Editorial note: We follow up the Guilty post last week with a piece written by Peter Gøtzsche that has caused a stir in Denmark and provoked some of the Danish professors he critiques to respond.
At the Nordic Cochrane Centre, we have researched antidepressants for several years and I have long wondered why leading professors of psychiatry base their practice on a number of erroneous myths. These myths are harmful to patients. Many psychiatrists are well aware that the myths do not hold and have told me so, but they don’t dare deviate from the official positions because of career concerns.
Being a specialist in internal medicine, I don’t risk ruining my career by incurring the professors’ wrath and I shall try here to come to the rescue of the many conscientious but oppressed psychiatrists and patients by listing the worst myths and explain why they are harmful.
Most patients are told this but it is completely wrong. We have no idea about which interplay of psychosocial conditions, biochemical processes, receptors and neural pathways that lead to mental disorders and the theories that patients with depression lack serotonin and that patients with schizophrenia have too much dopamine have long been refuted. The truth is just the opposite. There is no chemical imbalance to begin with, but when treating mental illness with drugs, we create a chemical imbalance, an artificial condition that the brain tries to counteract.
This means that you get worse when you try to stop the medication. An alcoholic also gets worse when there is no more alcohol but this doesn’t mean that he lacked alcohol in the brain when he started drinking.
The vast majority of doctors harm their patients further by telling them that the withdrawal symptoms mean that they are still sick and still need the mediciation. In this way, the doctors turn people into chronic patients, including those who would have been fine even without any treatment at all. This is one of the main reasons that the number of patients with mental disorders is increasing, and that the number of patients who never come back into the labour market also increases. This is largely due to the drugs and not the disease.
A Danish professor of psychiatry said this at a recent meeting for psychiatrists, just after I had explained that it was difficult for patients to quit. Fortunately, he was contradicted by two foreign professors also at the meeting. One of them had done a trial with patients suffering from panic disorder and agoraphobia and half of them found it difficult to stop even though they were slowly tapering off. It cannot be because the depression came back, as the patients were not depressed to begin with. The withdrawal symptoms are primarily due to the antidepressants and not the disease.
Most patients with depression or schizophrenia have heard this falsehood over and over again, almost like a mantra, in TV, radio and newspapers. When you give insulin to a patient with diabetes, you give something the patient lacks, namely insulin. Since we’ve never been able to demonstrate that a patient with a mental disorder lacks something that people who are not sick don’t lack, it is wrong to use this analogy.
Patients with depression don’t lack serotonin, and there are actually drugs that work for depression although they lower serotonin. Moreover, in contrast to insulin, which just replaces what the patient is short of, and does nothing else, psychotropic drugs have a very wide range of effects throughout the body, many of which are harmful. So, also for this reason, the insulin analogy is extremely misleading.
This is probably the worst myth of them all. US science journalist Robert Whitaker demonstrates convincingly in “Anatomy of an Epidemic” that the increasing use of drugs not only keeps patients stuck in the sick role, but also turns many problems that would have been transient into chronic diseases.
If there had been any truth in the insulin myth, we would have expected to see fewer patients who could not fend for themselves. However, the reverse has happened. The clearest evidence of this is also the most tragic, namely the fate of our children after we started treating them with drugs. In the United States, psychiatrists collect more money from drug makers than doctors in any other specialty and those who take most money tend to prescribe antipsychotics to children most often. This raises a suspicion of corruption of the academic judgement.
The consequences are damning. In 1987, just before the newer antidepressants (SSRIs or happy pills) came on the market, very few children in the United States were mentally disabled. Twenty years later it was over 500,000, which represents a 35-fold increase. The number of disabled mentally ill has exploded in all Western countries. One of the worst consequences is that the treatment with ADHD medications and happy pills has created an entirely new disease in about 10% of those treated – namely bipolar disorder – which we previously called manic depressive illness.
Leading psychiatrist have claimed that it is “very rare” that patients on antidepressants become bipolar. That’s not true. The number of children with bipolar increased 35-fold in the United States, which is a serious development, as we use antipsychotic drugs for this disorder. Antipsychotic drugs are very dangerous and one of the main reasons why patients with schizophrenia live 20 years shorter than others. I have estimated in my book, ‘Deadly Medicine and Organized Crime’, that just one of the many preparations, Zyprexa (olanzapine), has killed 200,000 patients worldwide.
Some professors are willing to admit that happy pills increase the incidence of suicidal behavior while denying that this necessarily leads to more suicides, although it is well documented that the two are closely related. Lundbeck’s CEO, Ulf Wiinberg, went even further in a radio programme in 2011 where he claimed that happy pills reduce the rate of suicide in children and adolescents. When the stunned reporter asked him why there then was a warning against this in the package inserts, he replied that he expected the leaflets would be changed by the authorities!
Suicides in healthy people, triggered by happy pills, have also been reported. The companies and the psychiatrists have consistently blamed the disease when patients commit suicide. It is true that depression increases the risk of suicide, but happy pills increase it even more, at least up to about age 40, according to a meta-analysis of 100,000 patients in randomized trials performed by the US Food and Drug Administration.
At an international meeting on psychiatry in 2008, I criticized psychiatrists for wanting to screen many healthy people for depression. The recommended screening tests are so poor that one in three healthy people will be wrongly diagnosed as depressed. A professor replied that it didn’t matter that healthy people were treated as happy pills have no side effects!
Happy pills have many side effects. They remove both the top and the bottom of the emotions, which, according to some patients, feels like living under a cheese-dish cover. Patients care less about the consequences of their actions, lose empathy towards others, and can become very aggressive. In school shootings in the United States and elsewhere a striking number of people have been on antidepressants.
The companies tell us that only 5% get sexual problems with happy pills, but that’s not true. In a study designed to look at this problem, sexual disturbances developed in 59% of 1,022 patients who all had a normal sex life before they started an antidepressant. The symptoms include decreased libido, delayed or no orgasm or ejaculation, and erectile dysfunction, all at a high rate, and with a low tolerance among 40% of the patients. Happy pills should therefore not have been marketed for depression where the effect is rather small, but as pills that destroy your sex life.
They surely are and it is no wonder because they are chemically related to and act like amphetamine. Happy pills are a kind of narcotic on prescription. The worst argument I have heard about the pills not causing dependency is that patients do not require higher doses. Shall we then also believe that cigarettes are not addictive? The vast majority of smokers consume the same number of cigarettes for years.
A professor argued in a TV debate that the large consumption of happy pills wasn’t a problem because the incidence of depression had increased greatly in the last 50 years. I replied it was impossible to say much about this because the criteria for making the diagnosis had been lowered markedly during this period. If you wish to count elephants in Africa, you don’t lower the criteria for what constitutes an elephant and count all the wildebeest, too.
Again, leading psychiatrists are completely out of touch with reality. In a 2007 survey, 51% of the 108 psychiatrists said that they used too much medicine and only 4 % said they used too little. In 2001–2003, 20% of the US population aged 18–54 years received treatment for emotional problems, and sales of happy pills are so high in Denmark that every one of us could be in treatment for 6 years of our lives. That is sick.
Some professors say that schizophrenia causes brain damage and that it is therefore important to use antipsychotics. However, antipsychotics lead to shrinkage of the brain, and this effect is directly related to the dose and duration of the treatment. There is other good evidence to suggest that one should use antipsychotics as little as possible, as the patients then fare better in the long term. Indeed, one may completely avoid using antipsychotics in most patients with schizophrenia, which would significantly increase the chances that they will become healthy, and also increase life expectancy, as antipsychotics kill many patients.
I am not against using drugs, provided we know what we are doing and only use them in situations where they do more good than harm. Psychiatric drugs can be useful sometimes for some patients, especially in short-term treatment, in acute situations. But my studies in this area lead me to a very uncomfortable conclusion:
Our citizens would be far better off if we removed all the psychotropic drugs from the market, as doctors are unable to handle them. It is inescapable that their availability creates more harm than good. Psychiatrists should therefore do everything they can to treat as little as possible, in as short time as possible, or not at all, with psychotropic drugs.
Copyright © Data Based Medicine Americas Ltd.
Thanks so much for posting this. A clear, concise refutation of the myths associated with psychiatric drugs which is easily understood by lay people is immensely valuable. I will be circulating it throughout my networks and particularly to the families I work with who are so often given antidepressants to deal with the grief they experience as a result of losing a loved one to suicide.
