Antidepressants: “My name is Lauren and I’m looking for my husband” (Testimonial)

My name is Lauren and I am 22. My husband is 28 and we have been married almost 3 years. My husband and I are 7 months pregnant with our first child (very exciting!). We found out in September that we were having a baby, and a couple weeks later I pushed my husband to talk to his Dr. about medication for his anxiety. He was constantly worrying about something, and he would get so upset about the way people drive. He was having nightmares and sleep walking and the doctor said Paxil was the best drug to take, since it makes you sleepy. I asked the Dr. for all of the side effects- he just said it will make him tired. If I knew what I know now, I would have slapped that Dr. in the face! Thinking about it now, all he really needed was to go to counseling to learn how to deal with his anxiety. I never should have pushed him to take antidepressants.

I didn’t start to notice any problems for us until maybe November, and by this time he had been on the Paxil for about two months. He started to become reserved; he hardly had anything to say to me. I figured he was just going through some changes since he was about to be a dad. I didn’t think anything of it. I bought him a book to read regarding the pregnancy so he could understand what I was going through as far as the mood swings, clingyness, and everything to do with my hormones and changing body. He wouldn’t read the book. I thought he was just lazy, no big deal.

In December things started to get worse. He had a new group of friends from work and he started to go out at night to parties. You have to understand that the man I married was very quiet and never liked to go to loud places where people got drunk and acted stupid. He didn’t like the club scene either. He didn’t care that I was so upset all the time, (my emotions were crazy, I was so hormonal!) he didn’t try to comfort me or hug me. he pulled away and acted annoyed that i could be so “dramatic”. His family tried to explain to him that that would happen, and I told him beforehand too. I also kept asking him to read the book. I even sat him down and read TO him! He said that just because it’s in the book doesn’t mean that it’s true- he said it’s just popular belief! I couldn’t believe it! Why was he so resistant to be my husband and support his pregnant wife???? He chose to stay out ALL night and get drunk. His friends starting texting him, and he started giving them his days off from work. He texts girls from work, not concerned at all by how that would make me feel. He even took a girl out to eat and thought nothing of it. I had no idea that these changes could be from the Paxil, so you can imagine my distress. I thought it was me, and I went into a state of severe depression. I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up. I was so hurt by the man I was so madly in love with and i didn’t know why. All I wanted was for him to hug me, to tell me he loved me. To spend time with me, ask me how I was feeling. To this day, 7 months pregnant, the most considerate thing he has done for me is ask if I wanted something to drink while he was up.

Just before Christmas, he left around 11pm to go and drop off a secret santa gift to a work party and said he would be right back. He also so he was taking my car because it was in a bad neighborhood and dint want his car scratched (its much nicer than mine!). 3am rolls around and he is not home. I called him several times and no answer. I thought i would give him another couple hours and fell asleep. I woke again at 5am and still not home. I called 30 something times and texted him and still no answer. His phone went from being turned off, to turned back on. I was thinking the worst- thinking that he had been mugged and someone stole his phone, I didn’t know. I’m sure my hormones made me worse, but i called the police to see if he had been reported in an accident or something. I called the jail, I called 13 different hospitals. Nothing. Do you know what he did? He went to the party, then back to someones house and fell asleep. KNOWING that he told me he would be RIGHT back. He didn’t think he had to call me. I was so upset, shaking, throwing up, so scared that something had happened to him. He had my car so I couldnt look for him. I couldn’t drive his (standard). That was the worst night of my life.

Overall, i just didn’t know what was going on with the man I fell so madly in love with. How could he all of a sudden have no feelings for me? I didn’t do anything wrong but long for his support, comfort, and love in the delicate stages of pregnancy.

I even went as far as to wait on him hand and foot, thinking that it would make him happy, and make him want to come home after work instead of the the bar with work friends. But he said that was pathetic of me.

February was my birthday. He didn’t even tell me happy birthday. He bought me a card, but couldn’t be bothered to sign it. Do you know what his excuse was? I was always around and he couldn’t sign it. That was so unlike him. He would never miss a birthday, he always said it was important to not mess up important days that you would remember forever. For instance, last year for my birthday he surprised me and took me to New York! I had never been, and we had an awesome time! Valentine’s day was two days before my birthday. He came home and ignored me like it was an average day. He didn’t get me flowers or a card. His excuse? “Apparently” our first V-day wasn’t so great, so we shouldn’t celebrate it anymore. That’s funny, because the first one was the best! I think he was just looking for excuses to support why he doesn’t feel anything.

