Showing 46 of 46 comments.
Thank you so much for listening Eric.
Thank you for listening, as you say, it is great to hear that the NHS, cash-strapped as it is, is still willing to trial and understand new approaches.
Thanks for listening Fiachra.
Thanks, all of you for taking the time to read and to comment. Campaigning on this, as you can imagine, I get many messages that are deeply troubling and show the impact of this on lives, on families, on careers. This isn’t a problem restricted to drugs for depression, of course, it is common to all classes of psychiatric drug. Unfortunately, ‘antidepressants’ are the visible tip of the iceberg. In the UK, they are the poster child, vaunted as the psychiatric success story in the media. UK Prescribing figures have just been released by our National Health Service, in 2017, we prescribed 67.5 million antidepressants, costing our health services £255 million. That is for a population of 53 million people. In 2007, the figure was 33 million, we have more than doubled prescriptions in a decade and the media response recently has just fuelled that shocking rise. I am so glad that more people are coming forward to tell their stories and share the reality of this and grateful to you all and Mad in America for shouting from the rooftops.
Immediately after this brief interview, Simon Wessely tweeted this:
Oh dear. Time for another round of #pillshaming. #r4today @BBCRadio4 . Antidepressants are not addictive. There is no tolerance, escalation etc etc.
For anyone that is interested, Professor John Read was on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday morning, faced by the wife of Sir Simon Wessely, General Practitioner Clare Gerada. You can listen here:
Thanks for listening littleturtle.
Eric thank you so much for listening and for your feedback too, the podcast would be nothing without people engaging with it, I am very grateful.
Proud Brummie myself!
Hi Auntie, thank you, I’m now looking at my iPad embedded in the wall! Most people…some people…utter bilge, as you say, the commenters don’t hold back. This deserves a parody, “some people find their psychiatrist knows diddly squat about withdrawal, while most people find more sense on Facebook”.
Hi Auntie Psychiatry, thank you, I just wanted to reassure everyone that this is a story we will be following very closely and people will get to comment as the situation develops. Meanwhile, I would love to know what a cartoon anteater makes of all this! Thanks.
Hi Auntie Psychiatry, thank you thank you, as soon as you said “Science Media Centre” everything kinda clicked into place, while it’s still reprehensible reporting, at least I can still trust my (considerable) gut! Your cartoon on the SMC had me howling, your work is peerless, thank you.
Joanna, thank you so much for this elegant and reasoned critique of what have been here in the UK, frankly alarming levels of sensationalism around this study. I stress that this is purely my personal view, but it feels like this study is being used as a weapon, rather than evidence-based science, designed to firmly establish the superiority of antidepressant treatment and to disempower and undermine the critics. The line about “ending the debate about antidepressant efficacy” was repeated in many major UK newspapers with only slight variation in wording. It was clear from the breadth of the coverage, that the announcement of this study via the media was planned with military precision and was partly in response to the wide coverage of Johann Hari’s book Lost Connections (this was even mentioned specifically by psychiatrists tweeting about the study). Of course, when you dig into the detail as Joanna has done, it is clear that the results of the study are not strong enough to justify such a statement. Joanna and many of her colleagues have put great effort into countering the sensational claims, for which I am truly grateful. I couldn’t see the study listed above, apologies if it is already there, but here is a link to the full open access paper should anyone be interested:
Thank you so much for listening littleturtle, the book is definitely worth your time, well researched and engaging too.
Personally, I learned a great deal from reading the book and interviewing Johaan.
The main document will be up Monday at bps.org.uk/PTM-Main
Hi (), the overview has now been released and can be found here: https://www1.bps.org.uk/system/files/user-files/Division%20of%20Clinical%20Psychology/public/INF299%20PTM%20overview%20web.pdf
Hi littleturtle, thank you so much for listening and for your feedback too. I was so pleased to be able to talk to Dr Hunter for the podcast, thank you for taking the time to listen in.
Thank you so much for listening susanne and for your feedback too.
Thank you so much for listening Eric, I feel like I have found my calling with the podcasts, it’s just a shame it’s around thirty years too late! Best wishes. James.
Hi survivingthesystem, that is a powerful article, thank you so much for sharing.
Thank you so much for your feedback Leonie. It was a shock to hear how quickly the drugs can cause numbing, pain and all the other issues too. You are right that if people really were given the facts about the risk of permanent damage to their sexuality, they would be seeking very different options for help with their mental health. I appreciate you taking the time to listen and to feedback too. Best wishes. James
Thank you so much for listening TRM123 and for your feedback too. PSSD is a rarely discussed, but profoundly debilitating problem, I’m very grateful to Dr. Healy for his efforts to make a difference for those that struggle. Best wishes to you. James.
Hi, thanks for the feedback, my apologies, the forum topic for this podcast is now available here: https://www.madinamerica.com/forums/topic/mia-podcast-episode-16-bonnie-burstow-and-nick-walker/
Thank so much for listening Eric and for your feedback too, it is very much appreciated.
Hi Fiachra, thanks so much for listening. I’m very glad to hear that you put the drugs behind you. In the UK, all of the MHRAs funding comes directly from the Pharmaceutical industry. In the US, I believe that more than 75% of the FDA budget is Pharma funded. Also, as Bobby reminds us, many senior positions in both organisations are filled by ex Pharma executives. It’s difficult to see how these regulatory bodies are not unduly influenced by the pharmaceuticals. It’s also very difficult to see how they can represent patient interests. In many cases it has taken repeated Freedom of Information requests to get at the data that they use to approve the drugs, including the unpublished trial results.
