Happy Pill Hell PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Paul G. Jensen   
Much of the following information is from Dr. Billie Jay Sahley’s book entitled  “Break Your Prescribed Addiction”.  I highly recommend everyone read this excellent book.
As you may already know, I am strongly opposed to treating symptoms with drugs.  Please understand I am not giving you this information to criticize your choices, but out of love and concern. Drug companies spend millions of dollars promoting their products rather than researching their long-term side effects. They are not concerned about you. Their focus is on making money. Many more people die each year from prescription drug side effects than from car accidents. You cannot depend on the F.D.A. to keep you safe from these harmful drugs.
Psychiatric pharmacology (anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs) is one of the most profitable segments in the drug industry because the majority of people on these drugs become addicted.  Doctors are taught that SSRI anti-depressant drugs are not habit-forming; however, once started, severe withdrawal symptoms prevent people from discontinuing their use.
 Furthermore, psychotropic (mind altering) drugs lose their efficacy after four or five months and the symptoms experienced when stopping their use is strictly from the withdrawal.   Studies verify that anxiety levels after drugs have been stopped can be six times greater than they were initially.  
Many people have been led to believe that their medications fix their “chemical imbalance”, when actually the opposite is true. Psychotropics cause suppression of the brain neurotransmitters which are necessary for normal alertness, memory, muscle tone, coordination, emotional responses, endocrine gland secretions, heart rate and blood pressure, and thus create a biochemical nightmare for the person taking them.
The following is a breakdown of the two most common classes of psychotropics and their particular problems.  Experts rank their use as one of the most hazardous activities in the modern world:

Benzodiazepines, (i.e. Xanax, Librium, Klonopin, Valium, ProSom, Rohypnol, Dalmane, Paxapam, Diazepam, Ativan, Tranxene, Mogadon, Serax, Doral, Halcion and Restoril) are the most commonly prescribed class of drugs worldwide. They are classified as minor tranquilizers or sedatives and are prescribed for anxiety, insomnia, muscle relaxants, anticonvulsants and chronic pain. They can become addictive in as few as five days. After a few weeks of use, benzodiazepines cause the same symptoms they treat as a result of ”tolerance”. Tolerance means that the symptoms of withdrawal will occur even if you keep taking the drug. Ironically the two most common withdrawal symptoms (anxiety and insomnia) are the most common reasons these drugs are given in the first place!   Side effects include drowsiness, poor concentration, lack of coordination, muscle weakness, mental confusion, impaired memory, violent behavior, depression and inability to feel pleasure. The bottom line is that this class of drugs has no benefit whatsoever. Psychiatric Annals (Vol. 25, No. 3. March 1995 p. 171) states; “The benzodiazepine-treated patients appeared to be better off and less asymptomatic from anxiety and depression when free of benzodiazepines.” If you are taking a benzodiazepine do not stop suddenly. It requires several months to taper off and should be under a doctor’s supervision.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors “SSRIs”  (i.e. Prozac/Fluoxetine, Paxil/Paroxetine, Zoloft/Sertraline, Celexa/Citalopram, Luvox, Effexor, Sarafem, Lexapro, Serzone and Wellbutrin). Note: Serzone and Wellbutrin are technically not SSRIs because they block other neurotransmitters in addition to serotonin. This class of drugs is primarily used to treat depression. Doctors often tell patients that they need SSRIs because they have a “chemical imbalance” in their brain. Many experts believe that chemical imbalances are only created after someone has taken a psychotropic drug, not before.

People often have depression because their brain does not produce enough neurotransmitters, but it is an absurd idea to think that this can be fixed by taking these chemical concoctions. In fact, when you take an SSRI, it further shuts down the production of these neurotransmitters, which your brain so desperately needs to function properly.
Many proponents also believe that taking SSRIs will even solve personal issues and character flaws. While it’s true that these drugs numb you to your problems, any good therapist will agree that this approach will ultimately cause more damage.
If this is not enough reason avoid SSRIs, then the American Psychiatric Association’s manual should be, which clearly states that all antidepressants can cause mania. Fred A. Baughman, Jr., M.D., author of The History of the Fraud of Biological Psychiatry states, “Virtually every violent mass murder scene in recent years has been the result of individuals on Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, or one of the other SSRI drugs”.  The Columbine and Springfield shootings and Phil Hartman’s murder by his wife are examples of these tragedies. Prozac alone has been involved in 2,500 deaths most by suicide or violence.
 Today, when a person on an SSRI murders his friends and himself, they say “depressed people do these things.” If this is so, then why did they not commit these acts of violence until after taking SSRIs and if these drugs are so effective at treating depression, why then are these people still depressed enough that they want to kill themselves and their loved ones?
Other side effects of the SSRIs can also be severe. Joseph Glenmullen, M.D., author of Prozac Backlash speaks of four different neurological side effects that have to do with loss of motor control. 1- facial tics 2- agitation 3- drug induced Parkinson’s disease and 4- muscle spasms, which can progress into tardive dyskinesia or TD.
TD causes a person to have uncontrollable movements and spasms in the body or face. The risk of TD increases the longer you take SSRIs.
After 5 years, TD afflicts at least 25% of users. Most long-term patients will develop this problem, which is usually permanent and irreversible. An interesting note is that many institutionalized mental patients have TD (these patients are often depicted in movies). Most people watching assume that these jerking movements are from their mental illness when in fact it has nothing to do with it but rather from being given tranquilizers.
Animal studies show that taking SSRIs will also reduce the production of serotonin receptor sites resulting in permanent brain damage. This may account for the side effects of impaired judgment, thinking, or motor skills and why people are cautioned about operating hazardous machinery or even driving an automobile. Tooth loss is another possible complication because of the signature dry mouth (decreased salivary gland function) accompanied with SSRI use. Also, most individuals on SSRIs have no sex drive.
Pregnant or nursing mothers should not be taking SSRIs despite the fact that most obstetricians refuse to get involved with this issue because of the difficulty of withdrawing. Withdrawal can last for weeks or months and can include worse depression than before taking SSRIs. Other withdrawal symptoms include nervousness, dizziness, insomnia, nausea, loss of appetite, sweating, anxiety, agitation, irritability, rapid heart beat, headaches, chills, runny nose, nightmares, visual distortions, electric shock-like sensations, violent behavior and suicidal thoughts.
The drug companies who manufacture SSRIs earn a combined income of six billion dollars a year. They are doing everything they can to downplay the side effects. In the meantime millions of unsuspecting people who have turned to SSRIs for help are now living out a life sentence because they cannot stop taking their medication.
Recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Bruce Pomeranz reported that over 100,000 Americans die each year and over two million become gravely ill from adverse reactions to prescribed medications. The risk of serious side effects to drugs is 26 out of 100, whereas the risk of a serious car accident is two in 100.
If you are one of the many who suffer from anxiety and depression, there are safe and effective solutions to your problems. I have a great deal of experience helping patients to withdraw from these dangerous medications. I am here to help, not judge. Your issues will be kept in strict confidence.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 24 April 2008 )
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