I will copy it for our GP who prescribed an SSRI for my daughter. Her grasp of the myths exactly matches those in Dr Healy’s post. My daughter’s suicide at 20 was “caused by depression not the medication”
Your daughter would of faired much better with nutrition ,exercise and cognitive behavioural therapy .I was in terrible shape on those ssri s.This man is 100% correct .Gain more knowledge do your research and think outside the box .We were not meant to be filled with chemicals .Emotions can be worked on through positive thoughts .
Agreed thank you Mark Slaney
to me it looks rather weird or even zynical, if my doctor wants me to take Zoloft to deal with posttraumatic stress syndrome I’m suffering from since my daughter’s suicide while my daughter committed suicide after takting Zoloft for ten days.
The number of times that me, or my family, has been offered psychiatric medication to deal with the normal grief and rage after my daughter’s iatrogenically caused death, borders on harassment.
Thank you for the truth. I sorry your daughter was a casualty of the good old boy’s network. Please get a new dr.that knows better.?
Its funny how easy GP’s will prescribe antidepressants. I went to see mine to tell him I have experienced tightening in my throat. He didnt even look at me twice he started typing and gave me a script for Lexapro. Lexapro made me so sick and instead of him realizing I had side effects he kept telling me the side effects were not from medication. Its funny how quick and easy it is to get them
What you have said makes me want to ask my Dr to hospitalize me, and remove all meds. If I had the opportunity, it would blow your mind what psychiatry has done to me. Right now, I’m on about six meds. They can’t seem to get me off them because it causes huge issues. I DOnt WANT TO TAKE ANY MORE MEDS. I’m going to be 50 in a month, I’ve been on these meds for 30 years. Think I got better????……..
I am desperate to connect with you and others like us who have a story like yours you described. Me, I was not “bipolar” until first being placed on Prozac. That was when I was 15, 25 years ago. I have never been allowed to NOT take these drugs, and my life has been a frightening, sad, and agonizing road of getting worse and worse with symptoms and ability to function. I am now 40, and have to live in an Adult Foster Care home, because of my attempts to end my life. I’m scared every day. Let us please get the word out about the facts that many are taken advantage of in the mental health system, especially if we ever had a manic episode. It seems to me that women are often the biggest victims.
Sarah, I am so sorry for the loss of your young daughter.
Any dr who would prescribe the same kind of drugs that caused her demise to you, is an unethical, inhumane, obtuse danger to society and should be removed from their quacktise.
I see many Mothers across the internet speaking out about the unnecessary drugging and deaths of their children. One such group is Able Child. Dr. John Bredding and many others are speaking out against the false labeling and mistreatment for profit of their children (as young as 2.)
I hope that you can find others who can understand the depth of your loss and support you through your pain and grief.
There are just no adequate words.
I’m a fellow sufferer of hellish grief with my son taking his own life. Psychiatric drugs don’t work for grief. We have to let it all out & go to a specialist practitioner & talk. More importantly, I can say with the greatest certainty, that we all survive death & continue living on the other side. I’ve had ‘letters’; voice recordings & photographic images of my son in the higher frequency. He is very happy but feels tremendous guilt for our agonising anguish. He has to work on himself & face the mental problems he suffered whilst here. This is all connected to science, in particular, maths & physics. There is a supreme being expressed in the form of the light of love. Talk to your sons & daughters as they are at great pains to be acknowledged & to tell us they are just a breath away. You will be reunited ⭐️💫💛
Thank you for speaking out. You Sir are a True Hero and an inspiration.
Waiting for Godot?
Waiting for Godot is a play which “has achieved a theoretical impossibility—a play in which nothing happens, that yet keeps audiences glued to their seats. What’s more, since the second act is a subtly different reprise of the first, he has written a play in which nothing happens, twice.” (Irish Times)
Doctor Healy: I would very much like to know how I might gain your authorization to cross-post a link to this BLOG entry to DxSummit.org, the Global Summit for Diagnostic Alternatives, sponsored by the Society for Humanistic Psychology. It seems to me that your piece is one of the more cogent arguments I have seen, against the mythologies routinely spouted by proponents for the medicalization of daily life.
I am also very interested to learn of your views concerning other bits of gross malpractice that have found their way into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. High on that list in my view would be psychosomatic medicine as a field, with its assertion of the self-evident nonsense that emotional distress can be “converted” into otherwise unexplainable medical symptoms.
I have talked with hundreds of medical patients who have been substantively harmed by such assertions, by being denied appropriate medical investigation and care after being labeled as having “somatoform” mental health disorders. There is also evidence that just by applying a label of “psychogenic pain”, a doctor will more than double the risk of suicide in patients whose medical symptoms have not otherwise been diagnosed and treated.
Richard A. Lawhern, Ph.D.
Resident Research Analyst
Richard – please feel free to cross post or link.
Thank you for this article in particular with the way you have written it for people like me to understand the effects of psychotropic drugs.
I am currently undertaking a research project of my choice – ‘Can the laid back attitude and over prescription of anti-depressants lead to psychosis?’
Your article has helped me a lot.
If you haven’t already read Robert Whitaker’s book “Anatomy of an Epidemic” maybe you will find some more information in there.
I was hospitalized for two weeks because I was having homicidal ideation against my daughter they put me on Zyprexa Depakote and Seroquel when I was released two weeks later I was fine for 3 days but now the medication does not work for me at all I’m still a g angry nervous and scared I don’t know what to do I do have anxiety attacks OCD add but nobody wants to correct that problem so I stay away from my daughter as much as I can in the people around me they want me to control my urges to not have these thoughts but it’s hard when you’re not getting the correct help don’t know if I should be committed again or I guess I should get a new psychiatrist tell me. What should I do I’m afraid
A refreshing stance to see more psychiatrists willing to speak out about abuse and corruption which has hampered the psychiatric industry for a very long time and left millions of victims in its wake.
Question is- when will any government take the bull by the horns on this and many other abuses and make this public knowledge. My experience in the UK is that being labelled with a psychiatric condition, has become an alternative route to dis-crediting and silencing people, especially when they’ve blown the whistle regarding severe abuse and failings across several sectors.
Our citizens would be far better off if we removed all the psychotropic drugs from the market, as doctors are unable to handle them. It is inescapable that their availability creates more harm than good. Psychiatrists should therefore do everything they can to treat as little as possible, in as short time as possible, or not at all, with psychotropic drugs” ~ Wow! Fairly profound coming from a Psychiatrist.
There have been times when I found major tranquilizers that I can tolerate or minor tranquilizers useful. But I never needed them long term and no one explained that to me in 2008! As a result I ended up heavily drugged for 3 yrs which was completely unnecessary. Not forgetting that my major issues started while on an SSRI (Citalopram). It led to extremes of “highs” and “lows” and a diagnosis of “Bipolar Affective Disorder”. I had to figure it out for myself. Now I spend time trying to create awareness for others even though I meet resistance. And it is great to have your work to refer to.
I am now at the stage of no drug use and do Yoga almost every day. I also listen to relaxation CDs, try to do mindfulness and sometimes do meditation. This requires daily work. I have also given up alcohol and try to watch my diet. As well as walking. Bibliotherapy is also something I find useful. And the idea of WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan). The 5 key concepts of RECOVERY are: Hope, Personal Responsibility, Self-advocacy and Support. And also having good, honest doctors to refer to. Thank you.
My symptoms are slowly subsiding and going away. Officially losing the label may be that bit trickier. But that is the plan. The last thing left to come back is a full night’s sleep. Working on that.
Correction ~ The 5 key concepts of RECOVERY are: Hope, Personal Responsibility, Education, Self-advocacy and Support.
Psychiatry has no business in the treatment of alcoholism. It hangs mentally ill labels on people they do not deserve,then proceeds to treat the perceived mental illness,(which is a CAUSE of the mental problem,not a symptom) and forget about getting the alcoholic to stop drinking,which in most cases will cause the mental disorder to go away. I have yet to meet a shrink who told a patient,”you are fine,you do not need my help” They MUST find something wrong with everyone,to justify their existence,and all those little letters behind their names.
And the money!
It seems to me that alcohol is a mood stabilizer. An alcholic drinks as a form of self medication. Sometimes, there is no underlying illness but surely there are times when there is one. Often enough, a mentally ill person cannot see they are ill and reaches for a bottle of alchol instead of for help.
Who deserves psychiatric labels, Jake? I was a naive young woman of 20 who thought doctors could be trusted. Had a HORRIBLE reaction to anafranil and wound up with a bipolar label. Between the damning label–a moral judgment of hopeless depravity and turpitude–and the massive quantities of drugs and quarterly lock ups my life is a shambles.
