science, they can provide the basis for research questions.

A 20-year-old man, who began taking antidepressants when he was 15 and stopped when he was 18, was reluctant to take them again, despite feeling depressed. "No one told him about the sexual side effects. In retrospect, he realized he had the sexual side effects and that might have contributed to his not dating," Thomson says.

Any drug that has sexual side effects, Thomson says, could well blunt other chemicals the brain uses to intently focus on one person or to work up the obsession necessary to fall in love in the first place.

Then there was the 42-year-old single woman who had not been on a date in the eight years she had been taking an antidepressant. "She had not felt any desire (to date) for at least that period of time," he says.

Fisher's and Thomson's theory is new enough that many therapists say they've never heard it discussed. And those who have are cautious. Mental health experts fear that, with recent publicity about suicidal risks in adolescents taking antidepressants, people whose lives could be improved or even saved with medications won't take them.

Some scientists dismiss Fisher's and Thomson's theory. ``Antidepressants tend to tone down the emotions. But they don't interfere with the ability to fall in love. No," says Otto Kernberg, director of the Personality Disorders Institute at the New York Presbyterian Hospital and author of six books on love.

But Richard Tuch, a psychoanalyst at the New Center for Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles, says the theory is challenging. "I think it's a call to the psychiatric community to study this. She's raised the question. Now it's our responsibility to look into it."

Source

http://www.ottawamenscentre.com/news/20070810_anti.htm

 

this is old in 2007 still interesting we see how much study has been done.. or accepted 

Share this post


Link to post

This is an interesting subject for me as well.  When I was on Paxil and married it did not numb my emotions.  It had actually helped me feel them without wanting to die from them.

 

As a single person since 2003 something happened....I gained weight from meds and that affected my self esteem and motivation to pursue relationships.  I suppose there is some unfinished 'trauma' from the marriage I was in.

 

And above all the anxiety from switching around meds has kept me in a bit of an isolated state in terms of intimacy or pursuing relationships....I find that I am at a point in my life where I don't know how to have a relationship and it scares the daylights out of me.

 

Tough subject.......

Share this post


Link to post

More good stuff, btdt! Very interesting and it makes some of my "behaviors" while taking Prozac make an odd kind of sense. Like I was seeking the dopamine my Prozac was suppressing.

 

Thank you again, btdt.

Share this post


Link to post

I was on the other thread as THT. I'm glad to see this back as a subject. My wife suffered depression and bi polar for 15 yrs. As well as being labeled with everything else. First three years were bad, but she regained control and held steady for 7 years. Then she went to a phsych who started giving her every drug he could. when it got to 11 she tried to leave me. Back down to three and i was the best person ever. up to 7 and I was a controlling demeaning sob. Down to 4 and I was an amazing person for sticking by her and helping her. In between all this she would attempt suicide every 4 months. This thread helped me realize it wasn't me that was the problem( like she said I was)and it wasn't her. It was her illness and the drugs. She had a bad reaction to many drugs. Easy to see from the outside, but she never saw it and she hated me for trying to help her. The doctors put me in charge of her medicine because she couldn't think clearly. We were doing well until Buspar made her cold. She was stable so a little cold wasn't a big deal compared to loosing her forever. Then they raised it and I asked her to let me know if her feelings changed. Well she didn't. She left me and our three kids and 3 weeks later took her own life. That was 3 weeks and a day ago. I miss her with every part of my being. Our 3 kids will forever be motherless. When they warn about the side effect of suicide..... pay attention. Not all the evil thoughts are from your illness, some are the drugs. Sometimes what you think are very rational good thoughts are really horrific laps in judgement. She thought she was doing the best thing for everyone by killing herself. The more drugs she was on the more she hated me and herself. Mix alcohol in and she would do the most terrible self destructive behavior. From online sexing to a steak knife to her skin. The next day she would hate what she did, but never blamed the drinking and drugs. She was an addict and depressed. There was nothing more I could have done for her. We tried everything. She would be okay for a while then her demons would slowly take hold and she would fall. i couldn't help her and I couldn't save her. She loved her pills and thought she needed every one and the next one would cure her. She was the only one who could have cured her.

Share this post


Link to post

There are no words. I am so sorry for you and your children.

