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General Discussion Open discussion about Paxil, Paxil Withdrawal, successes and progress, good stories and bad, with and without.

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Old 07-13-2007, 06:38 PM   #1
Petrucci
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Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

what do you guys think who have taken these meds. do you feel the same as before you took the drug or do you feel your mind is permenatly altered. any new physical or mental symptoms you never had before you took the drug? what do you guys think these antidepressants do to the neurotransmitters? do they weaken it? reshape it? cause any permanent mechanical change in the brain or any mental change forever?


what do scientists know about these mind altering psychiatri8c drugs?

your thoughts.
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Old 07-13-2007, 06:53 PM   #2
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

i will let you know when i am in a BETTER FRAME OF MIND..right now..i am thinking not postive about feeling better ect..someone will come along though with good insight!!

michele
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:25 PM   #3
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

I'm right behind you maple. I have felt like total crap the last few days.

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Old 07-13-2007, 07:29 PM   #4
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

Petrucci, I don't think anyone knows. There are some people that are really, really far from their last dose and still have problems, there are others that have healed 100%. Time is the only way you'll know, and treating yourself reeeeally well while you heal.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:21 PM   #5
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blankets View Post
Petrucci, I don't think anyone knows. There are some people that are really, really far from their last dose and still have problems, there are others that have healed 100%. Time is the only way you'll know, and treating yourself reeeeally well while you heal.
Petrucci...we don't know... what we do know is that only time heals....and people seem to be able to recover from this kind of trauma..some take 2 years..some 3 and some up to 5 years.

Most of us if we had known the damaging and traumatic effects of these drug s and how long it takes to recover from them, we would have never gone near them. They need to be permanently banned from the market.


Regards, Johnny
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:30 PM   #6
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

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Originally Posted by Johnnny off Paxil View Post
They need to be permanently banned from the market.
If they were banned from the market, thousands of people would have to go cold turkey!

Also, hard as it may seem for us to believe, some people actually use them in true crisis cases for short periods of time while getting therapy and have no problems whatsoever getting off them. I know someone who was truly in danger of snapping and an SSRI used less than six months got him through a crisis while he got therapy, and he had no ill effects.

Those of us who are among the minority (though still a very sizable number) of people who have adverse reactions either to taking the drug or to withdrawal, tend to forget that's not true of most people.

I'm not defending the indiscriminate use of these drugs; I wish to god I'd never heard of the stuff. I'm just suggesting that the solution isn't as simple as banning them, which just isn't realistic with so many people addicted to them.

I think it's more realistic to not only educate the public, but to get more realistic guidelines for what diagnoses and what length of time they should be prescribed, far better warnings to patients (including signed consent to treatment that indicates patients have been warned about severity of possible withdrawal syndrome as well as side and adverse effects), and also more research into why some of us have such extreme reactions and what tests could predict who would have such problems.

If we aren't realistic about what can be done -- including recognizing the need that many people would need to taper off these medication and would have to have the medications available for that -- we won't be taken seriously in getting reforms brought about that would prevent what happened to people like us.
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5/93 - Started paxil after 6 years sensory distortions from benzo WD/low-dose reinst.+chronic medical problems/pain -
20 mg/day; yrs later 15 mg
3/30/06 - 20 mg
4/21/06 - 15 mg
4/27/06 - 10 mg
5/17/06 - 5 mg (none 5/20)
5/21-24/06 - 2.5 mg (5/22 - none)
5/25/06 - d/cd paroxetine
Felt better than in years, then gradual WD symptoms
6/17/06 - Bolted awake in blind terror, started E-ticket ride to hell
2010 - Leaving hell for balmier climate!
(Still on my pre-paxil 0.5 mg clonazepam)
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:37 PM   #7
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

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Originally Posted by TryingtoGetWell View Post
If they were banned from the market, thousands of people would have to go cold turkey!

