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MarriageKilledByZoloft

Looking for studies on Zoloft and SSRIs causing divorce

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MarriageKilledByZoloft
Posted (edited)

Hi,

I'm recently divorced.  My ex wife used to be a very solid, hones, intelligent and honorable woman who paid attention to detail and had high levels of empathy.  She has been taking Zoloft and Ambien and I think before Zoloft she took Prozac.  This has been going on for 3 or 4 years.  At 48 years old when menopause began, she suddenly started dating another man.  She began lying and deceiving me about their meeting.  3 months after meeting him, she filed for divorce and moved out and committed adultery with this other man.

 

I'm sure all this sounds normal for a bad person but here comes the part that makes no sense.

 

In the 4 months it took the divorce to run through the court system, about every other week, she proactively talked to me about ending the adulterous affair and coming back to me.  About 5 weeks AFTER she filed for divorce, she offered to be intimate with me, which I accepted.  2 days after being intimate with me, she was intimate with the other man.

 

She took this man out into public as an adulterous partner with our common friends and showed no shame.  She had no shame for constantly lying to me and deceiving me about things.  She had no shame about being introduced to this man's sons as a girlfriend even though she was still married.  NONE of this is the woman I married.

 

4 days before the divorce finalized she told me she was strongly thinking about getting saved (with Jesus), cutting off the affair, stopping the divorce and coming back to her family (we have a 5 year old daughter). However, she let the divorce finalize and she cried for 20 minutes in the courtroom.   

 

The day after the divorce finalized, she came to my house and started talking about us getting back together. (YES THE DAY AFTER).  A couple weeks later, she said she would start "tapering things off" with her boyfriend and come back home to work on our marriage (I told her I would forgive adultery and everything).  She said it would take 3 weeks to taper it off.  At the end of 3 weeks, she had penned an "it's over" letter to the boyfriend but never sent it to him.  

 

All through this process, I noticed she was much less attentive to our daughter and very unempathetic toward the pain I was going through and the negative effects of the separation on our daughter and all the financial damage that was caused, even to herself.  She ended up MUCH poorer after the property settlement than she was when we were married.  But, she didn't seem to care.

 

After the divorce finalized, her health insurance expired and she just left it that way (Definitely not her), she kept her apartment a mess, she didn't work, she would dump our daughter off with me so that she could go off for a weekend with her boyfriend and not even call to see how our daughter was doing.  Again, not her.

 

I think the Zoloft is the root cause of her reduction in empathy, and increase in apathy and confusion about life in general.   But, I'm having a hard time google searching for current information, 2015 and later, on how Zoloft and other SSRI's can cause divorce and families to break up.  Can someone please point me to some medical studies on this topic?  I would like to fix her and try to put our family back together if I can just find some information to show her to get her into a medical professional that specializes in SSRI's and antidepressants.  Thanks!

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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ChessieCat

Hi and welcome to SA,

 

Unfortunately there are similar stories by SA members.  Tempray is a member who joined recently.  Dawood is another.

 

If you go through this section of the forum you will find topics discussing marital and relationship issues.  relationships-and-social-life

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TeaBea

You need to read all the stories posted in these 2 links.  It's what saved my sanity when I was learning that Effexor had caused my husband to behave inappropriately and turn into an alcoholic (which he isn't anymore, now that he's essentially off the med).

 

From Konjo's post on another thread:

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

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MarriageKilledByZoloft
15 hours ago, TeaBea said:

You need to read all the stories posted in these 2 links.  It's what saved my sanity when I was learning that Effexor had caused my husband to behave inappropriately and turn into an alcoholic (which he isn't anymore, now that he's essentially off the med).

 

From Konjo's post on another thread:

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

Thank You Teabea!!!  This will help me keep my sanity as well.  The complete absence of rational thought from my wife (now exwife) has been wearing down on me.  I sent these links to her.  She knows *something* is wrong and is tapering off of Zoloft.  I'm getting her an appointment with a local anti-depressant specialist referred by the GP that prescribed Zoloft to her.

However, I don't know if once she is off the drug, she will return to her former self or not - or develop a 3rd personality.  She has a sociopath boyfriend (who might also be on meds?)  that keeps confusing her.  She says she is going to taper off the relationship with him but who knows?  She tried that in February and couldn't get it done.

He keeps putting poison in her ear telling her that the problem is me and not her.  So, its an extra complication. 

 

My goal is to get her off these drugs, get her to dump the bf and hopefully piece our family back together but don't know if it is even possible.

 

Thanks again!!!

Paul

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TeaBea

Just be patient with her and do NOT try and work on relationship issues during this phase.  It won't work anyway.  If you're the "constant"--supportive rather than dragging her down--person in her life, and if she does taper, she should eventually be able to tell who is really helpful to her or not--you or the boyfriend.  

 

Mine didn't go back to the old personality, exactly, but it is MUCH better than the Effexor'd version.  He has less patience, more irritability, more depression and anxiety (because he never dealt with the original problem), BUT our relationship is good again.  That's what mattered to the marriage.  He can't help that he's been changed by all this....so have I.  

 

I hope your wife reads those links, especially the stories written by the ones who were on the meds.  The most poignant one to me was the woman who'd battled infertility to have 3 babies.  After the last one, postpartum depression landed her on SSRIs.  She then had an affair, moved out of the family, in with a guy..... when she realized she didn't want to be around the children that she had a memory of begging God for, she knew something was different...something was wrong.  She called her husband and asked him to help her....  Amazing story.  

 

Good luck to you!

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MarriageKilledByZoloft

TeaBea - In addition to the links you sent, thank you for your comments.  My wife actually found our thread (yes, this thread) through a google search and read my post (and figured out that it was me that wrote it), your comments and many of the stories in the links you sent.   I think at an intellectual level, she is now understanding that this drug has the ability to change someone without them knowing about it.  Your advice on how to deal with her,  be the "constant"--supportive actually lines up exactly with what she has been asking me for - to be patient while she tries to separate from this boyfriend and sort herself out.  Before I learned about the effects of the Zoloft SSRI, I thought she was just playing with my head in an evil way or was just plain crazy.  It now makes more sense.  Because I'm not on any drugs, however, I get to feel the full brunt of the pain - as I'm sure you did going through your ordeal.  But,  I believe she is worth enduring it.

 

I'm very happy that you were able to sort things out with your husband.  Thank you for sharing and helping me to know that my wife may not change completely back to her former self.  I'm prepared to deal with quirks if she has some.

Thanks again and best of luck to you as well during your continued recovery with your husband!

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Konjo

Dear MarriageKilledByZoloft

 

That's good that you and your wife read all stories I collected from various forums.

 

There is another one meaningful text about SSRI and marriages. I don't know the author:

 

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 fearsare 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.

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MarriageKilledByZoloft
Posted (edited)

Thank you Konjo - I read it all the way through and it makes perfect sense to me.  I wonder if the author was a Dr. of some sort?  It seems written with that kind of precision.  I'm hoping that the last part comes true.  My former spouse is very confused and has stated in the past that I would never be able to trust her again and asked me  "How can you forgive me for this".  Yet, I know I can do both.  Her boyfriend unfortunately tells her I'm trying to paint her as a crazy person - which simply is not true.  I wish he would just disappear from her life because all he does is further confuse an already convoluted and confusing situation.  She says she is going to "taper" things off with him over the coming weeks and eventually break it off with him.  I hope she succeeds.  

 

Thanks Again for taking the time to share this!

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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