My Speech at APCA in Syracuse, NY – Going off Antidepressants, How I Got Into Organic Food

Last week, I was in Syracuse, NY to give a speech at the APCA (Association of the Promotion of Campus Activities) Northeast Regional Conference.

At this conference, I talked about my nearly 11 years on antidepressants, Prozac side effects, and how I got into organic food. This was the first time I have ever given this speech publicly.


15 Comments

  • Mike says:

    Dear Max,

    thanks for sharing your wonderfully courageous and passionate experience about your struggles and victory over antidepressants.

    You say you “wished you would have known”….. before taking these pills under the authority of doctors and parents! “I also wished”…. I had heard you at our university before blindly trusting my doctor who gave me antidepressants for exam anxiety ( I had failed statistics and was bad at maths since high school ).

    I passed the statistics exam a year later thanks to the help of a patient friend… but I failed at questioning the pills that I was prescribed like “candy” and took like “candy”! After all I felt less anxious and more ‘happy’ in most circumstances… except when I tried to stop them spontaneously after a 1-2 yrs. : I would sob/cry for no reason and resumed taking them… assuming I was not ready to stop them. My doctor just counselled me and kept me “hocked” to her “services”.

    18 years after starting taking antidepressants (now in the late 40’s) I realised they had been screwing up my emotions, not letting me feel what I needed to feel, making me “numb” and not even helping against depression at all when sorry came (loss). It actually felt wrong not to be able to cry whilst on them… (is it normal to stay stoic when your mum passes away) ? No.

    Once I had done some research and noticed that they don’t even work and that my doc. was not very empathic after all, I tried a first quit attempt; “pure hell” and I wanted to die every day and like you was unable to work of course. Ran back to doctor who tried to put me on 2 other antidepressants that freaked me out! I realised how strong these chemicals are… including the one I had got used to : Paxil. Starting Paxil again gave some relief but I was just tiered all the time. Against my doc’s advice I quit a 2nd time and when I felt suicidal he just said; “you see it’s the disease coming back, you need to be on them for life”.

    I knew it was not what he called “the disease” (as I’m a fun loving guy who has many assets and a smart & beautiful wife) but the “discontinuation syndrome” that can last long. I’m “off” the med’s since 1 year and still struggling with suicidal thoughts and learning how to develop resilience without that “floor” as you call it . These medications are dangerous and should only be given during a crisis, no longer than that!

    Like you, I feel they stole a whole chunk of my life and I almost killed myself due to the withdrawal symptoms, but there is no way I would go back to these ‘chains’ of pills that harm your brain! Indeed, SSRI’s let you loose (they disappear) serotonin receptors on neurones, to accommodate (homeostasis) for the fact that you get too much serotonin from the SSRI! They take away part of your consciousness and empathy… your capacity to be responsible with money as they make you more “careless”.

    Love,
    Mike

    PS: Pls. also have a look at http://www.whocaresinsweden.com to see the extent of the problem.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your story, Mike. So greatly appreciated and thanks for letting me know about that documentary. Wishing you the best, Max

  • Bouncy says:

    My life has completely changed since I swapped to organic food and water. 20 years of depression, anxiety, mania, insomnia, bad skin, fatness, arthritis, allergies, PCOS and more are GONE. I feel amazing and thanks to Dr Russell Blaylock explaining it in great detail have the determination to stay away from these filthy ‘excitotoxins’ that were literally messing with my head 😉 Yoga and vitamin D were also really amazing <3

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Bouncy,

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience, and I am so happy to hear that you have had such a remarkable turnaround. Vitamin D is so, so important.

      Live well,
      Max

  • Jessica B says:

    Max – I read “The Truth About Depression” by Charles M. Whitfield M.D. and Prozac Backlash” by Joseph Glenmullen, M.D.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Thanks so much Jessica. I definitely know Glenmullen’s but wasn’t familiar with Whitfield’s. I will check it out.