Share this post


Link to post

I am terribly sorry for your family's struggle and loss. That you realize that your wife's struggles and decisions were her own, and drug and substance induced shows incredible clarity and strength. Your children are very lucky to have you as their parent.

Share this post


Link to post

ThTJmT.... I am so sorry to hear about what you and your family are going through.  I hope this site helps you get through this terrible time.

 

I am here, as I used to go on the Topix forum of the same name.  Mostly the original topic, which helped me through so much with my husband on the pills.  That site and sites like this have the ability to provide information and help to so many people affected by anti-depressants.

 

I hope to be able to tell my story to anybody who needs to hear a positive outcome of being the spouse of somebody on the pills and provide support where possible.

 

Btdt, thank you for starting this post on here.

Share this post


Link to post

I was on the other thread as THT. I'm glad to see this back as a subject. My wife suffered depression and bi polar for 15 yrs. As well as being labeled with everything else. First three years were bad, but she regained control and held steady for 7 years. Then she went to a phsych who started giving her every drug he could. when it got to 11 she tried to leave me. Back down to three and i was the best person ever. up to 7 and I was a controlling demeaning sob. Down to 4 and I was an amazing person for sticking by her and helping her. In between all this she would attempt suicide every 4 months. This thread helped me realize it wasn't me that was the problem( like she said I was)and it wasn't her. It was her illness and the drugs. She had a bad reaction to many drugs. Easy to see from the outside, but she never saw it and she hated me for trying to help her. The doctors put me in charge of her medicine because she couldn't think clearly. We were doing well until Buspar made her cold. She was stable so a little cold wasn't a big deal compared to loosing her forever. Then they raised it and I asked her to let me know if her feelings changed. Well she didn't. She left me and our three kids and 3 weeks later took her own life. That was 3 weeks and a day ago. I miss her with every part of my being. Our 3 kids will forever be motherless. When they warn about the side effect of suicide..... pay attention. Not all the evil thoughts are from your illness, some are the drugs. Sometimes what you think are very rational good thoughts are really horrific laps in judgement. She thought she was doing the best thing for everyone by killing herself. The more drugs she was on the more she hated me and herself. Mix alcohol in and she would do the most terrible self destructive behavior. From online sexing to a steak knife to her skin. The next day she would hate what she did, but never blamed the drinking and drugs. She was an addict and depressed. There was nothing more I could have done for her. We tried everything. She would be okay for a while then her demons would slowly take hold and she would fall. i couldn't help her and I couldn't save her. She loved her pills and thought she needed every one and the next one would cure her. She was the only one who could have cured her.

I am sorry in so many ways it is impossible to state them all.  Mostly I am sorry she did not get the right help at the right time. 

I have watched over the years people die from these drugs other mutilate themselves and I don't mean just online at the time I did not understand what was going on... I was so afraid of being the one who pushed them over the edge when I could see they were close.  Some of the things you say about your spouse you could say of me too... I have been those places I got really lucky tho most normal people would not look at my life and call me lucky... far from it...either way I am still here and there were many close calls from my hand and from others due to my extreme behavior... I am going to call it dumb luck or grace as for now I don't understand why me and not your spouse.  Why me and not the others I have watched die.  I don't know but since I am here.  I would like to verify for you that I too loved my drugs and I too thought the next one would fix me completely or make the hell I was in go away... it is not so unusual I don't think.  If it had not been for some severe not able to function symptoms I would never have quit taking effexor not ever.  My heart bleeds for you and your children.  

I hope by being around to talk about to save a few and maybe prevent others from going down this path... we can only hope.  I once said long ago when asked why I am so persistent about these sore of forums that I am alive I have threw dumb luck made it this far and I intend to give a voice to those who did not make it out. 

I wish you peace 

Share this post


Link to post

ThTJmT.... I am so sorry to hear about what you and your family are going through.  I hope this site helps you get through this terrible time.

 

I am here, as I used to go on the Topix forum of the same name.  Mostly the original topic, which helped me through so much with my husband on the pills.  That site and sites like this have the ability to provide information and help to so many people affected by anti-depressants.

 

I hope to be able to tell my story to anybody who needs to hear a positive outcome of being the spouse of somebody on the pills and provide support where possible.

 

Btdt, thank you for starting this post on here.

Your welcome seems to be the sensible thing to do can't imagine why it took me so long to think of it. 