Sometimes I wonder why I bothered to come off my poisons. Suicide is morally wrong, but everyone hated me enough to want me drugged to the point of being comatose and seems happy with me dying at 52. Why did I go through withdrawal and prolong my misery (perhaps)?
The recovery model is a grassroots model developed by peers and not a theoretical one developed through research, the “principles” will vary depending on the source. In the US, SAMHSA decided thry would take the peer’s recovery model and define it for them–which as a peer, made me laugh because they complicated it in an effort to define it.
I like the principles you shared, but I really prefer the ones outlined by Recovery Innovations International because they encapulate what you stared and go beyond them: Hope, Choice (I always attach accountability to choice), empowerment, creating a recovery environment (which includes the education and self advocasy), and finding meaning and purpose in life (75% of peers stated that they initailly found meaning and purpose though connecting spiritually with life/universe).
Anne, Peter Goetzsche is not a psychiatrist. He is a physician. He is a founder of the Nordic Cochrane Collaboration which has been investigating the pharmaceutical industry’s research since around 1992. His position on psychotropic drugs is taken because, that as a group, over many years, these emerged as the most damaging of all the drugs under investigation.
And I’ll put money on it that as soon as we ban these drugs. You’ll see a drop In all gun violence. I’d love to see the stats of how may of these mass shooter were on had been on any of these drugs.
You are so right! Psychotropic drugs are the real weapons, and of mass destruction…
Most of the shooters have been on psychotropic drugs or witdrawing from them.
And maybe some on a mind control program which utilizes mind altering drugs too.
Mindfulness training is definitely the way to go. I’m 67 years old and have taken every antidepressant since I was 20. Then in my 50s, diagnosed with ADD and put on adderral and xanax. Stayed on both of these for over 5 years, then my xanax was abruptly taken away. Suicide is always on my mind.
How did you recover from stop taking them after 30 years . I need help . I did a turkey withdraw 5 months ago and am loosing my mind . I have not slept in six months . I still use once in awhile Klonopin . My husband is going to leave me because he wants me on meds.
Oh dear, Elizabeth. Those drugs are more addictive than the kind you get off the street!
Slow and steady is the only way to go off those toxins or you’ll have horrible DTs and trauma galore.
Elizabeth there are lots of natural products (especially ayurvedic) that can help you get over the bump (mountian!). Some of the best (all to be taken 3 times a day) are:
Ashwagandha (powder with warm milk and honey 3g at a time)
Gotu Kola (dried herb tea about 3g at a time with a dash of vinegar)
Kava (Capsules ok provided >60mg kavalactones)
Valerian (Kava or Valerian, not both) capsules recommended.
Rule #1 with most herbs. Forget about OTC capsules. You want the dried herb or powder and lots of it. 1 pound bags of the stuff.
You need to be taking Multi/Mega B 3x per time and zinc twice per day. Fishoil 3x per day. Ignore the labels.
Finally and very importantly you need to take ALCAR and NAC at least twice per day. In your case I would go 3x per day.
There is no magic bullet, but all of the above every day will help you a lot. Been to hell myself. This stuff works. It rebuilds and strengthens your nervous system.
Hope I’m not too late.
Taper slowly.. look up the Ashton manual.. taper one drug at a time and then taper the Benzo last.. find a dr that will do this correctly.. my dr took me off the lexipro I had been on for 3 hrs in three days.. it has left me extremely disabled.. eat right.. use cbd as it can help..
Dr Healy I applaud you for this article.
Millions worldwide including myself have been totally hoodwinked by so called academic giants (ie doctors) calling black white.
A great, direct summary of important themes. I think that the withdrawal point made under the “chemical imbalance” myth cannot be overemphasized. Dr. Gotzsche writes that “The vast majority of doctors harm their patients further by telling them that the withdrawal symptoms mean that they are still sick”. That is true, but the situation is even worse than that.
Symptoms that appear when psychoactive drugs are taken are interpreted as having “unmasked” inherent conditions, rather than being counted as the side effects they clearly are. The press enthusiastically blames acts of violence, that look a lot like withdrawal from SSRIs or other drugs when one reads the facts, on the failure of the perpetrator to take his meds.
This tendency to blame people for drug effects may be the single factor most responsible for perpetuating all the myths. Everyone sees the same situation, but psychiatrists too often add to the harm they have done by offering misleading, corrupt interpretations, which the public and the press accept.
Excellent blog, I would like SSRIstories to reference it.
As a parent of a 23 year old with schizoaffective disorder, we are very conflicted re. antipsychotics. We believe his disorder was triggered by heavy cannabis use.
After the first break, risperidone was tapered to zero after 10 weeks. We read Whittaker’s book at this time. Things settled, but after a “little” cannabis six months later, there was another break. Because of side effects, quetiapine was used. Things leveled out and after 6 months use, a very gradual (many months) taper was done.
The third break occurred 2 months later. Because the hospitalizations were so inhumane, we tried letting things run their course. The levels of psychosis varied from mild to moderate over a 10 month period. Eventually he was forcibly taken to the hospital from his university (not by our choice). He is now on olanzapine.
My point here is simple… if a person goes psychotic, there are no effective or accessible services to help families, even if you can afford to self-pay. There is no alternative for supportive professionals working in the home, this aint Finland! Second, the antipsychotics, for whatever reason, do eventually moderate the most overt symptoms. Lastly, mental health hospitals are little more than lock-down facilities that provide little more than medication in deplorable conditions.
While everyone involved recognizes the risks of long term antipsychotic use, there simply is not a well-developed body of literature or practitioners to guide families and patients through difficult times. After the first break, his doctor was Peter Breggin, the dean of anti-medication and he disowned our son as a patient when he came to the office in a psychotic state. What is a family to do?
Answers please, not a statement of problems and myths, Dr. Healy.
Dear GS – Trying to find humane & effective help can be a tough slog especially in the USA! I don’t think either David Healy or Peter Gotzsche would say never touch antipsychotics – just use the smallest dose for the shortest time possible.
I’m encouraged that your son was even allowed to taper off – most “shrinks” round my way insist the drugs have to be lifelong. He and you might enjoy a look at this online hub: http://www.madinamerica.com
Lots of good people searching for answers like yourself. MindFreedom also has some good resources. There’s also a network of “voice hearers” groups that seek to understand & live with their symptoms (some use meds, many don’t): http://www.hearingvoicesusa.org
Was he treated with anti-psychotics as a knee-jerk reaction to his acute symptoms?Perhaps the `psychotic’ episode was simply a toxic reaction – and the ongoing `illness’ the consequence of the treatment! Back in the 1970s when I worked as a mental health professional in compared with with what I see now, seems a very advanced therapeutic environment, we did see young people coming in with acute psychotic symptoms. As we were wary of the `tranquillizers’ (similar to today’s anti-psychotics) very nasty side-effects and tended to be careful in their use. I recall seeing these kids get better and go on their way after a few weeks. Occasionally one would come back, but commonly they’d been using again- again, a few weeks and off they’d go. We provided safe harbour while their bodies recovered. In some other units they went on to become chronic `schizophrenics’, lost lives in the system. How come 40 years later it is worse, not better?
Our 22 year old son has been through a similar experience to yours he’s now taking clozapine since January.We have found it so difficult as a family to deal with the confusion surrounding medication.Professionals seem to have different opinions on psychosis while the patient and family feel helpless .Any contact or knowledge from others in this possition would be so helpful .I am determined as a mother to find the safest recovery route for my son and will have to become an expert detective myself in this sea of confusion to empower him and our family. I need postive outlooks and useful treatments for him.Not a grim reaper. Which I feel a lot of mental health professionals come across as. Thank you for sharing your sons story I wish him a postive safe recovery and to know other people understand the struggle in a comfort
Has anyone suggested the Open Dialogue approach. This is a Finnish initiative, now over 25 years in operation, where the person and their families are given support through as psychotherapy approach aimed a using no, or very little (and short term), medication. They have had extraordinary success with something like 70% of people having normal, drug free lives, and much reduced relapse rates for the other 30%. The program is being set up around the world. A study by Martin Harrow US, published in 2007 & 2012 found that those who had discontinued meds also had around a 60-70% full recovery rate over 20 years. A dutch study Lex Wunderink found the same after a 7 year study. The news is in that those who spend years on `anti-psychotics’ (tranquillizers) will lose 20 years off their life span & have marked brain shrinkage, & their recovery rate is around 16%. In fact the president of the NIMH, the biggest mental health organisation in the world, Thomas Insell, said, in 2012, `Perhaps we should re-think our use of these drugs.’ If these young men were my sons I would be looking very seriously at alternative options, and fast. As a former mental health professional I saw kids get better, and recently saw that one of the young men I had known then, who had at least two major psychotic breaks before he was 24, was retiring after 20 years in the post, from a very high-powered position in a very high powered organisation. What to do? 1st – understand that there is NOTHING final about ANY mental illness; 2nd, ask them what they really want from life; 3rd, you & they read everything; 4th, search for the psychotherapists & programs that believe psychosis is just another way of adapting and new ways can be learned. They DO exist. Good luck in saving your boys.
