Stopping Antidepressants: Exploring the Patient’s Experience


From the Royal College of Psychiatrists: “Professor Wendy Burn, old-age psychiatrist and the immediate past President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (2017-20), discusses the challenges of stopping antidepressants with an expert by experience, James [Moore]. James experienced panic attacks, lethargy and extreme discomfort whilst tapering his doses of antidepressants.

They also discuss the College’s new patient information resource on stopping antidepressants and what more is needed to better support patients.”

Podcast →


  1. “. We know that antidepressants can help relieve the symptoms of more severe forms of depression and are helpful for many people, but they don’t work for everyone and they do come with some side effects and some risks. One of these is it can be very challenging for some people to stop taking them. While some people can do so relatively quickly with no significant side effects, others can develop distressing withdrawal symptoms if they stop using them too quickly.

    Our new information acknowledges this in a way that our previous information did not do enough. The college just felt it was important to do this for some time now.”

    “Acknowledges”? Sorry but the only time psychiatry changes is through constant pressure and complaints. When they can see that they are in a corner. BUT even then, they simply might print an “acknowledgement” here and there, but inside the system absolutely nothing changes. It’s lip service and mostly people are painted as unhappy customers.
    Perhaps Wendy talks nice when it’s a podcast.
    Perhaps ALL clients should make podcasts. Record each visit, each script. Have every word on record.
    And Wendy says that she spoke to Canadian shrinks who were not all aware of these issues. Should uninformed shrinks really be practicing? As soon as they admit to not knowing the dangers or issues, they should be removed. And IF they ignore the issues and do not inform, they should be removed due to malpractice.
    As it is, psychiatrists are not qualified doctors and so we do not need them anymore. GP’s and Md’s have prescribing rights. There are no valuable “diagnosis” within psychiatry and a GP could simply write to the insurance company that their patient suffers from being down in the dumps, or from fear. Done. No need for shrinks.

    And thanks James for the podcast. It’s rather shameful that the strips were made out of donations. Much needed for proper health, yet not supported, which tells us a lot. And thank god for websites that acknowledge, validate, and help those who know they are ingesting poisons.

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  2. I thought that it was interesting that James problems came to a head when the government instituted an austerity programme which presumably put him under pressure at work. That psychiatry is a way of diverting from political and economic problems is evudenced by this story.

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  3. I’m glad the British psychiatrists are starting to take antidepressant withdrawal seriously. It is shameful, however, that the American psychiatric and psychological organizations are not. Instead, at least based upon my experience, they misdiagnose the common withdrawal effects of the antidepressants as “bipolar.”

    It’s a shame this disclaimer was taken out of the DSM5.

    “Note: Manic-like episodes that are clearly caused by somatic antidepressant treatment (e.g., medication, electroconvulsive therapy, light therapy) should not count toward a diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder.”

    Since removing that disclaimer will only result in more iatrogenic harm to Americans. Although many American psychologists and psychiatrists were apparently not intelligent enough to read that disclaimer, back when it was listed in the DSM-IV-TR, since America has an iatrogenic, largely antidepressant induced, “bipolar epidemic.”

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