Also, hard as it may seem for us to believe, some people actually use them in true crisis cases for short periods of time while getting therapy and have no problems whatsoever getting off them. I know someone who was truly in danger of snapping and an SSRI used less than six months got him through a crisis while he got therapy, and he had no ill effects.

Those of us who are among the minority (though still a very sizable number) of people who have adverse reactions either to taking the drug or to withdrawal, tend to forget that's not true of most people.

I'm not defending the indiscriminate use of these drugs; I wish to god I'd never heard of the stuff. I'm just suggesting that the solution isn't as simple as banning them, which just isn't realistic with so many people addicted to them.

I think it's more realistic to not only educate the public, but to get more realistic guidelines for what diagnoses and what length of time they should be prescribed, far better warnings to patients (including signed consent to treatment that indicates patients have been warned about severity of possible withdrawal syndrome as well as side and adverse effects), and also more research into why some of us have such extreme reactions and what tests could predict who would have such problems.

If we aren't realistic about what can be done -- including recognizing the need that many people would need to taper off these medication and would have to have the medications available for that -- we won't be taken seriously in getting reforms brought about that would prevent what happened to people like us.

Bravo!!
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:49 PM   #8
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

Trying, couldn't agree more. Banning would be a major disaster. And yes, some people are able to use these drugs, as they were intended, and do well. That's why my goal here and in all the advocacy that I do is to make sure that people who decide to take these drugs know the good, bad, and ugly. Once they are fully informed it's their choice. My thought on their use in children is MUCH different.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:54 PM   #9
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

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Originally Posted by scotty View Post
My thought on their use in children is MUCH different.
I completely agree with what you say about use in children. They don't know enough about the differences in children's brain chemistries (and that probably changes all the time in a child's -- and adolescent's -- development). I should have stipulated in my post that what I wrote applied to adults, never children.

And I can't stress enough how strong the wording of informed consent should be. As far as I'm concerned that should be non-negotiable, and shouldn't be watered down.
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5/93 - Started paxil after 6 years sensory distortions from benzo WD/low-dose reinst.+chronic medical problems/pain -
20 mg/day; yrs later 15 mg
3/30/06 - 20 mg
4/21/06 - 15 mg
4/27/06 - 10 mg
5/17/06 - 5 mg (none 5/20)
5/21-24/06 - 2.5 mg (5/22 - none)
5/25/06 - d/cd paroxetine
Felt better than in years, then gradual WD symptoms
6/17/06 - Bolted awake in blind terror, started E-ticket ride to hell
2010 - Leaving hell for balmier climate!
(Still on my pre-paxil 0.5 mg clonazepam)
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:11 PM   #10
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

For me..i was not informed well when i first took paxil..and it was for a panic attack i had..if i had known then what i know now i would not have taken it for the panic attack..BUT..i am glad i took it after i had London..i was in a very very dark place..and the short term helped me through that, and i knew what i would probably go through when i went off..but it was worth taking it for that time in my life..but the first time i could have done without..ect..

michele
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Old 07-14-2007, 01:03 AM   #11
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

i think the people who take paxil or any ssri antidepressant at low doses for short periods of time suffer very mild withdrawal symptoms compared to long term users at high doses. my withdrawal is EXCRUCIATING. the feeling the withdrawal gave to my head and the trauma that i have been through with these mind altering drugs are forever burned in my memory.

i blame psychiatry and its bogus fraudulant claims that mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. i was brainwashed and had by psychiatrists when they first put me on these poisonous toxic mind altering drugs at 18 years old that dont cure anything. i was young and naive and vulnerable. and psychiatrists betrayed me and my family and destroyed my life and the lives of my family.

there were only short term studies done on these ssri's thats why they say that withdrawal is mild to moderate. i think if i recall correctly the studies were only done for 6 weeks. there were no long term studies done on these drugs, thats why most people who take these antidepressants long term cant ever get off them and have to be on them forever.
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Old 07-14-2007, 01:29 AM   #12
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

Petrucci, I was on paxil for thirteen years and unwittingly tapered too quickly, not even knowing back then that the medication was addictive. I have been going through a very severe, very difficult withdrawal that is really only now starting to get significantly better.

