Thursday, November 7, 2013

What I've Survived Helps Define Me

I was hospitalized for 6 days, with acute, paralyzing depression in Jan. 1999. On discharge, I was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder and later I was diagnosed bipolar I. I was prescribed Klonopin at the time of hospitalization and I took it for 14 years.  I attended a weekly support group whose mantra was “Always Take Your Medication--even when you feel better…”  So I did.  But, I kept getting worse.

Two months ago, a new psychiatrist told me how bad Klonopin was for me and took me off of it. I am still going through withdrawals. No longer trusting psychiatry, I went online to try and heal myself with diet and supplements. I took myself off the Wellbutrin and Lithium, too. While recovering, I've been reading about the side-effects of Klonopin. I honestly believe I was misdiagnosed.  I believe my depressions and rages, over the last 14 years, were caused by the Klonopin. I had five different psychiatrists over 14 years. They did not ask why I was prescribed Klonopin or how long I had been on it. They just renewed it.  My mood has been totally stable since I stopped my medication, though I've been physically as sick as a dog.

I am a wife, mother and grandmother. I have been an R.N. for 30 years. I lost my career (and 6-figure salary) and most of my friends. I now have panic attacks, one after another, as a result of brain damage, which I’m hoping is not permanent. It is an ordeal for me to leave just my house.

Is it possible I was misdiagnosed and mistreated for 14 years?! I think so. I believe Klonopin tarnished 14 years of my life. I don't want anyone else to suffer as I have.  I’d like to keep telling my story in a responsible manner.


  1. Yes, please DO keep telling your story. Doing so may well save lives. I applaud you!

    1. Thank you for your kind comment. I truly appreciate it.

  2. It's now been 3 years since stopping the psychiatric medication I was given. I am feeling great--no more mood swings. Fighting anxiety from discontinuation syndrome, I weight-train 4x/week at the gym. Looking forward to practicing nursing again in the future!