How to Avoid Severe SSRI Withdrawal Symptoms?

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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.

Playing the Odds: Antidepressant ‘Withdrawal’ and the Problem of Informed Consent

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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.

Things Your Doctor Should Tell You About Antidepressants

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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.

Harrow + Wunderink + Open Dialogue = An Evidence-based Mandate for A New Standard...

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In the wake of the new study by Dutch researcher Lex Wunderink, it is time for psychiatry to do the right thing and acknowledge that, if it wants to do best by its patients, it must change its protocols for using antipsychotics. The current standard of care, which—in practice—involves continual use of antipsychotics for all patients diagnosed with a psychotic disorder, clearly reduces the opportunity for long-term functional recovery.
the new yorker

The New Yorker Peers into the Psychiatric Abyss… And Loses Its Nerve

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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.
Illustration of pills, a brain, and a person with scribbles indicating displeasure

A Different Psychiatry Is Needed for Discontinuing Antidepressants

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The problems related to the use of antidepressants cannot be solved by an oversimplified psychiatry brainwashed by the pharmaceutical industry.

The Reckoning in Psychiatry Over Protracted Antidepressant Withdrawal

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Medically-induced harm—affecting tens of millions of people worldwide—has taken the field decades to take seriously.
Ad for Paxil/Seroxat

How Academic Psychiatry Minimized SSRI Withdrawal

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If academic psychiatry is evidence-based, why did it take two decades to recognize SSRI withdrawal as widespread and chronic among patients?

The Temptation of Certainty: David Foster Wallace, Suicide and Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal

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While increasing numbers of Americans are being prescribed antidepressants, the Centers for Disease Control reports that suicide rates increased 28% from 1999 to 2010. Trained professionals remain unable to predict who is at risk. Their guess is as good as chance.
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Antidepressant Withdrawal: An Unknown Disorder?

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Antidepressant withdrawal is no longer an unknown disorder since knowledge on this topic has grown enough to be translated into practice. As proposed by George Engel in 1977, medical doctors, including psychiatrists, can observe and listen to their patients and develop a program to treat withdrawal and restore health.
antidepressant withdrawal

How Long Does Antidepressant Withdrawal Last?

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The patient experiencing the pain of withdrawal believed that they would feel better when they stopped taking their antidepressants. After all, they’re under the care of a board-certified medical professional who has vowed to do no harm. But despite those reassurances, they find themselves in a world of hurt.

Stopping the Madness: Coming Off Psychiatric Medications

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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.

New Rat Study: SSRIs Markedly Deplete Brain Serotonin

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Dutch investigators will soon publish an article in Neurochemistry International that sheds light on how SSRI antidepressants affect the serotonergic system over the longer...
hand reaching out from pile of pills

The Review on Antidepressant Withdrawal That Cochrane Won’t Publish

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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."

Early Death Associated With Antipsychotics

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There are a vast number of studies that document the diverse range of side effects caused by antipsychotic drugs. These adverse effects include brain...

Now Antidepressant-Induced Chronic Depression Has a Name: Tardive Dysphoria

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Three recently published papers, along with a report by a Minnesota group on health outcomes in that state, provide new reason to mull over...

Learning About Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal

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We held the first course ever on psychiatric drug withdrawal on 12 June 2017 in Copenhagen. The course was open to patients, relatives, psychologists, doctors and other social and healthcare workers, and 77 people participated.

Do Antidepressants Worsen the Long-term Course of Depression? Giovanni Fava Pushes the Debate Forward.

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In 1994, Italy's Giovanna Fava, editor-in-chief of the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, wrote for the first time of his concern that "long-term use of...

Antidepressants and Pregnancy:  Who Says They Are Safe? 

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Depression during pregnancy is an important issue. Depression should not be ignored and depressed pregnant women deserve good treatment and care. Part of that good care, though, is providing them with full and correct information. I care for pregnant women taking antidepressants on a daily basis and too often they tell me that the only counseling they received about the medication was, “my doctor told me it’s safe in pregnancy.” This post will review the evidence in this area and address the counterarguments.

Do Antipsychotics Worsen Long-term Schizophrenia Outcomes? Martin Harrow Explores the Question.

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Martin Harrow and Thomas Jobe have a new article coming out in Schizophrenia Bulletin that I wish would be read by everyone in our society with an interest in “mental health.” Harrow and Jobe, who conducted the best study of long-term schizophrenia outcomes that has ever been done, do not present new data in this article, but rather discuss the central question raised by their research: Does long-term treatment of schizophrenia with antipsychotic medications facilitate recovery? Or does it hinder it?

A Massachusetts Benzo Bill That Mandates Informed Consent

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H. 3594 would require pharmacists to distribute pamphlets containing information on benzodiazepine misuse and abuse, risk of dependency and addiction, handling and addiction treatment resources. This would be a major legislative response to the prescribing patterns for these drugs today.

Coming Out: Iatrogenic Illness Awareness Month

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Our main reason for beginning an awareness month is the need for recognition-- a yearning to make the word “iatrogenic” and its corresponding language available to our community, and to the greater public as a household name. We don’t have the luxury of raising money for research, racing for the cure, or ribbons. For that we would have to be on the map. Why is it that something this pervasive gets so little traction?

Components for a Good Neuroleptic Withdrawal Program

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The United States desperately needs good programs to help people withdraw from neuroleptic drugs. From all I have seen and heard, there aren’t any - none at least that can reputably claim to get good results on a fairly consistent basis. Again and again I find myself challenged to envision such a program, and in reply to the challenge I have broken down this hypothetical program into various components.

Long-Term Antipsychotics: Making Sense of the Evidence in the Light of the Dutch Follow-Up...

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In the 1950s, when the drugs we now call ‘antipsychotics’ first came along, psychiatrists recognised that they were toxic substances that happened to have the ability to suppress thoughts and emotions without simply putting people to sleep in the way the old sedatives did. The mental restriction the drugs produced was noted to be part of a general state of physical and mental inhibition that at extremes resembled Parkinson’s disease. Early psychiatrists didn’t doubt that this state of neurological suppression was potentially damaging to the brain.

Psychiatric Drugs: More Dangerous Than You Ever Imagined (A New Video)

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Psychiatric Drugs are More Dangerous than You Ever Imagined” is the newest video in my series Simple Truths about PsychiatryIt 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.