Most of the time I was in such a bad mental state I truly thought I'd never be able to feel like myself or feel pleasure in life again. I'm still recovering and I still feel like that sometimes. But recently more and more I'm having periods where I feel more like myself again, and then the trauma I thought had overtaken my mind gives way to thinking about and enjoying the things I used to love, and never thought I could care about again.

I really think, based on my own experience, that being traumatized is yet another withdrawal symptom, and one that does go away in time along with the other symptoms. You're still in a very difficult stage of withdrawal; in fact that point was the most difficult in mine. I didn't see a light at the end of the tunnel at all. I had trouble even faking a smile, much less smiling for real. Now I joke and laugh out loud with the others here in the Lounge forum on this site.

If someone had told me, when I was at your stage in withdrawal, that that would happen I would have thought it was impossible in my case. I'm here to tell you that it can take longer than one would expect to feel it, but the improvement does happen. Doctors, good ones who don't like these medications, really thought my case was so severe that I might never come out of it, but now it's happening for me, and I'm sure it will for you too. But it will take more time. That's hard to deal with. I know, I've been there. But you will get better.
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5/93 - Started paxil after 6 years sensory distortions from benzo WD/low-dose reinst.+chronic medical problems/pain -
20 mg/day; yrs later 15 mg
3/30/06 - 20 mg
4/21/06 - 15 mg
4/27/06 - 10 mg
5/17/06 - 5 mg (none 5/20)
5/21-24/06 - 2.5 mg (5/22 - none)
5/25/06 - d/cd paroxetine
Felt better than in years, then gradual WD symptoms
6/17/06 - Bolted awake in blind terror, started E-ticket ride to hell
2010 - Leaving hell for balmier climate!
(Still on my pre-paxil 0.5 mg clonazepam)
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Old 07-14-2007, 01:41 AM   #13
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

thanks for the words of hope and encouragment. i really do hope that my brain normalises and that there is not an inch of damage to memory or anything else. how these drugs work nobody knows. not even psychiatrists or the best scientists. there are a lot of people who never believe how much we suffer the agonising withdrawal and side effects from these drugs and how it affects our brain, mind and soul. its a scary thing. we have suffered and experianced this. the people who dont believe us havent. and not many of those people give us respect and treat us like human beings with dignity and human rights.

the reality is once someone goes to a psychiatrist and gets a psychiatric label and starts taking psych meds. they are a patient for life and trapped in the system of mental health. the mental health industry treats naive, good and vulnerable people like me and you like 3rd rate garbage like we arent even human. its difficult to escape the dungeons of mental health after you have been labeled and drugged by psychiatrists and thier teams of psychiatric nurses.


psychiatry has infiltrated all sectors of our society. they even have the power in the law. by using involuntary commitment laws where they commit normal people like me and you to a mental hospital and injected with drugs to stop our beliefs. psychiatry is all about power and control, its not medicine.
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:37 AM   #14
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

Petrucci, I don't know about that. I will be honest to say that most psychiatrists I have talked to were quick to medicate and diagnose, but I also know some therapists that understand their books but also listen to people and help them without thinking of them as mentally ill.

Psychiatry is balls for the most part, but keep in mind there are people out there that benefit from it, those that it was actually created for, that couldn't have lead anything close to a normal life without it... that's the tricky part... figuring out who really needs the stuff and who just needs to learn how to cope.

As far as I know involuntary commitment is only implemented when the person is a danger to themselves or someone else. In those cases though, what are you supposed to do with someone who really doesn't know what is going on?

What I think should be done is stop perscribing the ones that give the most trouble, but keep giving them to those that are already on them, and maybe one day someone will discover why we've got these reactions while other people can toss them away easily (basically what Trying said).

