I'm Pam and this is my story: 

In an attempt to try and fix an ailing marriage I was coaxed on to Paxil in 2001 for what my now exhusband claimed to be social anxiety disorder (SAD).  It was prescribed by a general practitioner, not a psychiatrist.  I was however seeing a therapist for the marriage issues.

I soon developed problems sleeping, severe anxiety, building pressure and akathesia, paranoia, emotional outbursts and progressively worse ability to make healthy decisions.  When I say healthy decisions I mean self-destructive behavior toward myself that obviously affected my family.  As the deterioration progressed I began to feel as though I was no longer speaking the same language as everyone else because when I would try and explain how or why I did something they would chastise me and become angry at me. They told me what I was doing was wrong… I knew better. There was NOTHING wrong with what I was doing and these people were all just against me. Surely what I was telling them didn’t mean the same thing to them as it did to me or they would be agreeing with me.

This behavior eventually led to my overdose on the paxil.  I was then put under the supervision of a psychiatrist who then prescribed a different medication (from another company) and removed me completely (cold turkey) from the Paxil. 

I continued to deteriorate on the new medication and my therapist told me that she felt the medication was poisoning my system. My psychiatrist didn’t agree and refused to talk to my therapist since she obviously didn’t see or understand the progress.

On Sept 9, 2001, I put a .357 under my chin and pulled the trigger.  Obviously I survived. 

I spoke in front of the FDA on February 2, 2004 and was the only suicide survivor to speak.  We were able to achieve the placement of the “black box” that warns of suicide ideation in children and young adults… but I’m here to tell you… at 41 years old… it didn’t make any different how old you were. These drugs alter how we process, think, feel and then act.  These drugs are not the miracle that the pharmaceutical companies would like us all to believe.