      Live well,
      Max

  • Jessica B says:

    Hi Max! I am so happy to have found your site. I first commented on your post regarding your struggle with back problems and how you followed Dr. Sarno’s method to heal yourself, as my husband was lucky enough to have discovered his book and it changed his life. Another problem we struggled with at different times was depression and anxiety. I was diagnosed with both in 2001 and given numerous cocktails of different drugs for a while. I was seeing a psychiatrist for meds and a certified counselor for support. I quit my job because I thought that was causing me all kinds of stress in my life. After being given a med that made me have mania I decided something was wrong. I was so discouraged. The psychiatrist kept pushing meds and said I would be on them for the rest of my life. The rest if my life! That sounded crazy to me. I have no idea how or why I decided to go to the bookstore but I found two books which literally saved my life. They spoke of healing yourself without medication. I learned the truth of how these drugs are tested and the terrible long term side effects they cause. I read the books back to back in one day and finally realized there was a way out. A healthy way to feel better! I went to see my psychiatrist the next day and told her I felt I did not need the meds and she basically laughed in my face. She told me I would probably be back to see her in a few weeks. There was absolutely no support from someone who was supposed to be helping me because I was threatening her livelihood as a doctor. I left there in tears. She never even monitored me coming off the meds, but I survived. I successfully beat my anxiety and depression by taking better care of myself and with the help of my counselor. My counselor was really my saving grace. If I could tell anyone anything, I would say seek counseling from someone who you believe has your best interest at heart. Not someone who is going to prescribe pills and tell you it will make it better because it won’t. I have friends on these meds now and have encouraged them to get counseling. I believe in no way can you just go on meds without working on yourself and the issues that brought you there in the first place. After watching what I went through, my husband was fortunate enough to seek counseling on his own and never went on meds. We are both taking good care of ourselves mentally and physically. We now have four beautiful children and are trying our best to raise them with emotions. Max, you should be proud of this speech you gave! I wish more people would speak out about the dangers of these medications. You are an inspiration to me and many! Feel wonderful knowing you are making a difference in this world!

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Jessica,

      Thank you so much for leaving this comment and sharing your inspirational story! It takes a lot of courage to refuse medication because doctors are put on such a pedestal in our society and we are told never to question them.

      I think it is fantastic what you have done and hopefully many others will read what you have written and learn from it.

      By the way, what are the two books that read/mentioned?

      Live well,
      Max

  • Kathleen says:

    WOW. Very powerful testimony. I’m positve you made an impact with those students and hopefully you will with many more to come.

    We certainly need to take the health of our mind and body into our own hands and not fall victim and hostage to the medical and pharmocology industry. I’m excited for your journey and great things to come and lives to change. As Vani said, the tides are changing and people desperately need to be educated about the healing power of the right foods. I have just started a similar journey – I work in the medical field, but thats not who I am.

    More power to you.

    Kathleen

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Kathleen,

      Thanks so much for your kind words. You are correct – we need to take our health into our own hands but that is something that many people would rather not do. The world is changing, however, and more and more individuals are realizing that psychotropics are not the cure-all that the medical community would like us to believe they are.

      Thanks again.

      Live well,
      Max

  • Food Babe says:

    Max – Your speech is truly inspirational – I wish I had watched this years ago going through the same type of experience. Organic foods, Yoga, Meditation, Eliminating Refined Sugar, and Creating Loving Thoughts about yourself should be the first prescription offered by Doctors for depression. The world is changing – I feel a shift happening – keep up this powerful work Max! You are amazing!

    Vani (Food Babe)

  • Scott says:

    You must have delved deep into courage to make that speech! I have a friend who, since 1991, went from Wall Street brilliance and rock star status to a crumpled, pill-popping, expert in psycho pharmaceuticals in order to control his depression and mood. My advice to him: just stop for awhile. Stop the nonsense and drugs and see where you land. More people need to hear this valuable message! Good job!

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Scott,

      Thanks so much for your words. Much appreciated, and sorry to hear about your friend.

      It is very hard to stop these drugs and many, many people believe that there aren’t alternatives but there definitely are. Wait for the book next year!! It is coming soon.

      Live well,
      Max

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