Jenny's wonderful site!
is about to go psychotic!
By, Jenny Marie Hatch PhDMH
Dropping “cold turkey” off
any medication, most especially mind altering medications, can often be MORE
DANGEROUS than staying on the drugs. Tapering
off very, very, very slowly- over months, not just weeks, has proven the safest
and most effective method of withdrawal from this type of medication, thereby
giving the body time to readjust its own chemical levels.
is about to go psychotic
By, Jenny Marie Hatch PhDMH
the recent FDA inquiries into Anti-depressants and the resulting news coverage,
many of those who are taking Anti-depressants may feel a desire to stop taking
their medication. Those of us in
the Psychiatric survivors movement are deeply concerned about this happening. I
decided to take the time to write this article to share some good information
with those individuals who want to wean off of their medications.
Ann Blake Tracy, author of Prozac, Panacea or Pandora http://members.aol.com/atracyphd/index.htm
has documented the manic reactions that can take place when one quickly stops
taking Anti-depressants. Her
International Coalition for Drug Awareness has set up a great web site to help
educate the consumer about these types of drug withdrawal symptoms.
She has put together a tape to educate how to safely withdraw. http://members.aol.com/atracyphd/orderfrm.htm#withdraw
And her web site has a free email
newsletter to educate consumers.
reason I titled this piece, America is about to go psychotic, is simply because
since 9-11-2001 the numbers of Americans taking Anti-depressants has
skyrocketed. Inevitably some of these individuals will reach a place where
they feel a desire to come off of the meds, and it will be at this juncture that
they will learn the sad, sorry, truth about Anti-Depressants.
These drugs are extremely difficult to get off of!
not taken one pill in the past fourteen years, yet I believe I am STILL
struggling with some of these symptoms after being overmedicated for a post
partum psychosis! More
particularly, I have noted a mild short-term memory loss, which is completely
random in how it manifests in my mind. And
this memory loss has been quite embarrassing at times.
Here is a list of the most common
withdrawal reactions reported by Patients:
Vivid and violent dreams;
Inability to detect dreams from reality (the world takes on an other-worldly
Inability to feel guilt or cry;
Loss of Appetite;
Breathing or Lung Problems;
Shaking – jerkiness;
Blurred vision or pressure behind
Inability to discontinue use of
drug and increasing own dose;
Craving for alcohol, sweets, and
other substances or drinking large amounts of alcohol, coffee or other
caffeinated drinks, diet pop with NutraSweet, etc…;
Swelling and/or pain in joints;
Burning or tingling in
Muscle Twitching or contractions;
Tongue numbness and slurred
Chills or cold sweats;
Diabetes or hypoglycemia;
Lowered immune system;
Seizures or convulsions;
Weight gain or weight loss;
Mood swings; altered personality;
Symptoms of Mania, For example:
Inability to sit still or restlessness, racing thoughts, acting silly or giddy
(like a teenager again), sexual promiscuity leading to unwanted pregnancy or
divorce, irresponsibility, wild spending sprees, gambling, criminal behavior,
shoplifting, embezzling, stealing, hostility, etc.;
Deceitfulness; blank staring;
inability to see any alternatives in situations;
Aggressive or violent behavior;
Wanting to ram other cars or
Impulsive behavior with no
concern about consequences;
Numbness in various body parts
– legs go numb and right out from under patient or sexual organs go numb
making orgasm impossible;
Pulling away from loved ones and
others (isolating oneself);
No desire to be touched;
Falsely accusing others of abuse
– family members or acquaintances;
Loss of spirituality; Feeling
“possessed” or that something evil is inside;
Self Destructive behavior and
suicidal ideation; suicidal attempts;
Muscle Tremors; loss of
It is these final two symptoms Mania and Psychosis, which seem to become
extremely heightened when a “cold turkey” approach is taken by a patient,
especially if they have struggled with an alcohol addiction, been taking other
types of psychoactive drugs, and eat a typical American refined sugar based
If you are someone who has been diagnosed with manic-depression and/or
Diabetes AFTER taking anti-depressants, most likely these horrible illnesses are
a side effect from taking the drugs. Some
patients would give just about anything to go back to being depressed once in a
while rather than suffer from a life long diabetic condition, or deal with the
debilitating horror of manic-depression.
