Memory Loss Prozac & Two Other Antidepressants 2010-03-12 Canada Man Loses Memory on Antidepressants: Possibly Permanent: Writes a Book

http://web.archive.org/web/20130202030735/http://ssristories.com/show.php?item=4038

Summary:

Paragraphs 10 through 14 read:  "Watson describes his own negative experiences with anti-depressant and anti-anxiety  drugs when he was hospitalized, including Prozac, Antivan, Elivil and Mogodan.

The drugs not only didn't help his depression, they had side effects, he says.

"I came out of hospital with depression ­ plus brain-memory damage, rubber legs, no sleep for three weeks, slow plumbing and no sex drive."

Working with a herbalist Watson has put everything but his memory back in working order. But the memory problem, he fears, is permanent.

"Now when I do my speeches, I have to keep my notes handy," he says.

        

http://www.communitypress.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2489396


Retired teacher discovered egoism at root of depression

Posted By Mark Hoult

Havelock writer and public speaker Murray C. Watson holds his recently published books, If Only Sleep Would Last Forever and Smiles, Wisdom and Encouragement. Photo by Mark Hoult/Community Press

Havelock-Belmont-Methuen – When Murray C. Watson was hospitalized for depression in the early summer of 1993 he "hit bottom," as the Havelock writer and public speaker says in his recently published book, If Only Sleep Would Last Forever.

And during the time he spent in a Toronto hospital looking up from the depths of his illness he didn't envision himself ever writing a book about depression that would suggest adding the traditional wisdom of literature and religious scriptures to the list of chemical and rehabilitative treatments prescribed by psychologists and psychiatrists.

But in If Sleep Would Only Last Forever, the 69-year-old retired teacher combines his wide-ranging reading with the lessons learned from his own bouts with depression to provide, as the sub-title says, Help for Depression and Anxiety for One Who's Been There.

"I wanted to share different ways that sufferers could approach depression, and the approach I highlight is a traditional ancient non-drug therapy that It first found in the Book of Job," he says.

It was in this Biblical story that Watson saw clearly a theme that runs through all Western literature. And it comes in a single line near the end of the book: "And God turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends." In other words Job, who had lost his family, his livelihood and his health, still managed to pray for and think about other people.

"He took his eyes off himself and his self-preoccupation, and thought of the needs of others," says Watson, who believes that this turning away from the egoism that seems to come so naturally to humans plays a key role in the lifting of depression.

"Don't spend today on yourself; think about others and try to serve their needs. That's what keeps a person out of depression, I think."

In If Only Sleep Would Last Forever, Watson doesn't reject the usual medical therapies, although he delves into the continuing debate over the effectiveness of drug therapy. For example, the most common anti-depressants regulate the levels of serotonin, the so-called "happy chemical," in the brain. But, "does the reduction in available serotonin cause the drop in mood, or does the drop in mood cause the reduction in serotonin?" he asks in the book.

Watson describes his own negative experiences with anti-depressant and anti-anxiety  drugs when he was hospitalized, including Prozac, Antivan, Elivil and Mogodan.

The drugs not only didn't help his depression, they had side effects, he says.

"I came out of hospital with depression ­ plus brain-memory damage, rubber legs, no sleep for three weeks, slow plumbing and no sex drive."

Advertisement

Working with a herbalist Watson has put everything but his memory back in working order. But the memory problem, he fears, is permanent.

"Now when I do my speeches, I have to keep my notes handy," he says.

Watson says he isn't advising anyone who is being helped by antidepressants to stop taking the drugs. He simply stresses other ways "over and above the drugs" of dealing with depression: exercise, diet, breathing exercises and, of course, attempting to escape the trap of self-centredness.

Watson also had his lifelong love of reading to help him. And he's "a long-time collector of notes and quotes."

He added many of the relevant collected quotations to If Only Sleep Would Last Forever, bringing the words of Shakespeare, George MacDonald, Mark Twain, Cicero, Einstein, Gandhi, Charlotte Bronte and many others to bear on the problem of depression.

Watson does the same in his other recently published book, Smiles, Wisdom and Encouragement: Quotations with Personal Commentary to Lift Your Life. It contains hundreds of quotations culled from Watson's reading, including words from such lofty sources as Socrates, who observed, "Beauty is something that slips in and permeates our souls."

There are also quotes from less lofty but no less acute sources, including Yogi Berra, who said, "You can observe a lot just by watching," and W.C. Fields, who observed, "Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."

Watson remembers beginning to keep a special notebook to record "snippets of writing that caught my interest" when he was a 21-year first-year teacher in a two-room elementary school in Marlbank, east of Tweed. And over the years he assembled "a massive collection" of what he describes as primarily inspirational writings that he decided needed to be somehow culled and put into book form. But it wasn't until he read similar collection by Toronto doctor Alvin Pettle that he decided how he would put his book together. And so Smiles, Wisdom and Encouragement turned out to be "an end result of everything I've read, a distilled version," Watson says.

Watson, who says he has been writing "as long as I can remember," taught English and physical education before retiring to his farm north of Havelock, where he continues writing both books and the speeches that he is becoming well-known for making to students and community organizations.

He says he has wanted to become a public speaker ever since he read a book on the subject at the age of 10. But shyness and self-consciousness prevented him from realizing the dream until later in life.

Joining Toastmasters in Peterborough, Watson learned to speak effectively in public, giving his first speech to a Grade 9 class at Norwood District High School. Now he is an experienced public speaker, whose speeches, full of "poetry, humour, encouragement and wisdom," reflect the inspirational nature of his books.

Watson demonstrated his speaking skills a year ago by placing second at the Toastmasters Area 43 International Speech Contest held in Peterborough.

If Only Sleep Would Last Forever and Smiles, Wisdom and Encouragement are published by Heidy Lawrence Associates in Toronto and are available from Murray C. Watson. He can be contacted at murray@speakingtoinspire.com.
Article ID# 2489396