 

I am glad to see your still quoting you story as a success :) bravo... a bit of help at the right time goes a long way as we all can attest to. Hope all is well and the future is open to you in all ways.

peace

Share this post


Link to post

This thread saved me and killed me.

I was on venlafaxine 7 years.

A year after taking it I left my husband and crucified my family.

I got off the drug yesterday. In the last few weeks I've been feeling emotions again.

I found this thread and read the links on topics site. It broke my heart. I knew my a too a were out if character but I was numbed with the drug.

Today in in total despair. I have lost 7 years if my life and broken the heart if the man i adored. Caused pain to my children and family. All the while unaware and feeling nothing.

Today I'm awake. I think I am me. I have no drug in me having weened down to 1mg over a few years. I feel like I've woken from a nightmare.

I'm struggling to come to terms with that I've done. My family have all moved on and dealt with the pain I caused. Today I can start to grief fir the life I lost and the pain I caused.

I'm alone now. No one understands. They probably think it's an excuse to say the tablet stopped my emotions and led me to make drastic decisions.

I have to try stop dwelling on it and move forward.

I feel raped of my life.

Today is day 2 of no medication after 7 years. I'm not sure which is worse.

Feeling the pain and panic of what I've done or taking it and feeling nothing.

I feel I have ruined so many lives while my whole personality was changed. I was once a good caring compassionate woman. One thing that gives me peace is that god new snd I eont rot in hell for what I've done.

Share this post


Link to post

Ramsnic - I'm so sorry for your pain.  I'm glad that you are off of this medication and have clarity once again.  This drug destroyed my husband.  He has been off of it for not quite a year.  It nearly ended our marriage. We continue to work daily to overcome the pain caused by the mania, personality change, and lack of focus, emotion, etc. this drug caused.  Our children struggle to trust him as do I. My lack of trust not only extends to him but to the entire medical community as a whole. It may be a good idea to send your family this information.  I would have never believed it myselt until I lived through it.  I literally sat back completely helpless watching my husband become a shell of the man he once was.  I had no idea who he was or why he changed so drastically.

 

Also - you can't change the past, but you can change the future.  Please forgive yourself, you can get your life back.  I believe just from reading your post that you are still a good, caring, compassionate woman.  Please hang in there.  God Bless

Share this post


Link to post

Devastated wife. Thank you for your reply.

I have woken up into a nightmare. I truly had no idea these drugs could change a persons personality. I crucified a happy stable family by believing the tablet the Dr gave me would help with my anxiety and depression. It changed my personality but what kills me more is that it has taken 7 years to get off it and even today I'm not free. I'm now living the pain of what I have done.

My husband wasn't able to save me and eventually stopped trying.

You are still married and I respect how hard it must be to believe his actions were not choices he made with a his sane mind. Effexor drugs the brain and you become lost in a world which you believe is ok. It's not until the drug is stopped that you wake up to what you have done. I have no faith in doctors because they allowed this to happen. My husband begged them to stop the tablet and they said no, your wife has chosen to leave you.

I was not in my right mind. I would never have left him. He was my best friend.

 

Did you read the links above as there's 100s who have done the same.

Hopefully you can rebuild your trust because without the drug in his system he is your husband again. He wouldn't have done whatever he did to lose your trust if he hadn't been drugged. He may have appeared normal and cohearant as I did but you know the person you married. You know it wasn't his personality to hurt you and your children.

 

My husband gave up on me. I can't blame him.

Today drug free I feel like it's day one for me. I've woken up and I've lost it all.

I love him to bits. And I miss my family unit. He's with someone else now. He still cares but he's got a new life. We spoke yesterday. He cried and said he knew but no one would listen. I was adamant I didn't love him and he couldn't fight anymore.

I broke my husbands heart and I can't bare to think how he coped.

 

I will have to learn to forgive actions I took while on this drug and face my life knowing what happened. I just wish someone had helped me get off the drug sooner. Maybe things could have been different. Instead his family think I'm a bad person. They would never accept I wasn't in my right mind. 7 years later I can't believe no one told me or pursuaded me to get off it.

 

I pray you can forgive whatever happened.

He wasn't in his right mind.

God bless you and your family. Xxx

Share this post


Link to post

Ramsnic - This article is most likely in the links that btdt posted above but I pulled it out separately for you.  This has helped me tremendously through out my ordeal. I also sent it to my husband who said that it was probably the most correct, on point thing that he's read to date.  I hope it helps you the way that it has me.

