Does heaven exist? With well over 100,000 plus recorded and described spiritual experiences collected over 15 years, to base the answer on, science can now categorically say yes. Furthermore, you can see the evidence for free on the website allaboutheaven.org.

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This book, which covers Visions and hallucinations, explains what causes them and summarises how many hallucinations have been caused by each event or activity. It also provides specific help with questions people have asked us, such as ‘Is my medication giving me hallucinations?’.

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Category: Medicines



Introduction and description


Most, if not practically all, anti-depressants pharmaceuticals are SSRIs.  SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs) are a class of compounds typically used in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, and some personality disorders.

They also have an extremely impressive record of producing hallucinations, visions, out of body experiences plus a host of other effects.

Reuptake inhibitors are man made or come from plants.  There are illegal drugs and legal drugs and by far the most prevalent are the legal ones from pharmaceutical companies – although they actually do the same thing as the illegal ones.


All aim to send whatever small amount of dopamine or serotonin we do have back into our system to stop us feeling glum. 

The thinking behind them is exceedingly simplistic - naive in fact. 

It is based on the belief that serotonin and dopamine of themselves somehow control happiness.  More sophisticated medical analysis, however, recognises that they are only message carriers and a far more sophisticated functional system exists.  The thinking is somewhat similar to a person noticing that a valentine card is used to send love letters and assuming that if you send hundreds of them it will produce love.

If you are lucky, then taking them may have a positive result because of the placebo effect.  In general, in controlled studies, they appear to do nothing either way...

OBJECTIVE:  To examine the risk of suicidal behavior (suicide attempts and deaths) associated with antidepressants in participants with bipolar I, bipolar II, and unipolar major depressive disorders.
DESIGN: A 27-year longitudinal (1981-2008) observational study of mood disorders ...was used to evaluate antidepressants and risk for suicidal behavior. ….. there was no evidence of either an increased or decreased risk with antidepressant exposure in unipolar disorder.  PMID:  25093469

but if you are unlucky, you will become addicted.



Many Reuptake Inhibitors are actually only temporary in action, because like the Release Agents, the body adjusts to their presence if they are there for any length of time, and often sends you back to where you were. This then leads to a need for an increase in dose. Withdrawal of any of the drugs can result in a craving of enormous proportions, thus we can treat all these as addictive.
"Due to their strong rewarding and reinforcing properties, DRIs are notorious for their high abuse potential and liability to cause cravings, addiction, and dependence. "[ Reference ;   LINK]

Pea. "Withdrawal Hell: An Experience with Duloxetine (Cymbalta) (ID 58611)". Erowid.org. Jan 6, 2007. erowid.org/exp/58611
I'm on attempt #2 to get off Cymbalta and have had to go to a psychiatrist to help me . Unfortunately his help in getting me off it hasn't worked yet.  What happens when I try to stop?

  • I couldn't drive because when I turn my head I get a 'brain shock' that could cause dizzyness, distraction, etc.  I would have a brain shock literally every 30 seconds to 1 minute apart.
  • Obvious nystagmus every few minutes
  • Twitchy facial sensations and muscle spasms in face.
  • Nightmares, electric shock (brain zaps) constantly
  • Terrible judgement and poor short term memory
  • Emotional freakouts that wind up from 1- 10 within minutes and then dissappear if i recognize them and intentionally bottle them up.
  • Extrememly debilitating nausea and diarrhea
  • Drooling, weakness, dizzy coupled with extreme anxiety

The first time I tried to get off it, I tapered over two months. … I almost lost my job (doctor-level position). …I had about two months of hell trying to get off it. I think i might donate some money to some organization this year that lobbies for more disclosure to patients about this shit because my dr who first prescribed it to me said 'Really? It causes vertigo in you? I am on it too and I get that too--I wonder what's up with that.' …. it feels way more … scary than the depression that caused me to go looking for an antidepressant.

If I use the analogy of the Valentine card, initially 100 Valentine cards may be impressive enough to have a short term effect, but in the long term if we don't love the sender, we don't love the sender, and we sink back into gloom.  If you don't address the cause, you get nowhere.

An online survey on causal beliefs about depression and experiences with antidepressants was completed by 1829 New Zealand adults prescribed anti-depressants in the preceding five years, 97.4% of whom proceeded to take antidepressants.  The most frequently endorsed of 17 causal beliefs were

  • family stress,
  • relationship problems,
  • loss of loved one,
  • financial problems,
  • isolation, and
  • abuse or neglect in childhood.

… The most strongly endorsed explanations for increases in antidepressant prescribing and use were reduced stigma and drug company marketing. The least strongly endorsed was 'Anti-depressants are the best treatment'. PMID:  25064809

The efficacy of SSRIs has been disputed for some time, but the debate has been dogged by bias.  A 2010 meta-analysis, for example, stated that:
"The magnitude of benefit of antidepressant medication compared with placebo ... may be minimal or nonexistent, on average, in patients with mild or moderate symptoms. For patients with very severe depression, the benefit of medications over placebo is substantial."
This analysis, however,  discarded a great majority of FDA-approved antidepressant studies, including those that used placebo washout periods typically used as controls.  As the drugs are addictive, they are potentially big sources of revenue for pharmaceutical companies and a number of studies on PubMed have been financed by the companies. 