Here is an excerpt from Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? “The rest of the
story on the new class of SSRI Antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft, Lovan, Luvox,
and more) by Ann Blake Tracy.
This excerpt describes what is happening chemically in the body when
Prozac is ingested.
P.166- 168 Second Edition 1994
“Later on in this chapter we will discuss in detail a Yale study
published in March 1991. Psychiatrists at Yale Medical School’s Child Study
Center where researchers observed the incidence of intense Self-destructive
thoughts in adolescents on Prozac who were given the drug because of Obsessive
– Compulsive Disorders. Dr.
Robert King and Dr. Mark Riddle led the research and believe that the disruption
of serotonin production by Prozac “may directly affect the brain’s ability
to regulate aggression.”. When we
consider the fact that when used on a regular basis it more than doubles the
flow of adrenalin, the fight or flight hormone, that concept is certainly easy
to believe. What on earth are we
setting ourselves up for if one of the most popular drugs on the market is
affecting a patient’s ability to regulate aggression?
How many more jails, prisons, morgues, etc, will we need to cope with
this type of situation?
Various mind altering drugs can distort orientation toward the immediate
present and cause disregard for long range consequences of his/her behavior
thereby making it difficult for him/her to premeditate criminal acts.
Yet these drugs can also produce a tendency to react strongly to sensory
stimuli in the immediate environment, and develop an inclination to refer
everything to oneself that often develops into paranoia, all this combined with
the need to move or do something due to intense psychomotor stimulation can all
produce an aggression-prone individual leading to the serious akathisia
Akathisia needs to be addressed in far more depth than it has previously
in conjunction with the violence associated with Prozac or any other psychiatric
“medication”. This type of drug
reaction is one that the public has generally associated only with illegal
drugs, not with prescription drugs.
Deseryl, the tricyclic antidepressants, the neuroleptics, monoamine
oxidase inhibitors (MAO’s) and the new group of serotonin uptake inhibitors
(Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lovan, Luvox, etc..) are all known to produce this
potentially violent form of inner restlessness known as Akathisia.
All of these drugs powerfully enhance serotogenic and/or nonadrenergic
transmission. Some researchers believe that akathisia is caused by an
enhancement of the adrenergic receptors in the brain activating the fight or
flight response, or as in the case of the drugs which affect serotonin, the 5HT
serotonin enhances dopamine release. When
serotonergic transmission is enhanced, that in turn is believed to inhibit the
Akathisia would then be produced when the dopaminergic neurotransmission
is impaired. As we learned in
discussing the effects of higher levels of serotonin upon the glandular system,
higher serotonin levels consistently increase the blood levels of ACTH and the
adrenalin, cortisol. We also know that serotonin stimulates the
hypothalamus/adrenal/cortical axis which, in turn, causes adrenal releases, ie.
“an enhancement of the adrenergic system”
It also bears repeating that one single dose of 30 mg of Prozac clearly
doubles cortisol (adrenalin) levels. If
one single dose cause this drastic rise in adrenalin, the fight or flight
reaction, what kind of increase can be expected when Prozac is used in more than
one single dose as patients take it on a daily basis?
Prozac has also been demonstrated to increase the release of CRF,
indicating an accompanying increase in ACTH and cortisol levels.
This excess adrenalin or adrenalin rush would explain the “warm
flush” (similar to the hot flashes brought on by menopause as the hormones
become imbalanced) which patients so often report feeling just before committing
murder or other violent acts or a suicide attempt while on Prozac.
As I said before, from the beginning it appeared obvious to me that
Prozac was Causing elevated levels of adrenalin (epinephrine) to activate the
“fight or flight” response which, in turn, produced the feelings of
uncontrollable rage patients were reporting.
The information we have reviewed thus far should make it quite clear that
if the corticosteroids are stimulated that the adrongenic steroids are as well. For instance, it has long been known that higher levels of
Testosterone will induce violent behavior.