There was a 180 page report launched in November by British Psychological Society (BPS) ~ “Understanding Psychosis and ‘Schizophrenia'”. Not a fan of the label as it carries a lot of weight but very good document. I even flew over to London for the launch. Maybe it will be of some use. You can also ask for a hardcopy via BPS ~
Best of luck,
Thanks so much for posting this link, Anne. I’m currently in mental health services and am struggling to find a non-medicated resolution to ongoing psychosis. I’ve come a long way in terms of staying out of hospitals and hurting myself and others, but my experiences of paranoid and grandiose delusions and hallucinations really plague me, usually daily. Medication makes me very ill, so I’ve decided I can’t continue with it – despite the advice from my CMHT. I’m working my way through the document you posted and am getting a lot out of it so far. Best wishes
I have no answers- I just want to say that my son – and our family are in the same situation. Cannabis as a trigger and now no other option than the most powerful meds- I know what they could be doing to his brain- but the alternative is being locked in a box – in the criminal justice system – there is no limit on how many years a person can be locked up- if due to illness they are unable to comply.
People take extreme positions that give them the illusion of control over conditions that are beyond our current medical understanding. As if we would fail to right the right thing by our children – As if anyone knows what the right thing was/is
Sadly answers are steeped in the cryptic when it comes to medicinal therapy.
To say the only choice had is the drugs or caged, is a poor excuse for any actual choice if a choice at all!
There are further choices and that would be excessive work, effort and immense support in weaning off of the drugs and, finding a root cause as to the behaviours or situation that led to the use/diagnosing of these drugs initially?
The system sadly neglects help once drugged and in a condition of no fit state. It argues mental capacity and or right to freedom for the safety of self or others. Or a demand to be taken under pharmas profit wing of ‘Care’. Care can and will only come from those who do not profit and take a genuine interest in the welfare of the loved one.
Without arrogance nor judgement I ask why your son was ever medicated?
Sadly this last 30 years or so we have been led astray thinking any form of emotional disturbance (be it work related stress/ family loss/ family break down/ feeling lonely/ boredom/ fed up with our surroundings/ bullied/ excitableness… absolutely anything that can make us feel other than happy..) is a disorder or something that needs a Dr to investigate and tell us it’s a chemical issue that a drug can combat.
Truth is, common sense (after learning the hard way) it’s a realisation every situation is a situation that can be dealt with, walked away from, looked into, battled,… it is no disorder of a chemical problem….
Surroundings determine emotional responses to. Those emotive responses are natural and human. Root cause of why someone feels the way they do, be it anger, stress, upset, anxious….. remove the surroundings…. then the problem can be delved into to combat and get through.
Sadly too many also buy into having a disorder, it helps them feel normal to feel the way they do. This is the system again, or pharma rather, playing a very ugly game of mass profit at the expense of millions upon millions of people.
It’s not normal to feel so down, low, angry, stressed etc. Not on a continuum anyhow!
Try to see beyond what you are told is a choice. Not easy and certainly not an overnight answer – depending on the entirety of your sons situation? There is more to life for him than this and for you too!
Dr. Healy, thanks for going against the prevailing attitude in the medical profession and posting this. I went through a period of pretty severe depression several years ago at the same time I was being diagnosed with and going through a terrible period of Crohn’s Disease. I was prescribed antidepressants and filled the prescription but never could bring myself to take them. I read that there appeared to be a connection between Crohn’s and depression, and thought that maybe if my Crohn’s symptoms diminished that perhaps the depression would as well. I was concerned about messing around with my brain chemistry and wondering how I would ever get off antidepressants once I started them, particularly if they impaired my judgment. Thankfully, over 12-18 months my Crohn’s gradually went into remission and I came out of the depression. I have remained in remission on the Crohn’s and have had no episodes of depression in the several years since.
I suspect you could write largely the same article about statins which are overprescribed based on the successful lobbying efforts of the pharmaceutical industry to repeatedly lower the levels of cholesterol at which they’re prescribed. My father took these for years and became very weak with muscle fatigue in his 60’s. I suspect the statins played a role in that.
After much reading on these type of topics and understanding the incentives of the pharmaceutical industry and the medical community, my default position is to refuse a drug or medical screening unless there is an extremely compelling argument for it when considering the risks and potential benefits under both scenarios. And while I will consider the physician’s advice, I will also do my own research.
There does seem to be a strong link between the gut and depression – see this:
Thanks for sharing this Dr. Healy,
My son suffered from fairly severe school-related anxiety when he was very young. Every doctor insisted that I start him on Paxil or Prozac or Zoloft. I politely declined.
But it got to a point that I couldn’t get a doctor in our area to see him for treatable issues that he had. (He had extraordinarily MILD cerebral palsy–or something that mimicked very, very mild C.P.) I was labeled as non-compliant–and I guess I was “non-compliant.” I didn’t trust the medication; I thought it was a bad idea for my kid.
Meanwhile, I was very tired, I was gaining weight, easily fatigued, pale, out-of-breath during exercise, spent lots of time sitting and laying on our couch. So, every doctor I saw diagnosed me with depression and wrote me a prescription for Prozac, Paxil, or Zoloft. But I knew I wasn’t depressed. I didn’t TEND TOWARD depression–I was a generally happy person. Sorta born that way, I think. So I never filled the prescriptions for myself, either.
One day, I decided I would compromise. I decided I would get one of my prescriptions filled and see what effect the medication had on me.
I was given, supposedly a “baby dose,” and only took half of one one day.
I woke up the next morning with the worst sense of impending doom than I can describe. It was like a dark drapery was pulled down on my entire life. For the very first time in my life I felt deep, inexplicable sadness–I experienced utter despair. Out of nowhere!
This was 24 hours after having taken one half of one pill!
It terrified me that this medication was given to children and adolescents who may not make the connection between THAT pill and THAT feeling.
I became a member of 23andme and begged them to start asking their members if they had had any similar experiences. 23andme is currently studying this. Perhaps it is a medication that certain genetic profiles respond well to, and others do not.
(Sort of like statin meds, @DP–same experience with my dad and my husband following statin medication. Same medication–same symptoms. Symptoms that never relented.)
Anyway, I have met people who feel they have received a benefit from anti-depression medications–but they tend to be people who always tended toward depression.
But I think anti-depressant medication can be downright dangerous (particularly to children and adolescents) who do not tend toward depression; indeed I think it can trigger depression!
By the way–my fatigue, lack of energy, etc.,–I was severely, severely anemic, as it turns out. I wasn’t “depressed.”
I appreciate parents who are at the ends of their rope, and I am not saying that all such medication is bad for all children. But my child’s anxiety cleared up without medication. I was fortunate enough to be able to home school him until he seemed ready to overcome the anxiety for the payoff of spending time with peers. (About 5th-6th grade.) He’s a great kid, and a great student–4th year pre-med at UCLA. (Neuroscience major, ironically.) To this day–he’s never been medicated with a psychotropic medication.
I am just so relieved to see this issue discussed. And I am so relieved that I was an adult when I tried my one-half of a “baby dose” of Prozac.
You are very lucky. On a friend’s suggestion I was given Prozac when I was extremely stressed with 4 major life changing projects maturing at the same time. I remember almost nothing of the next 20 months. Apparently, overnight, I had a gross suicidal reaction. I was admitted to a private clinic and given ECT the next day. For the next 20 months, after being diagnosed with bipolar which astonished everyone I knew, I had one drug after another and almost continuous ECT (66), mostly against my will. I lost the memories of my children growing up, my skills as a sculptor, I couldn’t recognise some of my own work, the ability to write (my third book was about a third finished), a planned movie series and a sitcom (optioned), all had to be abandoned. Frequently people would and still do, come up to me claiming friendship but I had no idea who they were. One was a gallery owner looking for more work. It was 3 years before I began to discover that huge sections of my memory was wiped out. Despite what David Healy says there is an enormous body of evidence that shows ECT severely affects memory & cognition. “It’s [memory loss] a nonissue. The idea that your memory is wiped out is a fiction.” British psychiatrist David Healy, MD, FRC.
