Dawn Rider — (FDA HEARINGS 2004)

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DR. RUDORFER:  Thank you.  Our next speaker, Number 12, please.

Dawn Rider

MS. RIDER:  My name is Dawn Rider and I am here to tell you my story, and I represent, as president of ASPIRE, more than 11,000 persons who are all named on the Eli Lilly and Prozac petition, which a copy has been given to the panel.

We have been educated to believe that mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain.  The fact is that this is only theory, and this theory is pushed on us as if it were the absolute truth.

The reality is that the best of scientists do not completely understand the complex inner actions of the myriad chemicals in our brains.

Those of us who elect to believe this theory and subject ourselves to treatment become guinea pigs in an ongoing experiment.

I know this from personal experience.  I trusted our family doctor when he explained that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance.  We trusted him when he determined that Paxil was right for my husband, and Prozac for my son.

We weren’t educated enough at that time to ask him to provide us with the test results that proved which chemicals were being balanced.

I am not going to go into details of what happened to our family.  I have given you all documentation, it’s very painful.  Suffice it to say that my beautiful 14-year-old son is now dead, and when we discovered the problems with these drugs, we decided it would be better for my husband to suffer through depression than end up dead like our son, and we found out that he could not get off of Paxil.

He went through over a year of hell before he was able to finally withdraw from the drug, and in the process it destroyed our marriage of over 20 years.

I say with no apology whatsoever that these SSRI drugs destroyed what was once a loving and vibrant family. Why do we believe that street drugs like heroin and LSD can lead to outcomes such as this, yet, we won’t accept that legally prescribed drugs, working on the same neurochemicals, can result in horrific crimes against persons and property?

Why do we accept that a drug like penicillin, beneficial as it is for some, can prove fatal for others?  We fail to accept that these drugs can have paradoxical effects.  These drugs are not safe for everyone.

They should be labeled with the strongest of precautions and dispensed only by trained physicians who have time to adequately monitor the patient.  Most doctors do not have time for this level of care.

Also, patients should be required to sign letters of informed consent.  Please carefully consider the documentation that I have left with you and look at the faces of those that are here today and the faces that out in the hall, those children who cannot speak for themselves because they are dead.  They are not merely anecdotal evidences.

There is a preponderance of evidence that will be presented before you today.  Please consider it carefully and do the right thing.   Thank you.

DR. RUDORFER:  Thank you.