 

 

 

"Here's an article from this site that has helped me understand what is going on in my situation. It appears that the author was Charles Carpenter:

Why they walk away

Over the past few years I have heard numerous stories about relationships abandoned while someone was either on an SSRI / SNRI or during withdrawal. I have thought about this untold hours and I’m going to try sharing those thoughts here.

I want to be very clear that this is not directed at anyone and I am in no way being judgmental.

The Beginning
It all starts innocently enough when someone has gone to the Dr for an ailment, any ailment but for this exercise we’ll say anxiety. They get a prescription for one of the medications known as SSRI’s or SNRI’s which are a type of antidepressant. They get the usual blather about how safe they are and how effective they are along with a stern warning about how they can cause dry mouth, nausea and a feeling of sleepiness. These drugs include Paxil, Prozac. Lexapro. Celexa, Zoloft, Effexor and Cymbalta.

The unsuspecting victim gets the prescription filled and because they were reassured about the safety from the Dr they don’t purchase a microscope to read the insert that comes with the medication.

They begin taking the medication and before long they have changed but it’s a very slow change. Changes that are barely noticeable in the beginning, starting with an anger outburst or an out of character comment.

When frontal lobe syndrome occurs symptoms such as Apathy, indifference, loss of initiative, becoming indifferent toward work performance, exhibiting impulsive and disinhibited behavior, or developing poor concentration and forgetful behavior (Hoehn-Saric et al. 1991). may be present.

The inability to feel good or satisfied may be missing due to a reduced dopamine level. The activities they once enjoyed no longer light their fire. You see for every incremental increase in serotonin levels there is a corresponding decrease in the level of the neurotransmitter Dopamine that allows us to feel reward or satisfaction. The big sale or other achievement won’t feel right, it won’t be enough. The cuddle at night may become meaningless.

Some will become manic. Mania includes but may not be limited to such things as

• increased energy, decreased sleep
• overly irritable
• fast emotional changes
• inflated self-esteem
• increased sexual drive
• overspending
• poor judgment

The retrospective study I read says that slightly less than 9% will experience mania as a side effect of these drugs. A report on Fox News today said there are 30 million people in the US on these drugs at any one time and that 5% are manic or psychotic. Psychotic just means they have lost touch with reality. Perceived feelings begin to emerge which often times include blaming their significant other for everything bad that has ever happened or for things that never happened. The phone call just to see how they’re doing that was once viewed as sweet or considerate is now viewed as “checking up on me”

With that being the case and with more than half being women or girls it doesn’t take much reasoning to figure out what happens when they experience an increased sex drive, become disinhibited and exercise poor judgment. I use women here as the example merely because it’s much easier for them to act out sexually than it is for men. That however in no way precludes men from engaging in this type behavior for the exact same reasons.

It has also been reported in trial data that some people will actively pursue such things as pornography when they never were inclined to do so before. These are all things that may be outside “their normal behavior” Keep that simple phrase in mind “their normal behavior” it’s the key to understanding what has happened or is happening now.

Some will say at this point that sex had nothing to do with MY decision. The sexual scenario was just an example. The out of character behavior can and does come in virtually any form including but in no way limited to excessive spending, gambling, vivid violent dreams directed towards the loved one that create a fear of what you might do and the list goes on.

Soon with the help of the drug they begin to rationalize what they’ve done. Believing these new activities feelings and fears are really who they are and what they want they simply walk away from their previous life to pursue the perceived utopian existence they have discovered under the numbing mind altering influence of their medication.

Having rationalized they begin to feel threatened. Their secrets aren’t safe, so now what? The hard wired survival mechanism known as fight or flight kicks in.

Fight or flight

What is the "fight or flight response?"

This fundamental physiologic response forms the foundation of modern day stress medicine. The "fight or flight response" is our body's primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares the body to "fight" or "flee" from perceived attack, harm or threat to our survival.

What happens to us when we are under excessive stress?

When we experience excessive stress—whether from internal worry or external circumstance—a bodily reaction is triggered, called the "fight or flight" response. Originally discovered by the great Harvard physiologist Walter Cannon, this response is hard-wired into our brains and represents a genetic wisdom designed to protect us from bodily harm. This response actually corresponds to an area of our brain called the hypothalamus, which—when stimulated—initiates a sequence of nerve cell firing and chemical release that prepares our body for running or fighting.

