More Discussion of Antidepressant Withdrawal Effects


On The Mental Elf, forensic psychiatrist Andrew Shepherd reviews in detail a recent study and journal editorial on withdrawal effects from coming off antidepressant drugs.

The study was previously reported by Mad in America.

“Both articles use the term ‘withdrawal’ over ‘discontinuation’ advisedly,” writes Shepherd. “Fava and colleagues argue that the increasing recent adoption of the term discontinuation is an artefact, at least partially owing to the interest of the pharmaceutical industry, and an emphasis on suggesting that antidepressants do not induce addiction or dependence. The idea of discontinuation symptoms can also be seen as underplaying the severity of these events.”

“I am particularly concerned by the lack of evidence to suggest that my own practice of gradual discontinuation over a period of weeks to months is no guarantee against preventing these effects,” comments Shepherd. “More research is desperately needed in order that we can adequately grapple with this issue.”

Antidepressant withdrawal syndromes: time to grasp the nettle? (The Mental Elf, March 23, 2015)


  1. Meanwhile, going on and off of them is something to do when all else fails, as we can see. Since they only work as distractions (Kirsch) and some mediated difference to consciousness is better than none (human history). I wouldn’t advise it, though, except for bulking up on diary entries.

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