About eight years ago Anita attempted suicide twice, and to this day her 16-year-old granddaughter still won't talk to her. "It's terrible that people have to suffer and put their families through hell," says Anita. "I was already gray when my granddaughter found me and called 911. She thinks I tried to commit suicide on purpose to get attention, but I was sick. She doesn't understand that Wellbutrin did something to my mind that made me not want to be here anymore."
"My granddaughter thinks I tried to commit suicide on purpose to get attention, but I was sick. She doesn't understand that Wellbutrin did something to my mind that made me not want to be here anymore"Anita's doctor prescribed Wellbutrin as a "nerve tonic" so she could claim it on her insurance, but the real reason he told her to take the antidepressant drug was to quit smoking. Wellbutrin is similar to smoking cessation drug Chantix in its side effects—that is, suicidal thoughts and attempts.
"Wellbutrin worked. It helped me quit smoking by stopping that habitual part of the brain," says Anita. "But any time you take something that causes an action, there is a reaction. I became so depressed, and I found out later, in the psych ward, that I was chemically imbalanced."
Anita was diagnosed as clinically depressed before she was prescribed Wellbutrin—she was a walking time bomb. Wellbutrin was supposed to help her quit smoking and replace the other antidepressants she was taking. Instead, Anita kept her other meds and overdosed. "I was taking Wellbutrin three times a day, seven days a week—no wonder I was chemically imbalanced," she says.
"I wound up in the psych ward for 45 days, and then I went back home and started life over again. At that time, I was off Wellbutrin, but when I saw my primary physician he put me back on it. Of course he didn't realize that this drug had anything to do with my suicide attempt; he really wanted me to quit smoking. I knew something wasn't right but when I started back on it and got back into my routine, the same suicidal feelings came back.
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"I never took Wellbutrin since coming home from hospital the second time, and I have never had any more suicidal attempts.
"I feel great now and I am happy. Even though I didn't quit smoking, I'm alive. I'm going to try to quit again but definitely not with drugs; it will have to be cold turkey because I am really drug-shy. Now I just need to get my granddaughter back."