What are the signs that our fight or flight response has been stimulated (activated)?

When our fight or flight response is activated, sequences of nerve cell firing occur and chemicals like adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol are released into our bloodstream. These patterns of nerve cell firing and chemical release cause our body to undergo a series of very dramatic changes. Our respiratory rate increases. Blood is shunted away from our digestive tract and directed into our muscles and limbs, which require extra energy and fuel for running and fighting. Our pupils dilate. Our awareness intensifies. Our sight sharpens. Our impulses quicken. Our perception of pain diminishes. Our immune system mobilizes with increased activation. We become prepared—physically and psychologically—for fight or flight. We scan and search our environment, "looking for the enemy."

When our fight or flight system is activated, we tend to perceive everything in our environment as a possible threat to our survival. By its very nature, the fight or flight system bypasses our rational mind—where our more well thought out beliefs exist—and moves us into "attack" mode. This state of alert causes us to perceive almost everything in our world as a possible threat to our survival. As such, we tend to see everyone and everything as a possible enemy. Like airport security during a terrorist threat, we are on the look out for every possible danger. We may overreact to the slightest comment. Our fear is exaggerated. Our thinking is distorted. We see everything through the filter of possible danger. We narrow our focus to those things that can harm us. Fear becomes the lens through which we see the world.

We can begin to see how it is almost impossible to cultivate positive attitudes and beliefs when we are stuck in survival mode. Our heart is not open. Our rational mind is disengaged. Our consciousness is focused on fear, not love. Making clear choices and recognizing the consequences of those choices is unfeasible. We are focused on short-term survival, not the long-term consequences of our beliefs and choices. When we are overwhelmed with excessive stress, our life becomes a series of short-term emergencies. We lose the ability to relax and enjoy the moment.

Over time many medicated partners will file for divorce. Not realizing the thing that changed was the delicate balance in their brain caused by the drug. Believing with all their heart and soul that they are in control of their feelings and finally doing what they want in their life.

By now you may be thinking if all this is true, then why are they seemingly so happy and content with the new life. The answer to that is simple. It’s because it’s new and never before experienced and because of that it can elicit a Dopamine response when the old ways couldn’t. Not because it’s better, simply because it’s new.

Let’s fast forward just a bit. Now we’ve gotten to this point the excitement of the new life and in some cases the new partner begins to wear off. The shine tarnishes and the spark cools. The drugs are now out of their system and they’ve done some healing and the decisions they made and their current situation don’t make as much sense as they once did. Maybe some feelings that were believed to be gone are beginning to sneak back into the picture.

While just going back and trying to work things out might be the obvious step it isn’t that easy. Even if the person now realizes it was the drugs and most won’t at this point the situation is very complex. Now you have someone that walked away from the people they loved and who loved them but they question why did I leave, why did I think those things are they really how I feel? How do I know that what I feel now is real?

If that isn’t enough there are also feelings of shame, embarrassment, wondering how anyone could forgive what happened. Financial and legal problems health concerns and the list could go on.

If the person returns it will only be after they have completed the necessary journey. For some this may only take a few days and it’s done. For others the journey will be longer with twists and turns that may include divorce and even getting married to someone else. The journey like the little pills that set the whole thing in motion is unpredictable and unique to each individual.

How does a couple overcome all of this?

First both people have to understand it was the drug that caused the behaviors and actions.

For the jilted partner this is simply not the time to let macho or feminist attitudes control your thinking. This is the time to remember your wedding vows. For better or for worse for richer or poorer in sickness and in health. If you were never married but made a commitment, if you really loved the person, the same applies.

How much should you be required to give or how long do you hang on to the hope that the love of your life will return? In my mind the answer is simple, how long would you want them to wait if the situation were reversed? They deserve at least that much time.

Now for those that walked away. Please don’t let pride stand in the way of what could be the best thing to ever happen to you. Consider how much the other person must love you to have fought for your return. Please don’t pass up the chance to be rejoined and happy again. The chance to see how the things you had dreamed of turn out. The chance to dream new dreams together and for life to be better than it has ever been before. I would beg of you to make the contact. Have no doubt that those who loved you before will love you again. By the time it’s gone this far the outcome may be up to you, Please ask.