A study done by Kreuz and Rose, 1972, discovered a significant
correlation between the testosterone levels and violence among prisoners.
The five with the highest steroid levels had a combined total of two
murders, one attempted murder, one assault, and four armed robberies which they
had committed. A more recent and
even wider study of over 4000 military men found that those with the higher
steroid levels more frequently committed assault, abused alcohol and other
drugs, were absent without leave and in general ended up in more trouble.”
Prozac: Panacea or Pandora?
P. 166 – 168 2nd Ed.
more and more trouble, that is what I see in the future as those who have been
taking these drugs to deal with the unknowns of Terrorism start to come off of
their medications. I would
challenge you the reader of this article to get a copy of Dr. Tracy’s book and
do an indepth study on just what exactly these drugs have done to our society.
It is mind boggling to consider the future.
often wondered if my own drug use during my teens laid the foundation for my
post partum psychosis. I never, not
once, took an illegal street drug, but I was one of the most medicated people
around, constantly taking antihistamines (at one point I was so addicted to
Actifed, I could not sleep without taking it).
I used cortisone like a hand cream, (cortisone has been completely tied
to psychosis and although my use was always topical on the skin, fourteen years
of daily use had to have a toxic effect on my body).
I did so many rounds of antibiotics for the many lung infections I was
plagued with that it took me ten years of colon cleansing and almost daily
acidophilus consumption to overcome the yeast overgrowth I suffered from.
My lifelong suffering from excema on my hands and face has finally been
overcome, but it took some major effort.
My Own Experience With Drug
I have often said to myself that the most difficult thing I have ever
done is come off of Prozac. My drug
experience is somewhat unique as I was very clear before and after that I did
not want to be medicated for my psychosis.
While I was taking the drugs I was so doped up and confused it was
difficult to know what was best. Because
of the court order, I was on high doses of two heavyduty medications, Stelazine
and Lithium. A few months after
being on toxic doses of these drugs I was so depressed I ASKED my psychiatrist
to put me on an Anti-Depressant. That
is so ironic to me now, as I am completely against psyche medications in all
forms being used on anyone.
My psychiatrist recommended a new drug called Prozac, which had been on
the market for about two years. This
was in 1989, when only a couple of whistle blowers were reporting adverse
reactions to anti-depressants. I
took all three medications faithfully for a few weeks and then with my doctors
support came off Lithium cold turkey as I thought I might be pregnant.
Lithium is a known baby deformer. A
few months after this, I went into a heightened suicidal state, which required a
five-day hospitalization. While in
the psyche hospital the doctors decided to take me off Stelazine, but doubled my
Prozac dose. For the next few
months I experienced a range of the above mentioned symptoms, the most troubling
of which was a sexual dysfunction that left both me and my husband very
frustrated. I had huge blood sugar
swings, which developed into a serious hypoglycemic state, and found myself very
isolated emotionally having no desire or energy to seek out other people or
participate in life. I spent most
of my time lying on the couch watching television.
A few months later on this high dose of Prozac, I went into my local
pharmacy to refill my prescription for Prozac and saw the book Talking back to
Prozac by Peter Breggin MD. I
purchased it and spent a few weeks reading it.
I was startled to see his list of common side effects from this drug and
realize that I had many of them, including suicidal ideation and violent
thoughts and feelings, especially regarding hurting myself.
In the spring of 1990 I walked into my local library and right at eye
level was the drug I was taking four times a day.
That Prozac capsule was splashed right across the cover of a Newsweek
magazine, and to illustrate how my mind was functioning at the time, I took the
magazine over to the copier, copied all four pages, put the magazine back, put
the article in my book bag, and went home and completely forgot about it for a
few days. Then when I saw it and
decided to read it and it took me four hours to wade through those few pages of
text. While the article was mostly
positive about this new wonder drug, something about the message of the text
struck a nerve in me and I decided to ask my psychiatrist if she would help me
wean off of this drug. I had an
internal sense that I was at a cross roads with my health and that if I did not
take the opportunity and time to wean off the drug soon, that I might find
myself tied to it or other drugs like it for a long, long time.