Hi Chris, thanks so much for taking the time to comment and to listen to the podcast too. The most helpful and considered advice I have ever recieved about my own psychiatric medications came from Pharmacists rather than doctors or psychiatrists. I think Pharmacists are a very valuable source of information and knowledge on the medications and could be given more of a role in helping patients avoid withdrawal difficulties. I’d be very interested in any feedback on the other interviews. Best wishes. James.
Thanks for posting this Bernalyn. This study is interesting but concerning too. The effects of stopping an antipsychotic or antidepressant in some people can manifest weeks or months after cessation of the drug and can be very different to the immediate withdrawal effects. If this study did only follow participants for a short time then the picture is incomplete. What we need are longer term studies that compare the outcomes of patients that have withdrawn and stayed off the drugs for a significant period. As you point out, hopefully the RADAR study will help the evidence base for withdrawal.
Hi David, thank you so much for your kind offer, I will certainly be in touch to set something up. Best wishes. James
Hi Frank, thank you so much for taking the time to comment, I can confirm that we will be featuring a wide range of views and I am always happy to hear what listeners would like to be featured on the podcast too. This podcast should be a community led initiative. I hope you listen in and give us feedback too if you think there are areas to improve. Thanks. James
Hi Diana, thank you so much for your lovely feedback and observations too, you have made some excellent suggestions which I will be most happy to follow up on. I promise I will try to be less formal in future episodes! Take care.
Thanks so much TRM 123, it’s amazing how powerful it is to hear the raw emotion of these experiences and I very much hope that the podcast will add to the vital work undertaken by this community.
Hi madmom, thank you for the great suggestion of looking into content from Mind Freedom International, it sounds like an excellent resource. Best wishes.
Hi TRM123, I’m very grateful for your feedback and I also hope that the podcast will add to the excellent, mind expanding dialog and discussions that happen within this community. I agree that there is potential for the podcasts to be used as an educational tool, thank you for the suggestion. I’m looking forward to sharing the first episodes with you all.
Hi erin321, thanks so much for your feedback, I’m very excited to share the podcast with you all and I hope it makes a small contribution to the excellent work of this community.
Hi kindredspirit, thanks for your interest in the podcast, you are right, wide exposure for these podcasts is very important to us. The short answer is yes to both, they will be available to listen on madinamerica.com and also available to subscribe to on both Apple iTunes and Android too. There will be links on the pages for each podcast that will hopefully make it easy for us all to decide how best to listen in. Thanks. James
Thanks so much for your feedback Someone Else, I am so sorry to hear of your experiences. So many doctors are not at all up to speed on these issues, you think that given the amount of these drugs that we are prescribing that they would be inundated with people seeking support. It’s difficult not to be cynical about this given the harm that is being caused based on myths and downright fabrications about the origins of mental illness. I hope the podcast at least helps to raise some awareness so that people who have yet to come into contact with psychiatric medications can make that informed choice that we were denied. Best wishes to you too and thanks so much for listening.
Thanks so much for your feedback Dr. Purssey, Rob Whitaker was very generous with his time, very gracious in responding to my questions and it was an amazing experience to be able to interview him. I’m very pleased to hear that you found the interview engaging.
Hi Erin, thank you so much for your support and your encouragement, it means a great deal. That’s what I find amazing is that so many people are willing to help and support others and provide the help that we just don’t get from the medical profession. Prescribing is easy, but where’s the long term support, we are very much left to fend for ourselves aren’t we. I’m so pleased to hear that your husband is past the drugs now, that’s an amazing achievement. I am certainly gaining a great deal of strength from the podcast and from the support of people such as yourself, thank you so much. best wishes. J
Thanks so much Jill, I’ll be in touch, best wishes, James.
Thanks so much for your comments Jill, I will definitely read up and I am keen on the podcast that we get time to talk about alternative approaches that may help people in withdrawal or after they have stopped their psychiatric drugs. Perhaps we could chat for the podcast one day? Best wishes. James
Thanks so much Marion.
Hi andy013 thanks so much for writing. I really am struggling to work out whether doctors actually know about this and just don’t want to admit the problems or whether their patients are not telling them. With my own doctor my experience of withdrawal was written off as “a return of my depression and anxiety” even though it was very different. There is also a worrying trend in the UK to label these kind of problems as merely psychological in origin. While there is clearly a psychological component, there is most definitely a physical impact too and one that can be severe and protracted. I am hopeful that the podcast can play a small part in raising awareness of these issues and I very much value your input. Thank you.
Hi there FeelinDiscouraged, thank you for taking the time to write, I’m so sorry to hear that you feel stranded, I can completely sympathise and, everyone is allowed a bit of a rant now and again!. I do hope you can listen in to some of the podcasts, while it’s not the same as having someone there with you, I find it a source of comfort at times. Best wishes. James
Hi TRM 123, thank you so much for your feedback and for your support with the podcast. To hear that it speaks to medical professionals as well as those with experience of taking these drugs is very important to me. As you say, the gulf in knowledge is truly worrying, especially given that these drugs are so widely available and now routinely prescribed ‘off label’ for insomnia, headaches, chronic pain and even now bed wetting in the very young. If these drugs were mostly benign then it would be less worrying but adding together the adverse effects (which, as you say, can be life changing or even fatal) the dependence/withdrawal issues and the evidence coming to light of poorer long term outcomes and it becomes crucial that we educate and raise awareness in the hope that people can make an informed choice about treatment. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts, we need many more open minded Physicians like you.