Equally worrying is the fact that researchers do not, in truth, know what they do when they enter our bodies:

"SSRIs 'are believed to' [sic] increase the extracellular level of the neurotransmitter serotonin by inhibiting its reuptake into the presynaptic cell, increasing the level of serotonin in the synaptic cleft available to bind to the postsynaptic receptor. They are 'believed to' [sic] have varying degrees of selectivity for the other monoamine transporters, with pure SSRIs having only weak affinity for the noradrenaline and dopamine transporter. "


So they don't know.  And they don't know, despite the fact that SSRIs were the first class of drugs discovered using the process called 'rational drug design', a process that starts with a specific biological target and then creates a molecule designed to affect it. They are the most widely prescribed antidepressants in many countries.

More details can be found in the science section under SSRIs.


The following chart describes the side-effects in a simple graphic way, the figures come from a patient survey.  They are reasonably representative. 



The only major side-effect excluded from the list above is death, which presumably is not in the chart, because those who are dead tend not to reply to surveys. 

This LINK takes you to the eHealthme website with its impressive list of the pharmaceuticals causing death.  You will be able to see [using the names of the drugs] that SSRIs play their part.

In order to provide some idea of the figures for this ultimate spiritual experience, we have provide a CHART in the science section.  It provides a snapshot of the number of deaths caused by the main anti-depressants [not all are listed].  The figures come from eHealthme, were compiled from the Adverse Drug reports submitted by doctors to the FDA and SEDA and only apply to the USA, thus the figures for the rest of the world are not known.  As at mid August 2015, the number was



How it works

Why do we get hallucinations, visions, out of body experiences, near death experiences and other effects - including synaesthesia - from these drugs?

It may be helpful to know that serotonin is also found in psilocybin mushrooms and DMT as well as a number of other 'illegal' drugs.  Thus to a large extent taking SSRIs is little different from  Taking drugs.

In simplistic terms, the spiritual experiences come when the body perceives the intake of the drug to be a threat.

In the end all the effects are being caused by Serotonin imbalance - on a very major scale.  I urge you to read this section, as it covers both the problems and effects in total and the implications.

SSRIs at high doses are probably regarded by the body as a major threat and one which compromises its own Serotonin balance. Thus the Will is likely to indeed perform the early stages of a near-death like experience in which Memory and Reason are subjugated and the Will lets the autonomic system fight for its survival. As the Will lets go, the Composer steps in.  At high doses there would be ego-death - and death!

References and further reading

  • EROWID - A good collection of articles about SSRIs is to be found on the EROWID site
  • J Clin Psychiatry. 2014 Jul;75(7):720-7. doi: 10.4088/JCP.13m08744.  Risk of suicidal behavior with antidepressants in bipolar and unipolar disorders.  Leon AC, Fiedorowicz JG, Solomon DA, Li C, Coryell WH, Endicott J, Fawcett J, Keller MB1.
  • J Affect Disord. 2014 Oct 15;168:236-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2014.06.010. Epub 2014 Jun 24.  Beliefs of people taking antidepressants about causes of depression and reasons for increased prescribing rates.  Read J, Cartwright C, Gibson K, Shiels C, Haslam N. - Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, University of Liverpool ; School of Psychology, University of Auckland, New Zealand;  School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia.


The table below summarises the figures in the observations and provides you with a feeling for just how effective these drugs are at giving you an hallucination or similar.  All the figures were correct as at mid 2010,  They come from the eHealthme website and a link is provided to this site for each drug so you can get not only up-to-date-figures, but also details of the side-effects of each drug as experienced by patients and reprted to SEDA and the FDA. 

Doctors appear to be more successful than illegal drug vendors at being a source of experiences, nearly 7,200 experiences is impressive by any standards.

Observation no

Drug Name

No of hallucinations





















































Fluvoxamine (Luvox)



Effexor [or Efexor] and Effexor Xr



Viibryd / Vilazodone





  • Alaproclate (GEA-654) - was a research chemical that was being developed as an antidepressant in the 1970s. It was a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), and along with zimelidine and indalpine, was one of the first of its kind. Development was discontinued due to the observation of liver complications.
  • Dapoxetine,  - marketed as Priligy and Westoxetin 30 mg , (among and other brands), is being marketed for  premature ejaculation (PE) in men 18–64 years old.  It is an SSRI and was initially created as an antidepressant. However, due to its ‘fast acting property’ it was decided to market it for PE but not as an antidepressant.  Dapoxetine has been sold in several European and Asian countries, and lately in Mexico, but has not been approved  in the US.  It appears to being used ‘recreationally’ already.
  • Femoxetine (Malexil, FG-4963) is a drug related to paroxetine that was being developed as an antidepressant. It functions as an SSRI. Development was halted to focus attention on paroxetine instead.
  • Ifoxetine (CGP-15,210-G) was an SSRI which was investigated as an antidepressant in the 1980s but was never marketed.
  • Indalpine (Upstène, LM-5008) was an SSRI antidepressant  discovered in 1977 and one of the first on the market. After zimelidine had been withdrawn soon after its marketing in 1983 due to its association with  Guillain–Barré syndrome, and the reported association between indalpine and hemotological effects,  indalpine was “abruptly taken off the market”.
  • Omiloxetine was an SSRI anti-depressant that was under development until 2005, when its development was ceased.
  • Panuramine (Wy-26,002) was an SSRI antidepressant which was synthesized but was never marketed.
  • Pirandamine (AY-23,713) was an SSRI anti-depressant a investigated in the 1970s as a potential antidepressant but clinical development was not commenced.
  • Zimelidine (Zimeldine, Normud, Zelmid) was an SSRI and an antihistamine with antidepressant activity. Zimelidine was first sold in 1982.  It was removed from the market after it was found to be one cause of Guillain-Barré syndrome

Related observations