I know a girl that was medicated practically her entire childhood up until her 20s for schizophrenia, depression, ocd, name it... she went off all her drugs and hasn't had an episode, she's been taking really good care of herself and is functioning well. Who knows if she will ever have an episode again? Or maybe she figured out what was wrong and is taking piles of supplements for it. & I don't think she went through withdrawals either, at least not the kind we've been going through.

It's all a paradox. I actually read an article not too long ago (I don't think it was linked from here) about this new brand of antidepressants scientists are testing out. Guess what? Doesn't even *touch* serotonin, and they're seeing 'results.' Seems to be working on one of those chemicals no one ever talks about. I'll try to find it..
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1998-2006 Stops and starts because of intense w/d.
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Old 07-14-2007, 05:42 AM   #15
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

I don't know this crap has done to me, I am sure I will never be the same again, unfortunately!
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:42 AM   #16
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

The brain is a remarkable organ and has an amazing capacity to heal itself. People overcome severe brain trauma from strokes, car accidents, etc. Sorry, I don't believe for one minute there's "permanent" damage from these drugs. Long term? Yes. And, depending on what you were taking it for, a return of original symptoms? Maybe.

I do believe, if not tapered properly, the recovery time can be years. Again, you'll notice that that people who have the most difficult time are those who cold turkeyed, or tapered too fast.
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:02 AM   #17
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

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I do believe, if not tapered properly, the recovery time can be years. Again, you'll notice that that people who have the most difficult time are those who cold turkeyed, or tapered too fast.
Exactly. We see it time and time again.
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Old 07-14-2007, 09:43 AM   #18
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

i dont believe it can do permanent damage, if it did then why would doctors prescibe it, i mean they cant be that non educated on the drug
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:55 AM   #19
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

people recover from taking Crystal Meth and it has draino, acid and a bunch of crazy crap in it...so there is no way that we cant recover from taking paxil...however it is harder to withdraw from paxil than it is from herion..but eventually the brain will heal and return to itself..
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:56 AM   #20
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

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i dont believe it can do permanent damage, if it did then why would doctors prescibe it, i mean they cant be that non educated on the drug

That, I don't believe. Look at Vioxx, Thalidamide, Fen Fen....I could go on and on. In the beginning, doctors didn't think there was any w/d associated with Paxil.
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:07 AM   #21
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

I used to worry about this, too. I remember Scotty posting long ago, though, what a brilliant thing the human body is and its ability to heal itself.

Now, almost off this poison, most of the things I associated with 'brain damage' have eased up. I've got my concentration back, along with my energy and will to live.

I think we have to be be optimistic at all times and just press forward with our healing:-)
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:12 AM   #23
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

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i dont believe it can do permanent damage, if it did then why would doctors prescibe it, i mean they cant be that non educated on the drug
Quote:
Originally Posted by LCrawford67 View Post
That, I don't believe. Look at Vioxx, Thalidamide, Fen Fen....I could go on and on. In the beginning, doctors didn't think there was any w/d associated with Paxil.
I was put on paxil for medical, not psychiatric reasons. My doctors were caring people (I know that for many reasons, not just my own case) and honestly believed, on the basis of everything they were told about this medication, that it not only would relieve symptoms but have a beneficial effect on my medical conditions.

A lot has been learned about this medication since then, but not only has most of what has been learned not been given to doctors (I think most of what has been learned has been through experience, which varies from doctor to doctor as their patients' responses to the drugs vary widely, as well as the fact that patients often go on to other doctors and the original prescribing doctor doesn't get long-term feedback) -- but also signs of problems from original clinical trials evidently were suppressed by the pharmaceutical companies.

It is only this year that there have been efforts made to require the FDA to make known all reports of negative responses to drugs in clinical trials!

I really believe most doctors prescribe medications because they truly believe, based on the information available to them, that the medication will relieve the patient's condition -- which is what the patient goes to the doctor for. Certainly, doctors have been aware of some side effects that sometimes occur with the medication, but all medications have some potential side effects, and the general practice is to evaluate whether the potential benefits outweigh the the possible side effects of the drug.

