|Some small idea of what it feels like to be on a bad medication.
[Edit: 3 August 2012 – see item Headed Holy Shit – Anti-depressant!
I’ve found it was 8-12 August 2003, and specifically Sunday 10 August 20003 that is described below and the drug was Edronax ]
[Edit: since writing this, I’ve found it wasn’t 2007, but it did happen and I’m not sure which year yet. I may be mistaken about the drug too, but I have yet to find the diary entries. I’ve gone back through the ABC’s search engine and I can find references to Robert Drewe’s book, Shark Net, which was the program I saw, but not the year it was broadcast. Watch this space.]
Hol-ee-smoke! Good grief! Did you see the ABC’s 7:30 Report last night?
It was about an anti-depressant called Efexor. It is strongly suspected to cause compulsive gambling addiction, completely out of the control of the people who take it.
I should know. I was on Efexor for a week or two, in about 2007 I think. I have diaries, I’ll look it up.
I don’t blame the doctor who prescribed it – he was trying desperately to find an antidepressant that worked for me. I tried them all, including Efexor, all the SSRIs, NRIs, tricyclics, MAOIs and I dunno what else.
What I remember is the most disturbing, anxiety filled, terrifying week or more of my life. I can pinpoint it because it was the week that the ABC screened the documentary on Eric Edgar Cooke, the Nedlands serial murderer, on a Sunday evening. I can look it up.
What I remember is that I’d been out that day to a friend’s place and it was a cold, dark, wintry day. While there, I was feeling almost out of my body, out of control, trying desperately to hang on, to appear normal.
I must have done, because she didn’t notice anything and I guess I kept myself together. But I do remember I had to make an early excuse to leave.
I drove home along the Freeway (yeah, it was a Sunday) feeling very disturbed, very disembodied, very anxious, very strange. I was fighting to keep hold of my anxiety, but I did. I have some experience in this.
(Yeah, and I was driving at 100Km/h on the Freeway in this state. I absolutely had to get home, that’s all there was to it. It was a cold, dark, wet, windy day. In fact, I remember having trouble controlling the car in the wind. What was I supposed to do, pull off the Freeway and lie down and succumb to this fear? Not possible. I had to hang on. Obviously I made it without incident.)
I got home and had tea, then some beer of course, (yes, I know, but that’s my routine and I wanted comfort) and sat down to watch the doco. But my scalp was crawling, my shoulders were tense and aching, I kept seeing odd things in my peripheral vision. I was sitting next to my back door and I had to close it as I was scared. I was in fear, a strange kind of fear.
The doco was all about dark places and a murderer, and I was feeling weird – I can’t fully remember what else I felt but it wasn’t an urge to gamble, just an urge to stop this awful drug!
I must have stopped taking it and went to the doc and we tried something else, but … ugh!
I will have to consult my diary but I do know I never want to see that drug again. How this could have been properly tested before release is beyond me. Obviously now, it wasn’t, but how many people’s lives have been ruined? Luckily mine wasn’t. I don’t gamble.