Monday, October 14, 2019

Comments by Katinka Newman

Showing 8 of 8 comments.

  • I’m glad you enjoyed the book and I’m so pleased you managed to get off the drugs. I don’t know your whole situation , but I hope I can help people who have been harmed to have a voice if thats what you ever choose. In any event, do keep in touch and let me know how you get on.

  • Hi Rick, Thanks for your comments. I didn’t really share the details in that article of what happened at the local hospital. I’m sorry to say it was probably just luck they took me off the drugs and there was very little wisdom or compassion shown to me as I hurtled into 4 weeks of agonising cold turkey, coming off five antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood stabilisers in one go. I won’t go into the details, but suffice to say that no one seemed to understand or explain that the agonising symptoms I was experiencing were withdrawal and I was treated at best as a trouble maker and threatened with seclusion. Unfortunately, medical professionals don’t understand either the dangers of these drugs or that coming off these drugs is worse than coming off heroin. But yes, you’re right, I was lucky, but there were no local heroes !!

  • Hi Richard
    Thanks for your comments and I agree with your points. I am very clear in my book that the genetic testing, based on metabolising genes is inconclusive at this point and at no point in my article am I referring to the link between these genes and adverse drug reactions. What I am referring to, is anecdotal evidence that I have gleaned from my own experience and talking to many, that when one family member has a violent adverse reaction, it seems to run through generations. I am aware that no one has identified a particular gene which is responsible and like you, I would be extremely wary of advocating a test when we know so little. I agree wholeheartedly with your points that its not just the few who have severe adverse drug reactions that are a matter of concern. I consider myself lucky in that the severity of my reaction led me to coming off all of them, and I remain extremely concerned for the many more who start out well and now are left with long term debilitating side effects. So Richard, we are very much on the same page….

  • Thanks for your comment, Kate. I’m not doubting your individual experience with antidepressants and I have said and continue to say that with over 100 million worldwide taking these pills, sometimes they may save lives. However, when it comes to assessing the frequency of life saving versus life destroying, then we have to look not just at personal anecdotes but at scientific evidence. And when you look at all the trials that have been done and not just the few that the drug companies put forward to get their products licensed, then it has been found that antidepressants are no more effective than a placebo. I don’t know the details of your circumstances, but its worth mentioning that coming off these drugs causes feelings of intense suicidality for many. The article states clearly they are dangerous for 1 % of users, not for everyone. I wish you well with your recovery but feel it is important that people know the risks.

  • Thanks for your reply. Yes, I know SSRI antidepressants were not available in 1976. However the older antidepressants also had suicidal ideation as a side effect and there were and are many other medications such as anti-smoking drugs and antimalarials that act in the same way. I cannot access my Dad’s medical records as it was such a long time ago, but I know that he was taking antidepressants and it is likely he took anti smoking drugs as well.