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April 15, 2001
by Vickie Barker
After reading the following Prozac horror story this will no longer be a question.
Can it be we have become comfortably numb to the world around us? Do we no longer have the power to analyze information that is brought to us? Do we no longer hope to change the dishonesty and deceit or should we only sit back and hope that somehow the deceit will pass us by?
I am compelled to tell this story in hopes that you may take the time to research the possibility that we are receiving misinformation concerning the potentially deadly side effects of frequently prescribed pharmaceutical drugs.
In 1993, I was seeking medical help for headaches and was not sleeping well. The doctor felt that a drug called Prozac was the solution. True, I had been under some stress and I had always assumed that doctors were the last word when it came to good health. My stress I suppose had been growing over several years. By 1989 I had watched my husband, my soul mate and father of our five children change into a violent and angry alcoholic. In a period of two years this man’s personality had been totally altered. He had not been much of a drinker before, but maybe because of his metabolism, it seemed the alcohol began to consume him. I had to make a choice for my wellbeing and the children’s wellbeing to leave him. In 1990 he was killed in a fishing accident in the Bering Sea.
Life moved ahead, I found a good job, bought a house and had very good medical insurance. “I now wonder if good medical insurance may just be one of the most deadly diseases we face today.”
But in 1993 the doctors felt that I had experienced so many traumatic situations over the past several years that I was diagnosed as depressed. They suggested that the depression was causing the headaches and sleeplessness. I was given a prescription for Prozac. On the fourth day of taking the medication, somewhere along the one mile trip home something changed. By the time I hit the front door I wanted to die. I walked straight to the bedroom and while sitting on the bed began thinking about getting the gun and ending it all. I was overwhelmed with wanting to end my life, right then. Fortunately, I realized that something was not right. I was not the type that believed in suicide. I reached for the phone instead of the gun and the Doc advised I stop the Prozac immediately and come to the office. He prescribed a different drug. F rom that point my condition continued to deteriorate. The next few diagnoses covered such things as Chronic Pain Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and finally, Multiple Sclerosis. The total for pharmaceuticals was sometimes in excess of $400 per month. By this time I was no longer able to concentrate, had lost my balance, suffered excruciating headaches, endured back spasms and much more.
My health continued down hill and I realized I wouldn’t live much longer at that rate. I wanted off the medication. I couldn’t tell what symptoms were from the disease and what were side effects from the drugs. Reluctantly the doctors finally agreed they would refer me to a pain clinic. It took three months, to wean me off the drugs and I began to return to my old self. We made a decision to move back to Idaho. I began learning about the natural medicinal herbs and found remarkable success in using natural products in treating many diseases in place of the chemical compounds I had been prescribed in the past.
In April, 2000, my then 17-year-old daughter was having devastating episodes and was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from violence she witnessed as a young child. A therapist was found in Southern Calif. and she stayed there with an aunt to receive the therapy.
During that time I became acquainted with a gentleman that shared some startling information with me. There are, in fact, several successful treatments for cancer and there is a formula available that prevents heart disease and stroke. These are not treatments promoted by the medical mainstream. Further research resulted in the discovery of scientific proof that millions are suffering and dying needlessly. This impressed upon me to assist in further research. My 15-year-old daughter Anny became very involved. She knew the suffering our family felt during my years of struggle and was even more upset with the facts she found. One upsetting fact was that the U.S. is the only nation in the world that has not banned the use of asbestos and bleaching with dioxins in feminine hygiene products. Another fact that upset her even more was watching the Cancer clinics asking for more donations and those ads would show small children that had undergone chemotherapy. She was angry that these children were allowed to suffer, even though their cancers could be stopped quickly, safely and affordably.
During the summer of 2000 we bought a television because my son had an accident that disabled him for a couple of months. It was shocking to see how television had changed but even more remarkable were the amount and kinds of advertising about pharmaceutical drugs; some of which seem to allow young persons to diagnose themselves. Many of these drugs list very serious side effects, but they DO NOT list all of the potential side effects.
The therapy in California was very expensive for my 17-year-old and our funds ran out two months before she was finished. The psycologist telling us she still needed care, she came back to Idaho and went to a doctor for her depression and anxiety. The doctor prescribed Prozac. I watched her carefully and was nervous about it, but it seemed she hadn’t reacted the same as I had seven years before and her anxiety attacks seemed to subside. This was December, 2000.
