Chantix Almost Killed Me

I write this four days after what I refer to, lovingly, as The Great Psychotic Episode. I'm smoking again. I've decided to take my chances with the cigarettes for now as opposed to taking the chances Chantix provided.

I started taking Chantix 2 weeks ago; I thought I was fine.

Sure there were some "out of character" performances; both when I was asleep and awake. My adult children mentioned that I was more "incredible" than usual. I was certainly more chatty; everything was something to be laughed at. I was more outgoing, more cocky, more easily provoked, but that, I thought, could be explained by the fact that I had taken this giant step of confidence.

A routine stop at the local 7-11 produced a verbal response from my 20 year old son....  "Mom, you're nuts". A normal comment, but abnormal considering I couldn't think of a thing I had said or done that warranted such a response, still, he continued for almost a week talking about the 7-11 incident, and I kept questioning what I could have possibly done or said.  (I still don't know - and he still won't tell me, he just looks at me with a look of surprise). Then there were the responses from my best friend " Oh my god, you need to breathe"....  What? Why?  I felt fine. And finally from my husband "Baby, it's okay, stop fretting, it'll be alright".  What in the world was wrong with all these people around me? 

Meanwhile, the dreams, which seemed visceral and lucid continued. The dreams had a life of their own, and they MEANT something, each one linked to the last. Continuously I dreamed of being forced to take control and continuously I awoke angry because I already had enough on my plate; how dare life demand more of me right now. Yet every night, in the few moments I slept, the dreams were back; finally one night when I knew I hadn't fallen asleep yet, the most vivid dream of all came.... there were no actions in the dream, there were no people or objects, there was no setting,  there were only 'knowings'.......   

One knowing after the other washed over me. I was kidding myself that my husband really did love me, how could he. I was kidding myself that my children cared even an ounce about me. I was a fool for thinking I was ever even remotely attractive or smart or competent.   I was kidding myself that I make or had ever made any real contribution to my own life. 

For three nights the "Knowing Dreams" continued.

The bouts of anger were worsening. The chattiness was growing incessant, the mood swings were become more and more frequent and more and more drastic.

It wasn't until 3 days ago that reality came to light.... my best friend, my husband and my children have been . telling me that I haven't been myself... then the explosion of aggression came and right behind that came the 4 hour blind drive west. I literally, in a blind hold of something I couldn't describe or control, got into my car and drove. My car was heading west, but my mind was on a southward spiral, and I had no desire to control it. I was over 300 miles from home when I finally stopped.

Parts of the drive are still very vague, but what is clear is that the aggression I was feeling was driving me while I was driving my car.... I was running for dear life, I was running to keep from hurting my children, I was running away to commit suicide.

Four long hours after the initial explosion, I stopped just shy of the Texas/Mexico border and asked for directions to the nearest, best, out of the way road to the Rio Grande River. However delusional, however scary, in spite of the fact I'm terrified of rivers, it was my intention to drive my car off the  first cliff I could find. Thelma and Louise played in my head and I desperately wanted that last leap of glee before the end.

The only thing that snapped me out of it, even momentarily, was the sight of my husband's face popping up on my cell phone; he was sending me a text/picture of himself as he sat at home, over 300 miles away, worried and scared and crying. Text after text had come into my phone, time after time it had rang, and time and again I turned the radio in my car louder to drown out the noise of the ringing reminder of what amounted to a very sad life (or so my mind told me).

Almost 10 hours after The Great Psychotic Episode had begun, I finally relented to the pleas of my husband and children. I finally answered one of the calls. I spoke briefly with my husband. My only intention was to inform him that I would not be coming home, careful to hide why. After an hour of begging and crying, he convinced me to turn around. 

I got a ticket on the way home that night. An expensive, yet affordable, reminder of what Chantix had done for me.

Chantix almost killed me.

I'll have to find another way to quit smoking.

What's even crazier than all of this is that I still want to take the Chantix. Almost like an addiction... I want it, and I resent it being taken away from me. It was my last hope (in my mind)..... yet that's the problem right now, isn't it. My mind and Chantix;  apparently a deadly combination. I still can't shake the feeling of dread, suicide and desperation. I  don't want to be psychotic or dead.  Those are two things that are NOT worth the health benefits of quitting smoking.


PaceMyself PaceMyself
12 Responses Mar 13, 2009

Yes, Chantix is insane. You do not need these crazy drugs-or the cigarettes. Most people find it impossible to quit or they get sucked back into the habit even after quitting for a while. I usually just tell them that they have the best chance of giving up smoke not by quiting or with drugs, but by going with an alternative. It's a change of perspective -don't quit -switch. Smokers should use modified electronic cigarettes-no not the disposable-the long term devices only. Vape with only high tech, modified electronic cigarettes. Cheaper than cigs, no smoke for your lungs anymore, lots of different flavors....devices are even rechargable. My husband smoked for 22 years and hasnt missed a tradtional cigarettes in the last 2 years he has been vaping. This is smoking of the future, google jvmodshop and check out my profile, it is an alternative smoke shop. You can have your habit and enjoy it too. :) here is a fun video to check out even.