Tests have shown significant deficits, particularly in my non verbal cognitive functions, similar to those found after any severe brain trauma. For 13 years I was trapped in the psychiatric system. Last February, (2013) I walked away after my doctor said all she could offer me was Closapine and/or ECT. I have had NO signs of ANY `mental illness’ whatsoever. I have even got my tennis game back. I knew that doctor for 10 years. I have tapered off the drugs and am now an advocate and activist against the excesses of psychiatry. Good luck for the future and congratulations for being a great Mum.
Your experience is similar to mine I have been on the medication roulette wheel for 5 years and have just recieved a course of ECT im mentally scared and am just existing . The psychiatrist I saw over the course of this time just kept changing my medication stop start stop start and said withdrawel was not possible I now know different. ECT has caused severe memory loss and cognitive issues which im struggling to deal with. I have walked away from psychiatry. I have lost my marriage my home and my 7 year old son. I dont know whats next.
Please help !!! I have been on meds for depression , anxiety and insomnia for around 19 years . I did a cold turkey of Trazadone and klonopin and I am loosing my mind . I went to four new doctors given Seroquel which I only took for 9 days and stopped . My husband is leaving be because he can’t take it anymore . I have not slept for six months . I have tried all the natural meds in the market with no hope .
The problem you are faced with is reduction of the drug and symptomatic responses together.
Cold turkey is the most dangerous and brutally futile way to go.
Your husband may not understand what’s going on and will sadly listen to the ‘expert’ who is no more than a prescriber –
You need do as much research as you can and ask for a reduction program of sorts – i strongly advocate liquid dose reduction because you can minimise the dose and decided when you are ready to lower that dose
i was 1ml a month to 6weeks
the support from family is indeed needed – it would be great if your husband sat and read this page here to see the difficulty and dangers associated with these drugs from first hand experiences.
i wish you all the best and hope you find the way through
i was reducing 1ml every month to 6weeks and this took me two years
Yes there is indeed a connection between your genes and the medications you can metabolise. To be brief and very simple, the enzymes of the cytochrome p450 family are responsible for much drug metabolism (street and many pharmaceuticals).
If you have gene deletions or alterations, the medication will not be metabolised and will build up quickly to toxic levels, which shows up as psychiatric symptoms including the very dangerous akathisia, psychosis and various other side effects that look like mental illness to the untrained (which sadly, usually includes doctors and psychiatrists). Add to that polypharmacy (co-prescription of medications), stupidly (and unneccesarily) large doses and drugs with long-half-lives (prescribed to the averages dictated by ‘evidence based medicine’), and you have a perfect storm of adverse drug reactions masquerading as mental illnesses.
I don’t even have words for the tragedies I have witnessed through the ignorance of prescribers (and I am not including conscious members of the medical profession here; it is not my intention to insult).
The test for CYP450 genes is a simple cheek swab, although you will be hard-pressed to find a doctor who can understand the results and the implications for drug therapy. I am hoping in the future that personalised medicine will become the norm, and doctors will test all people they want to give medication to, as this is the most precise way we currently have to tell in advance who is at risk of an adverse drug reaction.
I just finished reading your reply to Dr Healys post. Where can I find more
Information regarding the gene and or inability to metabolize psych medications leading to build up and adverse side effects like the ones you addressed in your post. I believe I suffer from this and it’s impossible to actually find proof this condition actually exist. Thank you.
After reading the posts here I have wonder about the medication I take. I have been on SSRI and antipsychotic meds for nearly eighteen years and had a stay in acute ward for mental illness for two months at the beginning of this that started all sorts of meds on me. Because I have been on meds for so long I feel I don’t know who I really am anymore. At times I feel I am an experiment in a experimentation. I go along to my appointments see many doctors and nurses. In between the appointments I can have days feeling like rubbish and just about existing. I have had to work my meds out to suit what is best ie the time to take them and when if it be one sort morning the other sort before bed. In the mornings I can feel like a zombie or a drunk and my day could be gone and totally wasted in having to lie down and sleep. I have to force myself to do things like put a load of washing on and be a wife and mother. The last years have pasted with my children and seem that I have lost parts of it when I have been in a pit of misery.
What I’m trying to say is are the meds that I’m on making me stay in this state.
I use to be a happy person and nothing really bothered me.
Married 25years now life had ups and downs. My nearest has ME my late mum had MS and then cancer. Even I of late had cancer and major operation and thankfully I’m cleared of cancer without any further treatment because of detection early on that spead it on to get it done.
The past years have been stressful dealing with lots of things but what really really puts me down is people’s judgment the latest that has been said to me is ‘ it is all your fault ‘ I feel left up there hanging and nobody cares now.
I feel that my son call depression is non existing to family and maybe friends. Years of it down the toilet now. I am very careful now who I talk to now because anything I say may get past around and make me feel even worst. I feel at times it’s a game to people and maybe the medical professionals I don’t know. This may look brazare and unbelievable but it has come to this in have I been used.
I feel on my own now and don’t trust anyone now. Is it the meds doing this to me or is it just me?
Maggie, you may not see this reply as it is 5 years after your post. But I want to commend you for having the intuition to follow what you know was best for your son!! I commend you for not allowing that young man to take that FIRST dose of poison. You are a rock star mom! Psychotropic medications prescribed to children is criminal. I know first hand. I trusted my daughter’s therapist and psychiatrist – she was 13 at the time. Now six years later, no friends, no social connection, cognitive deficits, withdrawn from school, the drugs have been debilitating and cognitively disabling. We are in the process of tampering her off and it is pure hades! But we are going to stay the course because it has to be better for her on the other side – free from psych medication.
Apart from what most of us know — that the psychiatric profession has been unforthcoming as to necessary facts or accountability, that the pharmaceutical companies exert entirely too much influence, and that too many doctors are more or less incompetent — the issue remains that you, too, Dr. Healy, are in at least one regard just as incompetent as those you imply to be. To be specific:
The impression you leave, and doubtless intend to leave (presuming you have an IQ worth mentioning), is that your morals and competence veer between the Scylla of Peter Duesberg of HIV denialist fame, and Thomas Szasz of pharmocological denialism fame. I suspect the latter is but a bipolar humbug in no mood to allow an empirical rational for his moods and exaggerations and embellishments. Fortunately they are more irritating than harmful. The former, however, is easily a medium for hundreds if not thousands of HIV deaths. And the reason you are keeping their delightful company is this — you suppose that because we do not have the Mack-truck-in-your-face evidence, you can feel free to idiotically assert that mental illness is mainly iatrogenic in the way Duesberg claims HIV is owing to drugs, recreational and therapeutic.
Now allow me to set you aright, Sir. When anti-retrovirals came to be statistically (at p < .001) associated with lowered viral loads and the latter, by the same significance with decreased symptomatology, it doesn't require anyone but a full-blown bipolar with an agenda to pronounce the antithesis to what is rational to all normals. Dr. Healy, you are expected as a professional to know these things very well, and yet you deliberately exaggerate, embellish and employ hyperbole to light tinder rather than educate minds.
How else to account for so ribald a denial of scientific orthodoxy? While you allow drugs in acute cases, the vast majority of mental illness that causes unemployment, poverty, vagrancy, belligerency, family destruction, and etc., are the result of chronic, not acute symptomatology, which you would have the reader believe are collectively, and in all likelihood, not requiring of treatment. Reread the thoughtful comment of GS. That person know what they were talking about.
You can't have it both ways, doctor. Get a grip and rewrite that article before reposting elsewhere.
To CS Herrmann.
I would like to add to the list:
– All psychotropic drugs (including antidepressants) have a chemical structure and an influence on neurotransmitter pathways similar to illegal drugs. It’s a myth that they are different. Consequently, addiction and side effect reported on psychotropic drugs are similar to illicit drug users.
– Pharmaceutical clinical trials include only small population and usually ‘trouble’ cases are excluded by participant selection criteria. That’s why only post-marketing surveillance can reveal all adverse effects. However the post-marketing results are very rare reach doctors.
– It is only a THEORY that depression is the consequence of neurotransmitters imbalance. We only know that SSRIs block the reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. The result is an increased availability of serotonin in the synaptic space, which cause the decrease of specific transporters . Is this imbalance helps to ‘balance’ the brain function? In another words we only hypothesize that it helps to control depression. In my opinion, it’s brain cells that ‘adapt’ to long prescription of SSRI s and rebalance itself to norm. Changing the balance of serotonin SEEMS TO help brain cells send and receive chemical messages ( no clear evidence provided by research).
