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Paxil Makes Depression Worse, Not Better

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"I want people to know how bad Paxil is," says 33-year-old Jill Kruger, from Traverse City, Michigan. "I attempted to commit suicide twice while on it."

Kruger was prescribed Paxil for depression and took it for about five years. "I went through insomnia, felt panicy and suicidal. In other words, Paxil made my depression worse," she says.

Paxil can kill.
"I slit my wrists the first time I tried to commit suicide," says Kruger. "I phoned my ex-husband and asked for his gun. It was a cry for help. A few years later I was having vertigo due to Paxil. I went to the hospital and the doctor prescribed valium. They sent me home with 30 pills and I took the whole bottle. I didn't want to feel that way anymore.

"I kept telling my doctor that I didn't feel any relief so she just bumped up the dose and said to stick with it, you will see signs of relief coming. So I tried."

"I finally quit Paxil July, 2005 when I saw another doctor. She advised me to withdraw and weaned me off it slowly, while warning me of the side effects," says Kruger. She was taking 60mg per day and over the course of three weeks went down to 10mg per day until she eventually withdrew completely.

Kruger looked to her first doctor for trust and help but this doctor made it worse. It was hell for her. And she is divorced with two children to look after.

"It was so hard for my kids, I was in bed for days," she says. "Having them see me like this -- they were only four and six years old. I had to move back in with my parents so they could look after the kids. There was no way I could have done it alone." Kruger couldn't even leave the house. "I was sad all the time. But now I am getting on the right track.

"It has been six months that I last took Paxil and it is out of my system. It's like coming out of a deep fog, that part of my life feels like it didn't happen - all five years.

"My new doctor said that Paxil might work for some, but the withdrawls are something you have to consider because they are very unpleasant.

She is now looking for a job and her own apartment, but "I feel that having taken Paxil has ruined many years of my life. I am mad because I have lost jobs, I don't have any money, lost my car, couldn't pay rent, couldn't look after my kids. I want to see it taken off the market."

Susan Jones (not her real name) also wishes she had never taken Paxil. She had been diagnosed with depression in 1990 and was taking several medications. Then she landed a great job working with teenagers. "They took up so much of my energy that I didn't have time to be depressed or have mood swings...I didn't need any medication," she says.

But then she moved to Florida with her husband in 1999 and worked as a secretary. She had some "issues" with her co-workers and the human resources department advised her to see a psychiatrist.

"I had been on Paxil for a month, taking half the dose I was prescribed. Right away I started shaking, got dizzy and nauseous. The doctor warned me of these side effects. Then I got up to the whole doseage and I hated everyone. Some kids came by and I was so angry I wanted to kill them with a hammer that I was holding."

"I got agitated and heard people talking in my head. I was being eaten by ferrets and ants. I was so paranoid I would get in the car and it felt like I was on a fast rollercoaster. Everything was moving too fast. One day I went into a store and thought they were all talking about me."

About a month after she had been taking Paxil and just about going insane, Susan talked to her mother-in-law and told her how she felt. "She told me to get off Paxil because she had had the same reaction. She got so mean that she had attacked my father-in-law," says Susan.

"I almost think the withdrawl was worse. The noise and dizziness was unbearable and I just cried all the time."

Her doctor told Susan that she was going through classic Paxil withdrawl and it could last up to six weeks. Why did she take it for so long? "I figure that doctors are like the police. You do as you are told."

Although she is better now, "Thinking about it still upsets me. But I am not dizzy or sick. I even made it to the pet store and didn't lose my mind like I did while I was on Paxil. I can shop like a normal person."

These women had parts of their lives taken away. "I'm not the kind of person to sue but I would like to see some compensation to get back on my feet again," says Jill Kruger. "I am glad of the opportunity to share my story. I want everyone to know about this terrible drug."

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