In many cases there will be no apologies expected no details to relive. In many cases a phone call or email that simply says something like I miss you and want to come home will be more than enough."

Share this post


Link to post

I feel the same way...

 

 

"It changed my personality but what kills me more is that it has taken 7 years to get off it and even today I'm not free. I'm now living the pain of what I have done. "

 

There is no going back and making it all better.  I have had years of trying to deal with this as an after shock there is a lot of work to do.  I take small bites as too much turns my stomach and chokes the life out of me. 

 

I know how you feel... 

Tho I was not married I was in a relationship in the beginning  mind you I was drugged for 18 years ... been off 7.  

I hope taper allowed you to keep some of your life in tact... I hope you have some solid ground under your feet to start over.  I hope you have the will and health to do it. 

That is a lot of hoping... I know.  

While we all have different circumstances the effect of having your life as you knew taken.. by a drug... well that is something that is hard for others to understand.  While I am sure there are many of us out there... POSITIVE of it... few are willing to share on this topic.  

 

I just made a post title off the wall ... about who benefits from our stories here and thinking it was researchers from drug companies... as no research has been done to help us..not much if any has been done it has been used to sell more drugs...bought up if not origianlly owned by pharm they own the research now... that bugs me...

 

On this topic tho there are few people that want to discuss it... 

 

think for every one of those people who were spouses talking on sites like this there are people like you and I who have lost ourselves to drugs and must try to regain ground enough to live... that is a lot of people and there are many pitfalls. 

Share this post


Link to post

I am thinking most get caught in those pitfalls and never make it out to talk freely about it...as they can't get beyond it.. not saying I am beyond it I am not... but I am not where I was years ago either 

peace

Share this post


Link to post

This is a very hard thing to recover from, does a person ever really get past it? I believe it stays with us forever in the back of our minds. The shock that it puts on the spouse and the drugged (when they come back to their senses) is overwhelming. Just the thought of how could this happen, we trusted that our doctor was helping and it almost and sometimes does destroy our lives.I am so thankful that I have most of my life back and I will be glad when tbe day comes that these side effects are public and on the news and the pharmaceutical companies are ragged like our president is and than maybe others will be saved.

Share this post


Link to post

I am going to share a story about a visit to my cousin, my cousin was a very loud tell you what she is thinking full of life person, she could not live with her husband anymore so she separated and went out on her own with her two children, he stalked her aet her house on fire she endes up in a shelter in hiding. When she returned home he still did terrible thigs to her, law enforcement never helped. One day he was drunk driving and killed himself all of the things that she had been through came crashing down on her and she ended up in the mental hospital whith the reaults of medications was her outcome. I new that she wasn't the same but I didn't know the extent of it. Her mother passed away a few weeks ago so I went to swe her, all if the doors were closed and the drapes drawn. I knocked on the door and in a few minutes she answered her hair didn't look like I t had been washed or cut in months, her teeth in the front were gone, she smelled terrible the house was dark and tabacco smoke was thick and filled the air. She asked me to come in and she shut the door. She sat in her recliner smoking rocking back and forth starring at the television. She said"my mother died and I haven't cried yet" "the department of social services took my daughter and I lost my job, i was in the mental hospital and they said I am bi polar abd gave me medicine" I told her that the medicine was why she had not cried abd explained it to her the best that I could. I asked her how do you feel on that medication and she replied " ok, I feel normal I guess" NORMAL SHE GUESSED not one ounce of the person she was , no smiles no loudness not one of her own thoughts just an empty shell of what was. I can't do one thing to help her and her family could care less.She did not leave her house to tell her mother good bye. If she ever gets off of the stuff I wonder how she will ever maje it through the withdraw. She is not bi polar she is just a woman who's husband drive her temp insane.no drugs need just therapy.

Share this post


Link to post

I wonder how many like her are locked up like she is in a drug straight jacket... I would not attempt a guess. 

 

I am sure the number is large and now with no means of support she will become one of the many disabled talked about in the book anatomy of an epidemic ... and added to the disability payout that the books says will eventually bankrupt the USA.  I guess somebody has to pay for all the pharma riches it will not be pharma obviously. 