– What is norm and what is not in brain biochemistry? We all react differently to drugs. It is a known fact, however, data produced by pharmacogenetics, for example, are openly denied by majority of medical practitioners. In opposite, facts based on ‘SEEMS TO’ theory is embraced.
Dr Gotzsche is not denying requirement to treatment , he is raising awareness of adverse drug reaction on SSRIs and drug overuse. Ignoring the fact that any drug (including SSRI) can cause side effect is also leads to life-threatening situations for thousands of patients (deterioration of HIV patients is just quicker). You are obviously moved by losses because of HIV denial and Dr Gotzsche is also concerned about the health and well-being of mental patients due to the denial of drug safety knowledge.
Thanks for this brave post!
ANDREA – You are an inspiration to us all. Your strength and wisdom belies your age. The world is a better place because of people like you. There is a development in the UK, via Dr Lucy Johnstone, a style of `therapy’ called `psychological formulation’. There is an interview with her on Facebook. An idea. Thank you. Deirdre.
I appreciate your points, Iskander. But I also represent the commonsense understanding that science and experience together create and support, namely, that psychotropic drugs WORK on the vast array of mental illness.
As I said in my post at the very top, I am aware of the deficiencies of medical and psychiatric practice. It goes without saying that mistakes are rife, dangerous and indeed culpable of misery, debility and death.
But two points remain relevant by way of perspective. First, practically nobody who has any experience with mental illness or the health professions is unaware of all the issues surrounding SSRIs. It’s old hat. Period. What is at risk is that constant harping on the obvious risks losing track of the relevant fact that the drugs WORK. Second, people being people, those with agendas take advantage of others’ desire to place trust in experts. This means that readers are necessarily in adverse reliance, and must hope, without recourse to knowledge, that the experts will not abuse their trust. The two folks responsible for this cavalcade of overblown hyperbole are playing on natural instincts to question all of authority when only parts of it are problematic. Overstressing these errors, while independently necessary (but already done sufficiently) serves only to cause normals and patients alike to question exactly what is most dangerous to question — the efficacy of these drugs to greatly reduce infirmity. I am thousands of others are the proof of that.
So, again, while we require to know the whole truth, we must understand that overplaying our hand can do its own kind of damage. Think how many are refusing treatment for serious mental illness because they have taken literally all of these warnings of the two who sponsor this column and others. Were it not for the constant barrage of fear-mongering parading as innocent warnings there would be far less reason to worry over the continuing specter of mass killings. See my article Alice in a Mass Killer’s Wonderland either at OpEdNews or on ResearchGATE.
We disagree on this point. First the data show rating scale changes rather than real benefits. Second RCTs are necessarily focussed on a primary outcome – one effect – and close to hypnotize doctors from noticing the 99 other things a drug does. On a numerical basis there are more people being injured than harmed. The drugs are risky. The risks may be worth taking if the condition warrants it – but most people being given SSRIs do not warrant such risks and are ill-informed as to the risks. Most of the Antidepressants currently being consumed in Western settings are being administered chronically – close to 10% of the population – and this likely reflects dependence.
C.S. Hermann says: “First, practically nobody who has any experience with mental illness or the health professions is unaware of all the issues surrounding SSRIs.”
I challenge that assumption. I wonder what your evidence might be.
Here are more than 1,000 current case reports demonstrating clear patterns of clinician error in misdiagnosing common adverse reactions, overprescribing, not knowing the basics of tapering, and not recognizing withdrawal symptoms http://tinyurl.com/3o4k3j5
It’s very, very obvious that many doctors all over the world, including psychiatrists, are completely unaware of the risks of antidepressants.
Oh, I hear you loud and clear. But recall what I actually said, that which you excerpted. I referenced those outside of the profession, not within. And I also, I say now for the third time in these comments, that the professions has been horrifically bad in many regards, and you are mentioning one of them, to which i can hardly offer complaint for being in full agreement.
But now note the larger perspective here. Patients MUST learn to be their own advocates when they cannot find others. And nmy advocates I DO NOT mean those whose counsel implies a denial of the basics: 1) mental illness is a reaction to stress and is due to the organism’s over-reactions that become generic and hard-wired, whence requiring more than talk therapy; 2) the drugs work. Not universally, but nearly enough so as to be a well taken fact of existence that is only foolish and worse to deny or ignore.
Ergo, when it comes to anti-depressants and SSRI in particular, ptirnets have to question openly thier doctors’ choices and explanatipons. They need to bring in copies of scholarly articles increasingly available for free on the internet (Elsevier especially good) — and I do NOT include in that category the off-hand half-truths of the two authors of this post series.
Admittedly, this is hardly an ideal solution. But there are no other better ones until we manage to reform medical education, especially the residency programs in psychiatry. We should also seriously consider giving better training to clinical psychologists and have them enabled to work hand-in-hand with physicians. More can be done. But again, it is NOT good policy to spread so much venom through half-truths that people are led away from the essentials. That is my undying belief and I will never waver in it, for my own experience and that of everyone I have counseled supports it.
I can assure you through personal experience as well as 1,000 case reports that it is very, very difficult for patients to educate doctors by offering them scholarly articles, no matter how well chosen.
Physicians are fairly impervious to information, no matter how well documented, coming from a patient. They would rather function on the basis of their own belief systems, something they learned from a drug company, or word-of-mouth from a friend at a conference.
You say: “1) mental illness is a reaction to stress and is due to the organism’s over-reactions that become generic and hard-wired, whence requiring more than talk therapy; 2) the drugs work. Not universally, but nearly enough so as to be a well taken fact of existence that is only foolish and worse to deny or ignore.”
Both of those assertions are debatable. The first, out of biological psychiatry, is strongly contested by the psychotherapy community as well as psychiatry reformers. The foundations for the second — that the drugs undeniably work — have been shown to be riddled with all kinds of error: jiggered clinical trial results, conflict of interest, observer bias, etc. You may recall the huge uproar over Irving Kirsch’s findings? Plus, you have the testimony of patients — but who wants to hear from them?
Given the huge 30% dropout rates from clinical trials, mostly due to intolerable side effects, clinical trials reveal that about a third find antidepressants intolerable, a third get no beneficial effect, and a third supposedly benefit. This is what you’d expect from drugs that are no more effective than placebo.
I agree patients need to be their own advocates. In fact, I call this defensive medicine — you defend yourself against your doctors. The facts about antidepressants have been so thoroughly distorted, the general public needs strong corrective messages for its own good.
With the excessive overprescription of antidepressants in the developed world (example: the US http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db76.htm), it’s hard to believe the truth should be suppressed lest potential customers get scared off: Given the risks, antidepressants should be used only as a last resort in extreme cases.
Clearly, overprescription to millions is a public health issue that needs to be addressed. Waving the bloody shirt of dire consequences such as suicide serves no one but the psychiatry industry. Obviously, 11% of the US population doesn’t need to be taking antidepressants to reduce the .01% suicide rate.
Well said. The what I have come to learn is (both from experience and my own extensive research into patient testimonials) is the worsening of both mental and physical health issues, that go dismissed by Doctors for being adverse reactions/side effects because not listed by Pharma.
The symptoms and ADRs instead believed as other ailments and thus also drugged to treat, these range from physical problems (bowel/skin/headaches/eye strain etc) to that of believed more aggressive mental health issues (Bipolar/Unipolar/Manic Depression)
Take a look at the Effexor petition itself, there are no less than 30.000 signatures asking Wyeth to list the full list and extremities of the ADRs and symptomatic reactions.
Are 30.000 people really that wrong? Is it not actual scientific evidence that 30.000 people are suffering as opposed to benefittng?
I truly believe common sense speaks for itself – A business needs customers, repeat customers to ever be successful – Pharma is indeed a business (one of the most powerful and successful businesses on the planet.
A patient cured is a customer lost – Nuff said.
Furthermore – Only now, years on I have come to learn terminology needs inspecting on every scientific study – Please note even the leaflets accompanying the antidepressant states how the drug is `believed` to work. there is no definitive actuality of how it works.
My further research has led to other studies claiming drugs and methods as `suggested` , `assumed`, inclined to, `indicating`, Nothing is proven as solid fact.
