Citation: Addrof. "Mania to Murder: An Experience with Paroxetine & Methylphenidate (exp18559)". Erowid.org. Aug 4, 2005. erowid.org/exp/18559
The fall term of my first year of college was just a couple weeks away. I wanted to start the year off right so I could be successful, so I decided to see a psychologist to possibly work out some issues I've had ever since I can remember. Which were anxiety (GAD), Panic Attacks, social anxiety (SAD), mild depression and ADD. All of which were very mild cases. The end result of this was ending up on Paxil CR and Concerta which is a 12 hour time released methylphenidate (Ritalin). This turned out to be the biggest mistake of my life.
I started out on a small dose of 12.5 mg of Paxil CR to start me off. The reason for such a small dose was due to my past experiences of sensitivity to other SSRIís such as Zoloft, Luvox, Trazadone and so on. I never really had very good results with this family of anti-depressants, along with Wellbutrin which didn't work for me as well. On a side note I had started the psycho-stimulant Concerta a week beforehand, which caused really no adverse side effects.
The first day of taking the Paxil I noticed a mild jittery restlessness discomfort, which I experienced on the Zoloft and the Luvox I had taken in the past. This lead to Insomnia which lead to little to no sleep for the first few days. The jittery discomfort persisted for the first few days as well. I also noticed after taking the Paxil I would become fatigued and it seemed to be impossible to concentrate on the simplest of tasks. This adverse reaction lasted for around two hours after ingestion and persisted to happen for the course of my Paxil CR experience. Afterwards I would become moderately to severely, mentally and physically stimulated along with slight mania. This reaction would come to worsen over the course of my experience.
After the first few days I became much more tolerant to the Paxil. I developed a high self-esteem and a very positive outlook on everything, nothing could get me down. It seemed my mental ability increased ten fold, ĎA clarity I couldnít possibly imagine.í My energy levels were at a peak as well. I had the energy to stay up all night, meticulously clean my whole apartment, get weeks ahead of all my classes, work out extensively, cook a big breakfast for the girl I was carpooling with and go to class all day, then run home after class which was around five to eight miles away. After all that I still couldnít sleep even though I had already been up almost 48 hours straight.
I had a full blown manic episode which lasted a week with no downs. I must of averaged two hours of sleep a night for a week straight. Along with only eating maybe one small meal a day. It also made me very thirsty and I drank lots of liquids. I sweated profusely and had to urinate frequently as well. This sudden change in me had my friends and family thinking I was doing meth. But I didnít care, I was feeling better then ever. But how long could this last?
I soon became very paranoid, I was seeing things out of the corner of my eye. Like someone watching me in a parked car and when I would turn my head to get a better look, nothing would be there. I would also hear noises which werenít there. Like hearing a neighbor coming out of his apartment, hearing the door open and close, footsteps coming towards me, but when I would look no one would be there. Along with the paranoia I became very anxious and irritable at the slightest migration. I even started to feel violent and dissociated from reality at times. My sensitivity to light increased and everything seemed to have a sort of hue to it.
After about the second week I started to have moderate to severe panic attacks. They occurred almost daily, I would feel as if I were dieing. My heart felt as if it was going to explode, I would feel as if I were suffocating and I truly thought I was dying. I would make totally irrational decisions and even become violent. My hands would get cold, turning almost purple, my eyes lids would be wide open and I would feel totally disoriented. By now I had also stopped going to my classes since I couldnít deal with anything.
I then decided to go back to my doctor and see what he thought I should do. I told him about my panic attacks, anxiety, sleeplessness, paranoia, and feeling violent and aggressive at times. I told him it did help my depression all in all as well. His response was that I should double my dose of Paxil and that should help the anxiety and panic attacks, even though I told him I almost never had panic attacks and that the Paxil is what brought all that on full blown. I was also given Ambien for sleep and he said he didnít want to give me anything else since he didnít want to mix any more meds together since he was no physiatrist. If that didnít work I needed to see one to get that stuff worked out.
