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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There is mounting evidence that benzodiazepines are causing Alzheimer's Disease. I cannot imagine any genuine medical specialty ignoring or downplaying information of this sort. But psychiatry, with the perennial defensiveness of those with something to hide, promotes the idea that they are safe when used for short periods, knowing full well that a huge percentage of users become "hooked" after a week or two, and stay on the drugs indefinitely.
Millions of patients find themselves caught in the web of psychiatric sorcery - a spell cast, hexed, potentially for life. They are told that they have chemical imbalances. They are told that the most important thing they can do for themselves is to "take their medication," and that they will have to do so "for life." Most egregiously, patients are sold the belief that medication is treating their disease rather than inducing a drug effect no different than alcohol or cocaine. That antidepressants and antipsychotics, for example, have effects like sedation or blunting of affect, is not a question. That these effects are reversible after long-term exposure is.
The use of antidepressants has increased substantially in recent years, yet relatively few studies have asked patients about their experiences with these drugs. A...
The New Yorker's story on Laura Delano and psychiatric drug withdrawal is a glass-half-full story: It addresses a problem in psychiatry and yet hides the deeper story to be told. A story of how her recovery resulted from seeing herself within a counter-narrative that tells of the harm that psychiatry can do.
A new article in Lancet Psychiatry finds that slower tapering of SSRIs is better for preventing antidepressant withdrawal effects.
Published in the peer-reviewed journal Advances in Mind Body Medicine, this case series is the first of its kind to document the methodology employed in the successful discontinuation of a range of psychotropic medications, with holistic support interventions providing long-term mood support.
A third of patients who have taken the common psychiatric medication lithium for over ten years have developed "chronic renal failure" from the drug.
The phrase "medication tapering" is being used more and more as the preferred term for the psychiatric medication withdrawal or coming off process. Based on my years of work educating many people around coming off medications -- clients, support groups, and in workshops and trainings -- I think that term is misleading, and let me explain why.
Mixed-Methods study explores the experiences of antipsychotic discontinuation among service users.
Study finds that 74% of patients with a psychotic disorder off antipsychotics at end of 10 years are in remission.
Medically-induced harm—affecting tens of millions of people worldwide—has taken the field decades to take seriously.
Lithium appears to reduce libido and sexual function, and more research into the problem is needed.
“Psychiatric Drugs are More Dangerous than You Ever Imagined” is the newest video in my series Simple Truths about Psychiatry. It provides a simple, direct and inescapable warning about this epidemic of harm induced by psychiatric drugs. The video sounds a necessary alarm about this growing tragedy, involving millions of people and their families, who never foresaw the disabling results of taking psychiatric drugs and giving them to their children.
Peter Gøtzsche and Anders Sørensen on trying to get a review of methods for safe antidepressant withdrawal published in Cochrane: "They sent us on a mission that was impossible to accomplish" to "protect the psychiatric guild."
Effects of discontinuing SSRIs and SNRIs reported on an online forum indicate significant and long-lasting withdrawal symptoms.
Researchers find that support and self-care were helpful for users during discontinuation, but that mental health professionals were not very helpful.
My study, in which I slowly withdrew people from prescribed antipsychotics and antidepressants, found that it is possible to decrease both spending on psychiatric drugs and patients' chronic exposure to them. In general, the drug-reduction process was well-tolerated and well-accepted among those treated.
A new study by Peter Groot and Jim van Os has found that tapering strips help people successfully discontinue antidepressant medications.
There are a vast number of studies that document the diverse range of side effects caused by antipsychotic drugs. These adverse effects include brain...
It's been over 5 years since I started offering non-medical consultations to people in the process of coming off or hoping to come off psych drugs. I wanted to share here some things I have learned in this process. Despite how far we have come, we have a long way to go in the quest to liberate all who wish to be liberated from psychiatry.