The family was really happy to be together and it had been a very long year. On January 30th the girls had been in and out of the house all day. Laughing and joking as they went to visit friends in the area. Nothing out of the ordinary. They stopped by the house sometime between 3 and 4 in the afternoon. Both were happy and heading down to a neighbor’s house.
Less than 2 hours later, my 15-year-old, Anny Belle, walked in the front door covered with snow. I asked, “Did the truck breakdown?” She answered, “No, I just walked home.” She brushed the snow off and headed upstairs to her room. I called to her, “There is chicken on the counter.” She answered, “OK.” I then heard her walk down the stairs and heard our little dog yelp. Then I heard her say, “Oh, I’m sorry Valerie.” She probably stepped on her going down the stairs. Then I heard her footsteps go back to the kitchen area. About 20 to 30 seconds later, I heard a pop. I called to her, “Anny, what was that noise?”..No answer.
I got up and called up the stairs to her, no answer. I walked into the kitchen expecting to see her standing there. She wasn’t there. I walked through the kitchen and opened the back door. As I stepped out I saw my beautiful baby girl lying face up in the snow. She had blown the back of her head off.
This was the most agonizing sight for any mother to see. Nothing made any sense. She had just been fine. Anny had no signs of depression or suicidal tendencies. In fact she had just the day before scheduled her next week full of activities. No warning .. No signs. No time for a note. It made no sense at all. We were in shock.. Then 30 minutes before her funeral one of her friends told us that Anny had been sneaking into her sister’s Prozac for the last few days. Her friend said she started taking them about 4 days ago, we counted them and there were 4 pills missing.
As with most news today, some will say, ah ha another death from a gun. It was not a gun that killed my daughter –it was a legal drug that is being prescribed to millions of people. Cigarette commercials were cited as the cause of promoting smoking to children and taken off the air. These pharmaceutical commercials are causing children to self diagnose and with the availability of these drugs they can easily give them a try. Prozac was advertised in the past as the “feel good” drug. Where is the disclaimer at the end of the commercial when they list the potential side effects? I can tell you this, the commercials do not list potential suicidal tendencies in some persons. Where is that potential suicidal tendency side effect listed on the bottle? Where is that potential suicidal tendency side effect listed on the paper that is given to us at the pharmacy? It isn’t.
Anny broke a law by taking someone else’s medication. Her punishment was death.
I think that punishment was rather harsh for the crime. The real crime is the fact that money is more important to these companies than human life. By withholding basic information regarding side effects and safety studies done on these products, I believe we are being mislead.
My research during this last month has given us proof that the company manufacturing this drug has in fact known about this side effect since at least 1978 and some say it has been known since the 1950s. When do the people get the truth? How many suicides can be attributed to this potential side effect? How many of these are overlooked in the data being collected? When will we as a people say, “Either give us the whole truth or get these advertisements off the television?”
We can not bring back my baby girl, but God willing, we will be able to spread the word that we are being misled and that people need to be aware of what these chemicals do in our bodies so that others are not left with this pain and frustration.
Anny contributed many hours this past eight months to help spread the word on many health issues. Advanced Treatments Bulletin has donated a subscription to the Anny Belle Foundation. Proceeds from this subscription will support youth achievement here in her home community and assist with chemical and drug education that will alert others to drug interactions. Please help support getting the truth to the uninformed and the misinformed. You can help spread the word by going to http://www.atbulletin.com. ‘ Get a subscription for your family today. Advanced Treatments Bulletin will give you the scientific proof that can potentially save millions of lives a year.
This cannot stop here. I have had a call to action and as you realize the misleading information we receive on a daily basis may affect your loved ones, this may be your call to action as well. I know it will take funds that I do not have right now to make this message heard. I can only appeal to you for your help. You may call me at 208-245-9055. Donations may be mailed to:
Anny Belle Foundation
P.O. Box 420
Fernwood, Id. 83830.
If you would like to offer suggestions or have information that could help, please call or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a special note, I have discovered just days ago that the Eli Lily Company, makers of Prozac, now have a new drug on the market called Sarafen. If you look closely at the commercial you will see it is Fluoxetin Hydrocloride and is being prescribed for a pre-menstrual disorder commonly known as PMS. Fluoxetin Hydrocloride is Prozac.