Phil Lawrence of Minnesota, United States is a film-maker. He is also a patient that has been affected by Paxil [UK brand name, Seroxat]
For some time now Phil has been documenting his horrific time withdrawing from Paxil.
That process has finally come to fruition.
His film, Numb, documents his drastic effects on his physical and psychological well-being after giving up his medications in his quest to stop feeling “numb.” It also reveals the impact his journey had on his family as well as revealing startling information about antidepressants that the pharmaceutical industry doesn’t want you to know.
The Minneapolis Saint Paul International Film Festival is giving 'Numb' it's first screening today. They write:
Phil always wanted to feel emotion and now he feels it too much. It’s painful and riveting to watch a man’s life unravel on video. But it is also incredibly compelling because so many of us know someone whose life has been touched by antidepressants and we understand the dilemma..
In the end, Phil makes a haunting decision as he realizes that he’s trapped in a physical and psychological dependence on the most prescribed drug in the United States
This from the Numb Press Kit:
The documentary begins as filmmaker and suburban dad Phil Lawrence cracks open his pill box and cuts his antidepressant Paxil in half. Under a doctor’s guidance, Phil is weaning himself off the drug and is looking forward to getting back to the day when he can feel emotion instead of feeling numb. He tells his kids what he’s doing and his wife is supportive but skeptical. Over the next few weeks, Lawrence continues to cut back, but withdrawal symptoms emerge. The first is a slight headache and constant ringing in his head. Later the symptoms get more severe. He can’t sleep and he sleeps too much. He struggles with wild emotional swings filled with rage and thoughts of violence. Phil’s relationship with his wife and family becomes strained as he continues to spiral out of control. He attempts to find alternatives to his discomfort through diet and exercise, but the withdrawal symptoms are too severe. His wife thinks she may have lost the man she loved. Phil is moody and exhausted. He can’t even muster the energy to play with his kids on Christmas day. While going through withdrawal, Phil decides to find out how and why he got addicted to antidepressants. He interviews experts all over the country who confirm that the drug companies knew years ago that antidepressants were addictive. He goes to hearings on Capitol Hill where dozens of people testify that their loved ones lost control under the spell of antidepressants. He also uncovers documents that confirm what Phil suspected: the drug companies hid the facts from the public. When we see Phil on day 120, he’s suicidal and terrified. Phil always wanted to feel emotion and now he feels it too much. You cheer for him to keep going and at the same time you secretly hope he gives up. It’s painful and riveting to watch a man’s life unravel on video. But it is also incredibly compelling because so many of us know someone whose life has been touched by antidepressants and we understand the dilemma. In the end, Phil makes a haunting decision as he realizes that he’s trapped in a physical and psychological dependence on the most prescribed drug in the United States.
There is an emotional clip of the movie HERE [You will need Quick Time to view it]
The home page for Phil's new 72 minute documentary is HERE
It gets its première today at The Minneapolis Saint Paul International Film Festival
Saturday, April 24, 2010 - 1:15pm.
This is certainly one film that I will be keeping an eye on and one that I will be itching to see.
No doubt it will have GlaxoSmithKline and their highly paid law teams quivering.
Phil, this blog salutes you. Cometh the man, cometh the hour.
Phil can be contacted via this page.
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'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman
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