fortunate to be working with a female psychiatrist who was quite educated about
Post Partum emotional illness and from the very first visit was comforted that
she seemed to know so much and was willing to support me in whatever choices I
made regarding my own health. She
also had put me on natural progesterone, which we purchased out of pocket from a
Wisconsin clinic as my insurance company would not compensate us the $50.00 it
cost us every month for me to take it. I
believe this natural hormone therapy was very effective in helping to keep my
manic symptoms under control while I was on Prozac.
as I weaned off of the medication, I experienced a short but heightened manic
response during the months of my weaning. And
we took it very, very gradually, weaning down to taking one pill a week.
If I had it to do over again, I would have put in a supply of Young
Living Essential oils Peace and Calming oil blend to help me with the mania and
insomnia I suffered from during this time.
I would have taken daily baths in this oil to help with the mania. But
Young Living didn’t exist back in 1990, and what I used to help me during the
critical time was the natural progesterone, some Chinese herbs and Homeopathic
remedies prescribed by my Osteopath. One
night my mind was just racing, almost as bad as when I was psychotic, and I took
a triple dose of the progesterone. I
could feel it taking me down level by level, until by about 3AM I was able to
rest without feeling like I was jumping out of my skin.
I had a sense that this was a reaction to coming off the medication, and
just let my body feel what it needed to feel without freaking too much that I
was losing my mind, but it was very, very difficult.
May of 1990 I took my final dose of Prozac, and then it felt as if my mind
exploded. I started to FEEL, and
what I was FEELING was not so nice. I
believe all of the suppressed emotion of the past fourteen months just bubbled
up out of me, and spilled out all over my husband and family.
I cried, I raged, I yelled, and I ached.
My body ached, my muscles ached, and I just hurt all over.
The first week was the most difficult.
After that it lessened with each week, until finally I was able to feel a
sense of normality. My sexuality
went back to normal and I was able to feel emotional highs and lows again.
I would cry, and then laugh because it felt so good to cry.
I would feel joy and be overwhelmed by that sensation coursing through my
emotional body, when it had been suppressed for so long.
message I would like to convey to you the reader is if you decide to come of
your medications, please do it with your doctor’s approval and help, and
PLEASE, do it gradually.
able to wean, without being forced to go back on some other drug, and freed
myself of the bondage that had been thrust upon me by a power-tripping judge in
a Michigan court. The past fourteen
years I have been able to give birth to four additional children.
They are my joy! I have not fallen into the pit of psychosis, and
although at times I have suffered from extreme emotional distress from life
events, I have learned and mastered the tools to help my body and mind when
struggling emotionally. The most
important of these Tools, completely validated by Dr. Tracy’s book, is a
proper amount of sleep every night. I
go to extreme lengths to be certain that I get enough rest. I outlined additional helps, tips, and tools for preventing
mania and psychosis in my book, A Mother’s Journey.
It is my prayer that if you are someone who has been taking these
medications and has a desire to wean off of them, you will do it wisely, slowly,
and without too much distress. And
if someone in your life has been taking these drugs, and they decide to come off
of them, please take the time to educate them about the potential for psychosis
and mania if they come off the drugs too quickly.
Jenny Hatch is the stay at home
mother to five children. An author
and Birth activist, she has a passion for educating consumers on the
alternatives to psychiatric care that are currently available, and would love to
have you visit her web site for more information.
Paul Hatch Family
Jenny's wonderful site!
Natural Family Company
Mission Statement - "Healthy Families Make A Healthy World!"
Web site address -
Business owner - Jenny Hatch
Conference info - Sponsor and Organizer of The 2nd International Husband/Wife
Homebirth Conference - Theme - "When Faith Endures" - Keynote Speaker - Laura
Kaplan Shanley - This Unassisted Childbirth conference was held in Boulder
Colorado in July of 2001 and is available exclusively from the
Natural Family Site
as an e-video. Cost - $39.95 For Compleate Mother readers - mention this
ad through email when purchasing the conference e-video and receive a $5.00
rebate upon purchase through pay pal. Offer good until September 2003.