The people advocating these drugs based on pharma` marketing is scary – I do not wish ill on the anyone but, in this case, experience outweighs text book knowledge and I invite any advocate to have a taste of their own medicine (pun intended)
Sorry but I must say you’re wrong, wrong and wrong.
First of all many of these drugs do not work (I suggest looking in Pubmed for meta-analysis studies on the original clinical trials submitted to FDA). Most if not all of the apparent “my patient got better so the drug works” can be attributed to the placebo effect. And even when one claims that the drugs “work” one has to wonder what is exactly the definition of “working” in case of psych drugs. This seems to be very often different for patients and doctors especially in involuntary cases. Walking around feeling like a zombie is not exactly what most people desire. Plus there is clear evidence that antipsychotics make people worse in the long-term and likely prevent spontaneous recovery.
Secondly, I’ve seen and talked to many so-called “professionals” and I can’t recall a single one of them who had any idea about the drugs they were so eager to prescribe for anything, including off-label uses. I had more knowledge about them after reading the leaflet for 5 minutes but everything I said was dismissed as nonsense. I’ve seen “good professionals” denying that benzos can cause anterograde amnesia despite the fact that they are used exactly for that effect in other areas of medicine. So I don’t believe for a second that “practically nobody who has any experience with mental illness or the health professions is unaware of all the issues surrounding SSRIs”.
Thirdly, it is not the folks who are questioning authority who are the problem. The problem is that the authority has lost it’s credibility to the point that many people who lack necessary education to understand the complexities of various problems don’t know what to believe anymore so they stop believing anything at all. Putting on a smiley face and pretending that everything’s OK and don’t panic does not work anymore nor should it work. The only thing to do is to fix the problem and apologise.
Here in the United States there is C SPAN They are saying that incarceration is not working, that addicts need treatmnt. They talk circles around each others heads. They are saying doctors need to be educated. They are protecting doctors, pharmacists, Judges who arr sending people to jail and prisons and giving thm More skittles and stopping the drugs abrruptly. Then y never mention the WORD TITRATION or withdrawal. So more money for a failing system. They did say people need treatment, but I it ts only apparent it will be drugs on drugs polypharmacy again. Big pharma has trillions
Thank you so much, C.S. Herrman. I have been helped by meds, and more recently by ECT. They have saved my life. It is very sad that some people push this anti-med/ECT agenda. There are probably many depressed people who have listened to internet advice instead of their own providers; how many still suffer, how many have killed themselves because they were scared away from effective treatments by people like those who post here. I would certainly be dead by now if I hadn’t trusted my doctors. And for God’s sake, David Healy, stop calling them “happy pills.” That is a gross mischaracterization.
I have a dear friend who heeds the instructions of a therapist who will not work with any client who takes psychotropics. So my friend struggles with severe emotional pain and suicidal ideation every fucking day. While I take my meds and offer what support I can. And why does she suffer? Because of some fearmongers she found on the internet. You guys can go to hell, while I live a healthy, productive life.
I didn’t write this post. Peter Goetzsche did. I never use the term Happy Pills. I believe the medication and ECT has its place but we have lost our balance and there is less scaremongering – if you like to call it that – than there should be. Any treatment can be crippling and we should always bear that in mind before using it.
That interesting because I have had entirely the opposite experience. From the moment I took SSRIs I was infinitely worse, I now recognise I had serotonin syndrome on a regular basis and I am still plagued by the after effects of SSRI damage which are common enough now to be well represented in the literature and to have colloquial names. Tinnitus from day 2 of my withdrawal (6 years ago) headzaps (especially when I’ll), balance issues, fasciculations and intention tremors not to mention anger issues that led a professional mild mannered 45 year old to end up contemplating suicide after several brushes with the law, something I would never had imagined feasible prior to my withdrawal.
I was put on these drugs because of a minor relationship issue, if the doctor had identified the issue correctly some councilling time and esteem building would have been a far more appropriate and effective intervention. I now have compromised reading ability mood swings motivation issues and my life has been affected drastically.
Recent DNA tests show I’m mao-a ++ , the last thing I should have had as an intervention is an uptake inhibitor.
Treating something on symptoms alone without any insight into the inner workings whilst getting financial kickbacks off the producers of the medicine , isn’t that the very definition the likes of quackwatch use to degenerate similar alternative interventions as quackery ?
At a minimum genetic ( mao-a) testing should be a prerequisite to a doctor prescribing uptake inhibitors.
I have no doubt there are people who benefit from interventions but there needs to be more effort to gather insight into problems rather than such coarse treatments that cause more harm than good. If my case was a minority this discussion would be but a few posts long, sites like surviving antidepressants wouldn’t exist. There is a long and unprofessional historic trend that allows poorly qualified and poorly informed physicians with a god complex to treat patients without proper insight. Psychiatry had the same issues 80 years ago
So True! I have been in 12 step recovery for years, and having read through all of the literature, the fact remains that even these programs say that one should abstain from Mind and/or Mood altering substances. Bill Wilson did a ton of research before his death on Niacin and Dopamine Uptake as a way of preventing alcoholic cravings, yeah, yeah, and LSD. The sad part about it is I would say at least half the people are on some sort of psychiatric drug. I can tell by their energy when I meet them. It numbs people, and in this sick way, brainwashes them. I can’t tell you how many times after meetings if you share anything remotely related to depression, how fast people swarm you to push Antidepressants and the name of their Psychiatrist on you. My reply is normally, “Well, have you ever tried to get off the meds? Don’t you go through some horrific withdrawal, kinda like alcohol?” That usually shuts them up. Ugh. So sad. It has gotten to the point where I have a hard time socializing w people who are on these drugs. It really alters their personality.
Thank you Dr. Gotzsche for this breath of fresh air! If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been handed the “insulin story”, I could retire rich. One of the story’s selling points (especially among those who know it’s not good science) is the promise that it will reduce stigma attached to mental illness. Yet there’s considerable evidence that people who see psych diagnoses as caused by a “broken brain” are actually less likely to accept those diagnosed as neighbors, and more likely to fear them.
There’s also real evidence that this narrative of a “lifelong brain illness” especially when given to young people experiencing a first mental or emotional crisis, produces demoralizing hopelessness and helplessness. And it’s often reinforced by mental health professionals who tell them to relinquish their goals and accept a future built around their meds and their chronic illness.
MindFreedom USA conducted a survey of “Hope in Mental Health” interviewing 390 people, most of whom rated themselves as either fully or substantially recovered. Yet almost two-thirds reported being told their illness was lifelong and that symptom management was the best they could expect. Three-fourths were told at some point that they would be on medication for the rest of their life, and 49% were urged to give up a cherished life goal such as a career, a family or a home of their own.
The story archive itself is a real treat – and they’re still accepting new stories:
Try this one for `mis-information +++Re ECT:
“It is one of the most effective treatments in all of medicine—not just psychiatry.” and…If a patient’s depression is one that requires lifetime treatment with ECT, then ECT would be used for life.”
Edward Coffey, MD, professor of psychiatry and of neurology at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan, and a member of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) task force on ECT.
…“the least accepted among the psychiatric treatments.” The authors attributed that perception to “outdated myths about the procedures and side effects,” as well as its portrayal in the media as “an inhumane or even sadistic form of treatment.” A survey published in the April 15, 2005 journal Psychiatry Research.
The media gets its info from the users. Not “Myths”, just experience.
It so sad how these psychiatrists prescribe poison to young minds that are still developing! Then turn around and tell them to give up your dreams, hopes, desires, because you are now incapable of achieving anything! Resign yourself to a life of chronic illness, living in a group home. It just ridiculous! My child was so creative and full of life. That light and genius has been dimmed. THESE DRUGS ARE THE WORST EVER! That’s fact.
was given these ssri drugs for panic attacks.I was given all the drivel of chemical imbalance etc etc, I took them for 8 years after being told I would need to take them for life, because I need them like a diabetic needs insulin.I became emotionally numb , gained a lot of weight and my love life disappeared.
So I stopped taking them, tapering over 3 months as instructed by my Gp, the withdrawl was horrendous I had the most horrid depression, suicidal thoughts, head shocks, head pains, stomach & bowel problems, balance problems, tinnitus, head pressure, lost over 2 stone below my normal weight, had anxiety, akathesia, and much more, These symptoms lingered for years and after 8 years off some still remain. I started with Panic attacks and ended up with a cocktail of awful symptoms I never had prior to these drugs!
Great article, and I can shake hands with former poster Ruth.