Chantix messed me up big times. I took it and then went through a period of taking all sorts of different medications for the depression I now had. I had homicidal and suicidal thoughts going too. I would rather die of a horrific case of lung cancer than to take this medication again.

I would also guess that there are underlying mental health issues for most people to have noticed mood swings. I took Chantix and quit after smoking for over 20 years. I felt great while taking it only I had to take it with good because it would make me "irpy" if not. Sorry, I can't relate to the dramatic stories. I wish everyone the best of luck in quitting smoking.

I took chantix for a little while, it totally messed up my life. I went from this good christian woman to a very angry person. Wound up commiting adultery, and went out of my mind. I also went into my very first manic Bipolar episode. I took it with celexa. I hate my life now and dont know what to do about it. I was very angry and irriactional. Do Not take this product.....

Hello, Please read this:<br />
About 3 yrs. ago I stopped on a dime with no withdrawal pangs at all. Not one ! I read a book<br />
titled: THE EASY WAY TO STOP SMOKING by Allen Carr. $14.99 at B&N. No scare tatics, just a fantastic about of common sense and reality. After 2 yrs. of being smoke free, I smoked a couple of cigs. during the time we watched my 2 brother-in-laws in the hospital dying. Very stressful. Of course, one let to another and so on.<br />
<br />
I have just started today on Chantix today. I am very uneasy after reading all of the above notes. Do I continue on Chantix? Should I stop if a family member tells me I am not acting<br />
rationally and will the night mares above stop immediately. Two family member took Chantix and had no ill effects ! I have read stories of others with no side effects. I am so worried and trying to make a decision. I have read the above book again but not getting the same affect. Your input please.

Hi I just wanted to tell you i would love to talk to youo personally because THIS IS ME TO A TEE... THIS IS WHAT I WENT THREW BUT MY EXPERENCE WITH CHANTIX NOW HAS PUT ME TO BEING BI-POLOR 1. I now can't deal with life, I can't hold a job( which i had a job i LOVE for 4 1/2 years that i was planning on retiring from) but now my family life is so messed up that My love for my wife is gone after all this, ( When i loved my wife with everything I had), Its rocked my world and i was put into a Physc unit for 3 weeks, and didn't even know that i was really even there. But the sad thing is It ( the manic epoidose) last for about lasted from Aug. 2009 - til Marech 2010 and just until a couple months ago i was starting to comprehinde that things were messed up... I just wanted to say " Thank You for Putting is on here" It made me think about what i went threw and made me even more realize that They screwed up my life... Thank you so much and God Bless you, Matt

hi new here I' m really not myself been on chantix for 3 mo now since Fri. feel very sad hopeless want to cry but scream at the same time My daughter that lives with me with her 2 yr old daughter just came in and told me she lost her job no support from babys daddy i just want to curl up in a ball and well not die but perhaps wake up in a different life/

Thank G-D you are alive. You and your family are very lucky. I am writing letters to the FDA, AMA and every Congressman and Senator concerning the dangers of Chantix. When I am done composing them, I am emailing the letters to many friends, so they can also send them. This has got to STOP.

Pacemyself,<br />
<br />
WOW! Everything you mentioned about the people around you?? I am only on my second day of taking chantix. Everything & anything that my husband or son says to me sends me through the roof. I feel like the people around me "aren't normal". The taste that I have in my mouth is so putrid, that I barely have smoked in 2 days. I am just afraid how, my surroundings will be when I move to the higher doses??? I want to quit, but I don't want to screw up my mind. I have NEVER had any kind of mind/depression problems EVER nor do I want them!

On September 15, 2008, at 7:40 am, I found my only child, Danielle, age 32, dead in her bed. The "Medical Professional" that gave her Chantix, knowing full well that she was mentally ill, prescribed and taking - Risperdal 1 mg twice a day <br />
Zolpidem 10 mg per day <br />
Doxepin 150 mg per day <br />
Clonazepam 1 mg - twice a day <br />
Depakote Er 500 mg tablets x 3 at bedtime<br />
It was truly a Deadly Cocktail and Chantix was the major contributor to her suicide.<br />
All branches of the US Military and the FAA have banned the use of Chantix. Due to Atrocious Medical Personnel and Pfizer Pharmaceutical, I am a Childless Mother. There is a great blog site - Chantix Sucks.

I'm on my 14th day and it does get easier I hardly think about it now...except after meal times.Try eating a piece of fruit everytime you want a smoke..its workin for of luck to you!

Nice story! Edge of my seat.<br />
Never heard of Chantix, before.<br />
I recommend leaving the first smoke of the day slightly later each day, just repeating the previous day's success, and still getting a smoke after the 1st smoke time comes around. It just gets a few minutes later each day. Keep trying and don't give up.