If you have reached this page because you or loved ones have experienced major personality changes that have damaged your family and you want to know if the antidepressants have played a role, I highly recommend you check out this site. Marriages Destroyed by SSRI/ SNRI's
There are dozens of stories here that will make you say, "I could have written this story". Your are not alone. There are now 300 different stories on this thread ranging from a college professor who gave up her career in her 40's to go become a stripper and a prostitute to a couples who were married for 20 plus years. Another place to read and get info (maybe even post) is at paxilprogress.org/forums. Here the threads are a little easier to read, but there are less of these family support stories. Now on to the post. (I am just updating some info. I will do a look back in the near future.)If you don't mind giving up a little privacy, There is a great FB group called "Lives Destroyed by SSRIs".
The system is broken. Who is going to do the research to find out if an otherwise happy marriage was effected by Prozac or any of the other SSRI related drugs? The prescribing information on every one of them require physicians to do a screening for bipolar disorder. This evaluation cost thousands of dollars and is often not covered by insurance if the patient should happen to have it. Drs get a large amount of what can only be described as kickback for prescribing them. (I spent 20 min. explaining to my doc how SSRI's had destroyed my life. This doc knew my wife and how close our relationship was. He was taken back by the events i described and said, "It sounds like she may have been misdiagnosed and is bipolar." At the end he still offered to prescribe me an antidepressant.)
Who is going to do the research to find out if Drs are talking to family members to find out if the patient is an alcoholic or bi-polar before the issue a prescription? They will tell you that they are just doctors and only go off the information their patience give them. Most are well meaning and think they are doing great work. Their patient is extremely happy. They are bared by HIPAA and doctor patient confidentiality from talking to the patient's family about personality changes. Of course that is exactly what the prescribing information says should happen. "Families and caregivers of patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder or other indications, both psychiatric and non psychiatric, should be alerted about the need to monitor patients for the emergence of agitation, irritability, unusual changes in behavior..." So how is this information exchange going to take place?
As a friend of mine put it, "I went to the doctors and said i was feeling stressed because I was unemployed and about to loose my house. He gave me an antidepressant and I didn't feel 'stressed' any more. I was still about to loose my house and was still unemployed, but i just didn't care. Heck I even stopped looking for work."
Once the doctor realizes the error of their ways they are stuck. If they get their patient off the drugs, they very well may find themselves defending a lawsuit.
So who else could have an interest in uncovering the damaging affects? The drug companies? They are making billions off these drugs. They are well aware of what they are doing. Ever noticed how every antidepressant commercial spend 20 seconds telling you how good the drug will make you feel, and then a minute and a half telling you about the dangers? Yet nobody finds this absurd. Do you think they have any incentive expose the grey area, non-life threatening dangers of these drugs?
Our watchdog agency the FDA has its hands so tied with bureaucracy that it takes an act of congress to change a drugs status once accepted. So much of the process is being driven by money and not the well being of the citizens the agency is supposed to be protecting.
To sum it up in real terms. The drug companies can show minimal side affect of the physical, life threatening nature. The Drs. give their patient the pills and the patient returns and says, “you know, I finally came to the realization that instead of being married, I wanted to sleep with everybody in town, spend all my money, and neglect my parental duties. Now I am happy.” They Drs say, “wow look I did a good job, my patient is “happy”. The pharmacies just take your money and completely feel disconnected.
Here is the reality of SSRIs. My wife went to consoling because after the birth of the baby, her obsessive/ compulsiveness and anxiety had increased. So she was given a drug that would “take the edge off”. Take the edge off it did. It take away your guilt and remorse feelings. Think about what you would do if you had no guilt or remorse? Think about what you would do if you couldn’t feel love or sadness. I can tell you a heart wrenching story of what you could do.
I too suffered from a disconnect in reality. For quite a few months I thought this whole thing had happened a lot quicker then it had. Luckily i like to write and stumbled upon old records and emails that I had kept to journal the irrational times. My wife was first prescribed Zoloft. This is when the feelings of agitation and suicide increased. She also became abnormally irritated with the baby. Only after this did our first fights where she mentioned not being happy in the marriage emerged. Prior to that it was never a consideration. As a good husband and completely in my character, she would calm down and ask for forgiveness. I would, and that meant that I forgave and forgot. I didn't know I should be watching for these as signs of adverse reactions to SSRIs. Even if i did, who would I tell?
A major sign for me should have been when my wife’s godmother died. She complained about the inability to cry. She said she just didn’t feel anything to this lady who had been an important part of her life. We thought it was just a part of her newly prescribed drug and it would pass. Now she is way passed that. Honesty, commitment, faithfulness, family, and duty were pillars of her character. Now she has none of those qualities. The problem is that if you ask her she will tell you how happy she is. If you didn’t have the guilt or remorse, wouldn’t you be ecstatic too?
Now she is out of reach of me. Her family is unaware of the many things she is doing. They have to be aware of the personality change, but probably figure it is just because she is "going through a hard time" with the divorce. They haven’t researched the effects of Prozac. Not to mention when you mix alcohol with it. So who is going to question her “happiness”. How can I rest assured that these uncaring feelings are not extended to include my daughter. From where I am standing there is nothing she is doing nothing that is in the interest of our child.
This is not my wife. Her very soul has been suppressed. There is not a shred of the values she once held dear. She almost seems not to realize the devastation that it is having on me or our daughter. My daughter has twice said to me, "I don't want to go to mommy's. I scared". This of course drives my own paranoia. Is she scared because she just dosn't want to leave home, and me? IS she afraid of some real threat? What do you say to a 2 yr old that she will understand. "Sorry munchkin, The courts say I have to send you to a place that 'scares' you". What kind of trust boundries am I breaking by doing this? I grow tired of this fight. But I can't give up until the unanswered questions about the dangers of the affects of these drugs are answered. I want to. That is the true "conundrum".