I have recently come off: Effexor 2 x 150 mg, Risperdal 2 mg, Gabapentin 2 x 300 mg, and Trazodone 50 mg.
During the course of treatment I experienced a number of side effects in increasing number and intensity. Whenever I complained about a symptom or side effect a new drug was added to the regimen or the side effects were attributed to "my" worsening condition. Each time my wife and I were assured that the side effects were not related to the drug. Despite our direct questioning of the Doctor, Psychiatrist and Therapist the drugs were denied as the cause of the symptoms.
Eventually I literally succumbed to the stuperous acceptance of my condition. I objected on a number of occasions to the drug regimen based on what was happening to me. My wife, because she was convinced by the medical professionals objected to me coming off the medications. The medical professionals told me I needed to keep taking the drugs.
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The side effects included: Headaches, nausea, tinitis, dizziness, disorientation, forgetfulness, rumination or obssessive thinking, flat affect, numbness of feeling, mild to unresponsive catatonia, sexual dysfunction, Akathisia (restless agitated state of internal torment), seizures (electric shocking in the head), confusion, problems with vision, insomnia, somnolence, weight gain, personality change, despite years of sobriety started drinking to alleviate the side effects (esp. the seizures and numbness of feeling), increasing irritability, eventual suicidal ideation, eventual hospitalization for suicidal ideation, a blood disorder characterized as Polycythemia (the blood hormone GBHT responsible for making blood cells is over producing red, white and platelet cells leading to a thickening of the blood) and more...
Although I have not been given a diagnosis of Polycythemia the condition and symptoms are the same and after two separate blood tests confirming a problem I am awaiting a referral to Hemaetologist.
The reason that I initially sought help in the first place was for low mood in response to a custody battle with my former wife which ultimately resulted in her being able to move our children thousands of miles away. This was a difficult adjustment for me given that I was the primary care giver for our children as the mother was career oriented. After having had an in home assessment accompanied by a battery of tests by a Psychologist it was recommended by the Psychologist that she not move the children away because of the likely hood of her having future problems in raising the kids. After having spent $15,000 on the pre-court negotiations my lawyer asked me for $30,000 to go trial. I was unable to continue. Today, the Psychologists predictions appear to be panning out.
Anyways, my second wife who has attended almost all of my appointments with medical team in charge of my care had to eventually ask me to leave because I had evntually become unable to present as a decent human being. I had become irritable and was becoming increasingly angry.
I have stopped taking all my medications now and I am doing better. My wife and I are back together. I am still having to deal with a lot of anger at what has been done to me.
Today, we are researching the medications. What I have found to date are numerous horror stories involving a lot of people who have been adversely affected by the medications they have been taking.
I was a University educated, professionally employed male with a decent reputation in the professional community. Now, my reputation and credibility has been ruined. This is a difficult thing to overcome in the small town where I live.
Despite having had no diagnoses prior to this course of treatment, and without a face to face assessment I have been given 7-8 different DSM IV labels: Bipolar II Depressive, Avoidant and Dependent Personality Disoreders, Substance Abuse Disorder and a couple of others.
Further, their was no indication of a psychological problem in the assessment by the psychologist in the 6-700 questions I answered testing my suitability as a parent. In April/May of 2004 during a medical examination for job which specifically asked about Personality and Affective Disorders my Physician indicated none.
Most of my side effects are documented. I suppose I will have an easier time of it than others to seek redress to my current situaion, however, given the resistance by my care providers to date I still expect it to be a somewhat onerous process.
It was rather interesting to note the retrenchment of the medical model position by my therapist the other day when I broached the subject of what the medication has done to me. She was immediately defensive and began soliciting information about possible litigation and thoroughly cross examined me in regards to looking at my records.
Anyways, the research that I have done to date indicates, substantiates that all of the side effects I complained about can be caused by the medications that I was taking, further, there have been a number of lawsuits against the drug companies, including criminal cases, for the side effects caused by their medications.