Peer-Support Groups Were Right, Guidelines Were Wrong: Dr. Mark Horowitz on Tapering Off Antidepressants
In an interview with MIA, Dr. Horowitz discusses his recent article on why tapering off antidepressants can take months or even years.
After long-term use, most people are going to have serious symptoms when stopping SSRIs. Many people are going to have transient, mild to moderate difficulty and some are going to end up falling down the akathisia rabbit hole. That is a long, difficult drop.
Nobody told me what it would be like when I first stopped taking antidepressants. The worst is definitely over, but I’m still experiencing some lingering side effects. When the hyper-arousal to sights and sounds kicks in and my head starts buzzing, I’ve learned some ways to cope.
If I thought that it was possible, I would have opened a string of clinics all over the country to help get people off of antidepressants. Unfortunately, the problems that sometimes occur when people try to stop an SSRI antidepressant are much more severe and long-lasting than the medical profession acknowledges, and there is no antidote to these problems. The truth is, giving people information about taking antidepressants is like giving information to people who are enroute to a casino; they go because they hear that some people win (at least for a time), but the losers are the ones who ultimately pay for it all — and the odds are not in their favor.
The conventional wisdom is that antidepressant medications are effective and safe. However, the scientific literature shows that the conventional wisdom is flawed. While all prescription medications have side effects, antidepressant medications appear to do more harm than good as treatments for depression.
During the past twenty years, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and American psychiatry have adopted a "medicalized" approach to preventing suicide, claiming that antidepressants are protective against suicide. Yet, the suicide rate in the United States has increased 30% since 2000, a time of rising usage of antidepressants. A review of studies of the effects of mental health treatment and antidepressants on suicide reveals why this medicalized approach has not only failed, but pushed suicide rates higher.
Robin Williams had "therapeutic" levels of the tetra-cyclic antidepressant mirtazapine in his blood at the time of his suicide, according to the coroner's report...
In the first systematic review of withdrawal problems that patients experience when trying to get off SSRI antidepressant medications, researchers found that withdrawing from SSRIs was comparable to trying to quit addictive benzodiazepines.
A new article in Lancet Psychiatry finds that slower tapering of SSRIs is better for preventing antidepressant withdrawal effects.
Multiple media sources are reporting on new data from the CDC revealing a substantial increase in the suicide rate in the United States between 1999...
Disturbingly, our study and others reveal that the black box warning is now ignored in many countries, since antidepressant prescriptions for children are on the rise again. Despite increasing certainty that antidepressants are ineffective and likely cause suicidal behavior in young people, psychiatry continues to claim that they reduce suicide risk.
What do you do when the media reports stories of children who have killed themselves on SSRIs? Position the stories of these children, not the drugs they were taking, as a suicide risk. Warn that more children will die if mouthy parents are allowed to speak and upstart journalists are allowed to report. And then position psychiatrists as the only people who can talk about suicide without producing an epidemic of self inflicted deaths.
My heart goes out to anyone experiencing withdrawal, but especially those who are so ill they can’t work and are struggling to navigate a heartless and cynical ‘benefits’ system. Their only crime is to have experienced difficulty from a prescribed treatment, yet they are treated as medical pariahs.
What if I told you that, in 6 decades of research, the serotonin (or norepinephrine, or dopamine) theory of depression and anxiety - the claim that “Depression is a serious medical condition that may be due to a chemical imbalance, and Zoloft works to correct this imbalance” - has not achieved scientific credibility? You’d want some supporting arguments for this shocking claim. So, here you go:
The man who deliberately crashed a Germanwings commercial airliner with 150 passengers aboard was actively in psychiatric treatment at the time, reported the New...
The New York Times reports that the "baffling" rise in suicide rates in the U.S. military is not correlated to deployment, as is often...
When the CDC released data revealing an increasing suicide rate in the US, some experts, speaking to major media outlets, speculated that the increase...
By 2011, anyone who read the scientific literature would have known that children cannot tolerate SSRIs and should not be given them. Neither Conrad nor Michelle seemed to have been warned about the common adverse effects (such as nightmares and compulsive suicidality) of the SSRI antidepressants they were on.
Revealing the false information provided about psychiatry should cause any thinking person, patient, thought-leader or politician to wonder: “how many otherwise normal or potentially curable people over the last half century of psych drug propaganda have actually been mis-labeled as mentally ill (and then mis-treated) and sent down the convoluted path of therapeutic misadventures – heading toward oblivion?”
A new study suggests that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may halve the likelihood of re-attempting suicide, for those who have attempted in the past.
After a meta-analysis of RCTs of antidepressants was published in Lancet, psychiatry stated that it proved that "antidepressants" work. However, effectiveness studies of real-world patients reveal the opposite: the medications increase the likelihood that patients will become chronically depressed, and disabled by the disorder.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (such as Prozac and Zoloft) are the most commonly prescribed medication for depression. SSRIs have long been associated with an...
Effects of discontinuing SSRIs and SNRIs reported on an online forum indicate significant and long-lasting withdrawal symptoms.
From 1999 to 2012 the percentage of Americans on antidepressants increased from 6.8% to 13%, according to a report published this week by the...
A new review, published in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, concludes that antidepressants should not be used as the risks outweigh evidence for benefits.