 

Not too much new to me here as I have been reading things like this for 7 years your story in no way surprises me.  Another child in care... another life wrecked who knows... pills aren't the answer to the societal problems never were never will be.  I guess it makes problems go away for the rich... they don't have to see the suffering that is locked away.  People are not marching in the streets making demands as they can't walk... or think.  So in a way maybe I am wrong depends on who you are and how you look at it.  For the common man it is not a fix just something else to pay for not knowing the issues allows them to blindly pay for all sorts of horrors.  Ignorance in indeed bliss our news services social services in cahoots with pharma make it all look good on paper... selling a line of bs most buy... those of us who are not fooled will join in for paying for the kid in care the disabled ect..way of the world just now. 

 

Damage done to a mother and child will always come back and present a bill to the society that did the damage. 

It has just began it is not over. 

Share this post


Link to post

Many of you know now me as "Help" my husband and I have come a long way in our journey through this hell. My husband after almost two years has now become the man he used to be,he is still trying to figure out what happened to him, he still has no memory of the drugged days and struggles to understand. I can only imagine what that feels like knowing that you did awful things that almost destroyed everyone and thing in your life that you loved and have no memory or understanding. I will come back in a day or so to put up our full story so that I may help another couple going through this come out with an understanding of what these drugs can do. I thank each and every person that posted their stories on all sites, it helped me to understand,now its my turn to repay. 

Share this post


Link to post

Many of you know now me as "Help" my husband and I have come a long way in our journey through this hell. My husband after almost two years has now become the man he used to be,he is still trying to figure out what happened to him, he still has no memory of the drugged days and struggles to understand. I can only imagine what that feels like knowing that you did awful things that almost destroyed everyone and thing in your life that you loved and have no memory or understanding. I will come back in a day or so to put up our full story so that I may help another couple going through this come out with an understanding of what these drugs can do. I thank each and every person that posted their stories on all sites, it helped me to understand,now its my turn to repay. 

Thanks Help so glad you have your life back.  Some of the things may come back to you husband as time goes on but the understanding of how he came to his so called "choices" will not be solved... or has not been solved for me.  I can't believe how my brain came up with "choices"  due to the drug affects on the brain I can only surmise they were not real choices made in the grace of free will as I had no free will just a brain controlled by drugs to the point I can't imagine why I did what I did or how I came to the conclusions I did then.  Without the affects of the drugs even my own brain cannot see the "why" of it as none of the things I did make any sense and have damaged and hampered not only my healing but my life since getting off the drugs.  The long term affects mean to me that I will live in poverty for as long as I live... why would I do that to myself.  

I am so glad he had you to see the damage he was doing not only to you and your life together but the damage he was doing to himself and his own life... I think you saved him. 

Please don't be too hard on him for not recalling or understanding if he is anything like me none of it makes any sense I have nothing to gain by lying to you this is simply the truth. 

Who I was while drugged is not who I was before drugs or who I am after the drugs.  I am sure he has some damage try to be as kind as you can.  Thanks you for reaching out to others we need all the help we can get for both the drug takers and the significant others who are taking this journey with them. Thank YOU!

Share this post


Link to post

Btdt thank you for keeping this thread going.

You are amazing!

I like you have to live with what I did while on that POISEN. Everyone else has moved on and I'm still here. I guess I'm lucky I reduced enough to see what I had done but they are days I wish I didn't know. Accepting j did awful things and hurt the ones I love is so hard. They don't understand. I'm not form sure they believe it was the drug. Thankfully I found this website snd the topics nod to show it wasn't just me. Thank you so much. Amazing lady xx

Share this post


Link to post

I was freed from a cage by a man named Charlie at "another site" as they say I am only do in now what he started then trying to free people who did not know any better...paying it forward.  That is how I think these things work we heal and we help and we keep on going. 

Your welcome and wish you peace pay it forward when you see a place to add your expertise on life set somebody free. :)

Share this post


Link to post

I hate this feeling when all the pain hits again. It only stays a short time but a short time is to long.

I think of this as flooding and it comes in waves and windows just like all other withdrawal symptoms I hate it too.  An added dimension of suffering for some of us... sorry it is back but know it will end too.  Are you dealing with other withdrawal symptoms too... for me the combination that was worse was this flooding and the negativity together they almost beat me.  

hang tight if you want to talk we are here 

KNOW 

this is partly the drug withdrawal... as your brain heals this too will improve it takes a long time. 

 

 

this may help... if your into a long video... 

peace to you

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now