Monday, March 20, 2023

Comments by Dave Cope

Showing 16 of 16 comments.

  • Yup, benzos definitely don’t discriminate. I have two masters degrees from MIT and had never touched an illicit drug in my life. But no, benzos were safe I was told, take as needed. And another life turned upside down by lies and misinformation. A low dose of Ativan (<1mg) taken much like you did was a gateway drug to other psych drugs that have effectively destroyed my life. Hope you are able to find some peace in the living nightmare that is benzo withdrawal.

  • Nomadic, while I fully believe in the right to privacy and am aware of the risk I’m taking in sharing my experience, it’s imperative that we don’t allow the ‘privacy wall’ to shield clinicians from direct criticism and perpetuate the current state of affairs.

  • Thanks Pauline for the info. One of the things that ultimately drove me to write the letter was when I read my medical record from the first psychiatrist, he had initially prescribed me Zyprexa! Of course at the time I had no idea that it was an anti-psychotic and was never told it was an anti-psychotic. How he came to the conclusion that an anxious grad student who was distraught over a failed relationship needed an anti-psychotic, and then didn’t even fully explain what the drug was or the implications of using is beyond negligent.

  • It’s certainly alright to speculate and continue research efforts to better understand the physiology and psychology of depression and mental illness. What’s not alright is “professionals” touting new evidence based on limited trials or pseudoscience, embellishing the limited evidence, and selling new forms of “treatment” to suffering people.

    What I also find astonishing, particularly among doctors and scientists, is the hubris and arrogance with which they approach the problem of “solving” mental illness. The human brain has evolved over millions of years and has resulted in us being the dominant species by a long shot. To claim or even imagine that we have been able to unravel millions of years of evolution within the most complicated organ on the face of the earth in the last 50 years is comical. And this is coming from guy with two masters degrees in engineering from MIT. But what do I know, except that at the age of thirty I’m disabled because of exposure to several psychotropic drugs that I was told were “fixing a known problem” in my brain.

  • The first and last time I experienced homicidal thoughts was when I mixed a small dose of Ativan (< 1mg) with a couple glasses of wine. That's all it took to put me in a violent frame of mind that I had never previously experienced (I envisioned breaking my significant other's neck). Less than a milligram of Ativan and a few glasses of wine. I reported it to my pdoc and he said abruptly "not possible." I don't know what's crazier, my brief medication induced homicidal thought or my pdoc being so narrow minded as to dismiss an honest, concerned patient.

  • An excellent piece of writing on the subject. As a graduate student in Cambridge, MA I was given Ativan by a school psychiatrist during a particularly stressful semester and, as so many have shared, I was given no explanation of the repercussions from continuous use as prescribed.

    Today, 5 years later I am still reeling from the fateful decision to see a psychiatrist. Ativan has torn apart my life in ways I didn’t think possible. Hell on earth is possible and it comes in the form of a tiny pill called a benzodiazepine.

    What continues to amaze me is the disconnect in how doctors label those using a benzo and those recovering from benzo use. While on a benzo, I utilized as prescribed (e.g. as needed with a limit on the max daily dose) and I was labeled as a “compliant patient.” The second I stopped using Ativan as prescribed and was hospitalized and tormented, I was labeled as having “abused prescription drugs.” The ignorance through the psychiatric community is beyond astounding.

  • Theresa,

    Thank you for sharing your story. My personal experience with psycho-pharmaceuticals mirrors yours with the unfortunate addition of benzodiazepines. I marched along blindly during the “trial and error” phase, allowing my “doctor” to prescribe me various SSRIs and ADHD meds, only to be left in a much worse state than where I started. I have similarly lost several years of my life and after two years have still not recovered from the trauma and changes the meds have caused.


  • Wow, I don’t know where to start. Prior to Paxil, I couldn’t watch horror movies, let alone internet shock videos. Even the most lame, obviously fictional horror movie would leave me with nightmares for several days. After two years on Paxil I found myself spending hours on LiveLeak watching gory videos trying to feel something, but it was totally subconscious. I felt nothing, so feeling something became addicting and the easiest thing to get access to was videos on LiveLeak. Unfortunately, over a year off of Paxil and I still haven’t regained my emotions and still live in a fog of apathy and indifference. My own family doesn’t recognize me anymore, it’s really destroyed my life.