By the second day of taking a double dose which was 25 mg, still not a very big dose. I started out feeling a panic attack coming on. I felt a rush through my body, eyes went wide open and bugged out, my breathing got faster and faster, I felt this rage growing inside me for no apparent reason. The light became very bright and I felt dissociated from reality. I felt myself losing control, I yearned for blood, I felt as if I had superhuman strength. I lost almost all since of right and wrong, all since of pain and fear. As if I were a animal acting only on instinct, and my instinct was to hunt down and kill my prey. I then slugged the wall in my apartment, which was a area that was composed of metal covering a 2x4. My hand broke on the first hit, I could feel nothing even though my knuckles were three times the size of my other hand, purple and bleeding. I smiled and punched the same area over and over with all my strength. I must of punched it at least thirty times with a broken hand and still felt no pain. Both hands up to my elbow turned dark purple and freezing cold. I was bored with the wall and I was on my way out the door grabbing a big knife out of the kitchen for my journey. All that was on my mind was this intense murderous rage. Luckily my mom was there and told me she was calling the cops. I then told her to get away from me for I feared I would kill her. I then decided to sit down and wait for the cops to get there. My rage worsened and my heart felt like it was going to explode, my teeth started chattering extremely hard and fast much worse then they would from just being cold, I was going into shock or something. I then waited for the cops to get there with the kitchen knife in pocket, I was awaiting their arrival and for that loud knock at the door that cops tend to do. Hoping to take them out with the knife as I greeted them. As I was waiting, my mom locked herself in the bathroom.
It turned out that she called my aunt and uncle while locked in the bathroom with my cell phone. By the time they got there I was starting to come back to reality. I was still psychotic but no longer homicidal. I ended up taking a Ambien which calmed me down a little bit. I then realized my hand was broken pretty bad and I could barely move my fingers. I then popped a couple Vicodin and went to bed in disbelief of what I did and what I could of done.
I am a very non-violent person, I have never even raised my hand in anger to anyone in my life prior to Paxil and I wasnít mad or upset about anything prior to going psychotic. Before I started the Paxil the occurrence of my panic attacks were months apart, and they would only consist of my heart pounding, I felt as if I were having a heart attack and have even blacked out a couple times. It never made me violent or lose control of myself. Before the Paxil I was very down to earth and rational. I didnít have the ups and downs, the bi-polar symptoms like I do now. As well as the hand that will cause me problems for the rest of my life.
A week after this incident I finally got into to see a physiatrist, which put me on Depakote. Which is a anti-seizure med. Itís also used to treat bi-polar disorder, ADD and migraines. Iím currently still having the violent psychotic attacks from the Paxil, which Iíve only been off for three days. I actually had a attack a couple hours prior to writing this. I have no idea what the withdrawal symptoms from the Paxil that I may be experiencing, do to possible side effects from the Depakote. Iíve been having horrible headaches were I just want to gouge out my eyes recently.
After this experience I did a lot of research which I should have done from the start. There are hundreds of cases Iíve read about this drug which lead to homicide, suicide and hospitalization. I have found the two main causes of the severe cases were either do to people that are bi-polar and people that have a certain types of add, which can also be similar to bi-polar disorder. Along with people quitting without tapering off. Donít make the same mistakes I did, never rely on any kind of doctor to play life and death with you. Research anything you take very extensively and pay close attention to the effects. You can hire and fire your doctors as you see fit and donít be reluctant to do so if you have doubt about them.
Iím currently scheduled to get a brain scan done to see what exactly I may have. I have self diagnosed myself as having Ring Of Fire, which is a type of ADD. I would suggest the book ĎHealing ADDí if you are bi-polar or have been diagnosed with having a type of ADD. Itís better to spend the time to research then to end up misdiagnosed and end up taking a drug like Paxil and blowing away your whole family.
I fear for what the future may bring, since I was told to stop the Paxil and not to taper off, and the Depakote is a depressant.
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