Throughout this whole madness, before i knew it was the Paxil, I have tried so many things to get him to feel something. He told me he didn’t have feelings for me (that was a knife in and out of my heart), and he said he didn’t know why he didn’t feel anything, but wanted some time apart. I moved into the spare room and he didn’t change at all. I packed all of my things and threatened to leave. Nothing from him. I threatened him with a separation and he said he wanted to be a better husband, and that worked for about 3days. He went right back to going out and staying the night somewhere ( i don’t think it’s gotten so bad that he would actually cheat on me) but he would come home around 3 or 4 if he didn’t stay at someones house. This behavior is so not like the man that I married. The man 8 months ago would never go anywhere without seeing if I was okay with it. i don’t know this man anymore, I feel like i’m living with a stranger.

I would cry in front of him and beg him to give me answers and he would just look down at his phone and text his friends or just stare at something and not say anything. I would break down right in front of him and feel like I was dying inside and he didn’t even care. In bed I would try and ask him why he didn’t feel anything anymore, I would ask him to just tell me what I did wrong, and he would just say “nothing”. And I would be crying and upset, and he would just turn around and go to sleep.

He became obsessed with being hateful and negative towards people. His new friends at work think he is funny with the blunt, rude things he says and that encourages him. He even has been involved in taking stolen money from work! He would NEVER NEVER NEVER do that before! He used to be the type of person who wouldn’t even talk to his friend that was bad news because he didn’t want to be tied to him in case he (the friend) got in trouble with the law (which he probably has already- we no longer talk to him). But he takes the money and sees absolutely NOTHING wrong with it. Also, he drives like he is invincible. Even with his wife and unborn child in the car, he risks all of our lives and has no concern about it. To be fair, I don’t exactly drive the speed limit, and he never was a perfect law-abiding driver either. I am not exaggerating, but i almost passed out twice thinking he was going to hit the back of someone. It got so bad that I can’t be in the car with him. Could this be from the Paxil too?

You can probably imagine how happy I was when I found this and other sites that explained the emotional and behavioral changes that come with Paxil. My only problem is I don’t know how much I can blame on the Paxil. i found out the other day that he talked to some girl on the webcam while i was away all week at my parents’. He says it was nothing and that she was boring, but he never would have just talked to someone like that. He has a password on his phone and won’t let me near it. His excuse is that I snoop and he wants something of his own. i don’t know who he is texting or calling, but the distrust is so painful. He says he locks it because he doesn’t trust me. I guess this is another way to justify his actions.

Can someone please help me? How do you know if he will change back to the man I remember him to be, once he is off the Paxi? Has anyone ever been on this and done similar things outside of your normal character? How much can i blame on the drug? Don’t you still know right from wrong?

He has agreed to come off the med, even though he said he likes the way he feels while on it. Please tell me that he is in a false sense of security? Can he really know what he has done to me, emotionally the past 7 months? Will he ever have any idea what he’s been like and what he’s put me through? I have read many posts on here and I am definitely going to stay by him and just not take the things he says to me personally. He has come down from 20mg to 10mg on Monday. Tonight will be his 5th dose of 10mg. He says he has no symptoms (I’ve warned him of everything I’ve read about the withdrawal). But has anyone gone through phases of anger? He came home last night and was so angry at me and my family for no reason it seems. Do you think he will just feel angry on and off? I would really love to hear from people who have been on it before. is it true that you had no idea how you were acting? Did you realize after you were off the drug? Were you in denial while on it? I have so many questions, I just want my husband back so badly.

We will be parents in 8 weeks. it’s going to be so hard dealing with him and the baby.

How long will it be before i might see some changes? He wants to go to 5mg after two weeks of being on 10mg. Does that seem okay if he isn’t having any symptoms, or could they be delayed? He has only been on the Paxil about 6months. He was on an antidepressant before when he was like 24 (4years ago) and went off it cold turkey and didn’t have any problems.

I wouldn’t know what to do had I not found this site. Especially you Gibby, I have read your story and I can relate to you in so many ways. You are my inspiration and what helps me get through this.

All help is greatly appreciated. Paxil almost ruined my marriage. We were happy 7months ago, and excited about our little one on its way and then all of a sudden, I have been stuck in a recurring nightmare. I have never cried so much in my life. I have never been so hurt and so unloved in all of my life. I have started reading the bible looking for some peace, anything to make this better. I was raised a christian but a couple of years ago i made my own choices and decided it wasn’t for me. I was more of a scientific thinker and now it’s like I crave some belief in a higher power. I need someone to lean on. Anyway, I guess I have vented enough for the past hour. I hope my story helps someone else to recognize that Paxil could be the cause of their problems. I wish I could go back and never ask him to get on something. i guess i just wanted a quick fix and for him to be happy like i was. I love him so much and I just want him back.

Recovered post from now closed paxilprogress.org. 3/20/2009

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