The Families Who Say Pills for Depression Led Their Children to Take Their Lives

In the Daily Mail, a recent story by Katinka Blackford Newman addresses both the research linking antidepressants with suicide and the efforts by grieving parents to call for clearer warnings of such drugs’ risks: 

“All grief can cause complex feelings — but losing someone to suicide comes with a particular sense of agonising regret, powerlessness and unanswered questions.

The knowledge that a prescription drug might be the cause can only exacerbate that pain, particularly if the prescribed drugs in question are antidepressants — pills that are supposed to prevent people from feeling suicidal.

Tania and Ian Morgan, from Swansea, lost their 25-year-old son, Sam, when he killed himself in January 2020. They believe his death was caused by an adverse reaction to an antidepressant. . . . 

A significant piece of research published in April, in the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, raises doubts as to the efficacy of antidepressants, as well as adding to concerns that these pills may increase suicide.

The study looked at nearly 8,000 reports from coroners’ inquests in England and Wales between 2003 and 2020 where antidepressants were mentioned and found that around half of the deaths were definitively ruled to be suicides.

The study author, John Read, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of East London, concluded: ‘We do not know in how many cases the problems for which the drugs were prescribed contributed to the deaths. Nor can we tell in how many of the 7,829 cases that antidepressants contributed to the deaths.

“’We can say, however, that antidepressants failed to lift the depression sufficiently to prevent these deaths.’”

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