If the true nature and extent of what these drugs do to too many people were disclosed adequately to physicians, I really believe these medications would be prescribed far more prudently (and monitored far more carefully). Most doctors want their patients' conditions to improve, not to get worse or develop more problems. But true information about all the effects, including severe withdrawal in too many patients, is still not being given to them! Neither is realistic information about doing very slow tapers that would enable them to prevent the severe long-term withdrawals too many of us experience.
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5/93 - Started paxil after 6 years sensory distortions from benzo WD/low-dose reinst.+chronic medical problems/pain -
20 mg/day; yrs later 15 mg
3/30/06 - 20 mg
4/21/06 - 15 mg
4/27/06 - 10 mg
5/17/06 - 5 mg (none 5/20)
5/21-24/06 - 2.5 mg (5/22 - none)
5/25/06 - d/cd paroxetine
Felt better than in years, then gradual WD symptoms
6/17/06 - Bolted awake in blind terror, started E-ticket ride to hell
2010 - Leaving hell for balmier climate!
(Still on my pre-paxil 0.5 mg clonazepam)
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Old 07-14-2007, 02:55 PM   #24
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

the thing is if there is no perm brain damage from these medications then why is it we suffer agonising withdrawal from these medications for months and years? something must be happening inside our brains for these terrible symptoms to last months and years. what these medications do is stimulate the seretonin neurotransmitter and keep it stimulated. personally i believe long term use of these medications would over-stimulate and weaken the neurotransmitters and that they will not be the same as if you didnt take the drug after you have withdrawn from the drug.


in response to blankets post.

thes drugs work for some people not for everybody, for the wrong person the drug would actually do more harm than good. for the people who do well on these drugs they take it for symptom relief but it wont cure their problem. in the long run these drugs do more damage than good. they are on the same level as street drugs. there is no evidence that any mental illness or symptom is caused by a brain lesion or a chemical imbalance. its all fraud.

involuntary commitment is a crime against humanity. people dont want to be commited to a mental hospital, they dont want to be drugged or shocked. people dont want to be labeled as "mentally ill". this is a crime.


people who take these drugs for short term use suffer mild withdrawal symptoms and can probably reverse these drugs 100% cleanly. on the other hand people who take it for long term use as in "years" and at high doses have a much more difficult time withdrawing the drug and has a higher risk these drugs could permantley alter the brain.


i dont want to be negative i like to be positive and always think for hope and a cure. but what i am going through with the withdrawal of these powerful antidepressants and the many agonisng months i am suffering i have come to a personal conclusion that these drugs somehow damage the neurotransmitters in the brain by over stimulating the cells and weakening the normal action of neuronal activity. this could be the reson why long term users of ssri antidepressants still feel symptoms after 3 years such as memory loss, brain fog, forgetfulness and mental confusion. this means that the drug has permenantly altered the brain.


psychiatry isnt about curing people its about drug marketing and sales. can you believe the mental health industry rakes in 2 trillion dollars a year and cant point out to a single cause or cure for mental illness? hard to believe? thats exactly what they count on.
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:46 PM   #25
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Re: Does Long Term Use Of SSRI Cause Perm Damage To The Brain?

Petrucci, if you think you're permanently damaged, then you're going to be. Bottom line.

Again, you were on two very high doses of two very addicting drugs. You cold turkeyed from both, this is why you're feeling so horrible. And, again, long term sufferers have either cold turkeyed, or tapered too fast, this basically causes blunt force trauma to the brain.

This has been suggested to you before and you seriously need to think about it. You need to consider going back on a small dose of Effexor and getting stable on both the Effexor and the Paxil. Then, taper one at a time, very slowly.

Length of time on these drugs doesn't matter. Just ask Johnny off Paxil. I've been on for 10 years and am tapering with minimal problems. As have others who have been long term users. Trust me, my w/d symptoms were far from mild.

It's all in the way you taper. Period. And, that's been proved time and time again on this board.
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