I was prescribed Paxil/Seroxat in 2002 for anxiety relates issues. While it worked pretty well in suppressing my anxiety, I also did some strange and dangerous things while under the influence of the drug. I wanted to get off after 2 years but I was addicted already and got so sick from the withdrawals I saw no other choice than restarting to keep my job.
No single explanation from my GP who ony told me that “some people needed it for life” without giving any explanation about the difference between relapse and withdrawal.
I remained a prisoner of Seroxat for three more years with severeal horrific withdrawal attempts, cold turkey, cutting the dose in two or alternating the dose. All method only led to acute and unbearable disease.
I finally quit in 2007, still not knowing about tapering and hoping for the best. It has become the most hellish ride of my life and almost my death.
Now 6 years later, having lost my job due to WD a long time ago, having lost tens of thousands of bugs I am still recovering from the withdrawal of this so-called “non addictive wonder drug”.
I reported my horrific and slmost fatal experience with Paxil/Seroxat to all involved watchdog offices in the Netherlands, only to get a 10-line answer in which I was “thanked for reporting”.
Also I wrote a letter to manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline to confront them with my experience and with the fact that all this was already reported since 2002 and asked director Van Olden how GSK was going to conpensate me and the many other victims of this “wonder drug” and how it was possible that is was marketed as non addictive.
In the reaction of this “doctor” Van Olden, he only stated that my files were closed “because of my anger”… Without answering any of my questions!
These murderous malpractices really need to stop and this article is one step in the right direction. Also finally tapering strips for Paroxetine are availiable now here in the Netherlands, way too late for me but even some psychiatrists seem to slowly see the light.
But unfortunately, we have to accept that many years of our lives have been destroyed by criminal companies pushing crinimal drugs and we just have to live with that…
Dr. Healy thanks for your bravey and good work. Your work helps me to accept what has happend to me and many others and find the force to build a new life on the smoking ruins of my old life which was destroyed by Seroxat.
Thank you for this article. It’s short and very to the point–good for passing on to others. And thank you for your courage in speaking up.
As a teenager I found I got so sleepy drinking at parties I stopped trying to drink. I was totally uninterested in street drugs. When I was given antipsychotics the adverse side-effects were immediate and severe (one affected my fine motor coordination to the point that I couldn’t dress myself). Of course I have chosen to go as drug-free as possible.
If more doctors listened to their patients they would have discovered these and many other things long ago.
Great article. I wish you would mention the benefits of psychotherapy as a treatment modality for many mental disorders; it is safe, effective, and creates lasting change. As more and more people begin to see through the claims of the pharmaceutical industry, safe alternatives to drugs need to be promoted.
If you don’t believe that mental illness is not caused by a chemical imbalance ; do you have an explanation for the pathogenesis of melancholic depression and schizophrenia ?
Don’t you believe in mental illness?
How do you think that these illnesses should be treated if you don’t believe in psychotropic medications ?
Your post is very confusing;I would recommend you to talk about the ideal ways of treating rather than wasting time on myths.
I agree that many psychological conditions can be contained by psychotherapy rather than medications and in such conditions medications cause no good than harm but tell us how genuine psychiatric illness can be treated because it not only is beneficial to the patient but also beneficial to the society as risks are minimised .
The post was written by Peter Gotzsche. I believe mental illness is real and physical treatments can help. The chemical imbalance ideas is just marketing copy – inspired marketing copy that has led millions of people to give themselves some very real chemical imbalances that have been far worse than anything that might have been wrong in the first instance. DH
DH – you have never addressed my question of a month ago — how should a family deal with an overtly psychotic family member, if not with antipsychotics?
Our son’s third break occurred in August 2012. because his two prior hospitalizations were so dreadfully bad, we promised him that WE would not take him to the hospital. In April 2013 he was hospitalized for a month — taken there by police.
The antipsychotics brought him back to some measure or nomalcy, to the point where he could resume his university studies.
We, as parents, are completely dissatisfied with the provision of psychiatric care. But the column’s contentions, while many are true, are not fully supported in fact or practice.
I can’t find an original email from you on my system or a note from you on the blog so I am slightly at a disadvantage here. I also don’t know if you’re referring to Peter G’s post or to something from me.
Re use of antipychotics – I have never advocated not using them. But they do need to be used with care in that they are generic tranquilizers rather than specifically helpful for psychosis, and they come with risks of suicide, aggravation of psychosis, sudden cardiac death, a range of metabolic problems and dependence.
Any one using them should try to ensure the person being given them is on the right drug for them – some antipsychotics may be more dysphoric for me than others – and in the right dose – the best doses are usually much lower than ordinarily given – and only continued for as long as needed.
Is there something in this last statement you disagree with?
DH – I was referring to Peter G’s post, in particular in the last paragraph: “Our citizens would be far better off if we removed all the psychotropic drugs from the market”. My original post was January 22 as “GS”.
I agree that all psychotropics are over used. I agree that they can be harmful and have all sorts of nasty side effects and result in premature death or suicide. They should be prescribed far less than they are, at lower doses and for shorter durations when possible.
Our experience is a son with schizoaffective disorder, 3 psychotic breaks and a total of 78 days in “metal health units”. We lived with our son in the house in varying degrees of psychosis from Summer 2012 until Spring 2013. In our experience psychosis is not self-limiting, even if a person is getting psychotherapy. The antipsychotics are what brought him back to to some measure of reality.
I agree that some drugs are “less bad” than others (all “bad” to some extent). He had terrible side effects from some including EPS, akasthesia and dystonia. Others simply didn’t do anything. Some give him a measure of normalcy.
In the US provision of psychiatric care is terrible — even if you can afford to self pay, there simply are not the providers with either the time or experience to provide adequate guidance — psychotherapy and thoughtful and thorough psychopharmacology.
Blanket statements like “Our citizens would be far better off if we removed all the psychotropic drugs from the market” are just as bad as forced treatment model advocated by E. Fuller Torrey.
I worked with a group of about 30 young people, 16-24, in a `schizophrenic rehab’ unit in the 70s. (We cynically called it the institutionalisation unit). All had been diagnosed with at least 2 psychotic episodes. The charge nurse of the unit was a musician and felt it would be a good idea to devise some kind of musical production. He called me in as he knew I’d had a career in the theatre before I became a psych nurse. We rehearsed and performed/toured this production for 6 months. Nobody had any kind of psychotic break, nobody missed a single rehearsal or performance. As time went by the kids, many of whom were almost paralysed with drugs, sparked up. We had a kind of professional theatre attitude going even though chlorpromazine etc had them by the throat). We found several really talented kids who blossomed, some who were discharged came back to keep going with the show. Parents & friends got involved in lending vans, (to carry sets & equipment), making costumes, (we had almost no money), a doctor’s wife, an artist, helped with painting sets. It was a wonderful time, for me as much as for them. One young woman with a terrible history, paranoid father, childhood schizophrenia, who had passed her final law exam during an acute psychotic episode, who never spoke (drugs) asked to be in the show I almost cried. I think she, (R), was one of the most inspiring people I ever met in my life. It ended after 6 months partly because I was a student and had to be moved on. Within 3 months my 2 most talented kids killed themselves. The wisdom then was, `you will not get better, you can only control…blah, blah. It wasn’t enough. I went on to become a nurse clinician (psychotherapy) and never returned to that unit. R was lost to the system, but one of the outpatients, a brilliant artist who also got depressed at the future being laid out in front of him, DID get better. He stopped his meds, (I knew that and I think quite a few of the others did too, but said nothing) and later became president of a mental health organisation. He retired a few years ago. I’m telling this story because it was a clear path that could have been followed but never was. Purpose, involvement, expectations for self & other, the arts but not necessarily. The history of psychiatry is a brutal one & still is. But the Quakers had it right. Give someone a safe place, reasonable lodgings, good food (well fair food but plenty of it), EXPECTATIONS , respect and a gentle caring attitude you are inviting them back to a world worth living in. The psychiatry I see today is still brutal, the return of psycho `butchery’ we called it in the 1970s, the continued use of electroshock, the forced drugs, physical violence including restraints, shackles and seclusion, and aggressive bullying by staff, are saying we know best, you are a worthless loony, so you will do what I say whether you like it or not. I am now a sometime advocate, ex-patient myself, (at 57), badly damaged by ECT and drugs that were used to treat an SSRI suicidal reaction and ECT induced PTSD which was treated with ECT. My experience of working in an acute `crisis intervention’ unit (unlocked) with limited use of drugs & NO ECT showed me that there was nearly always a reason for the `crisis’ and I and my team worked hard with the patient, and family/support people, and I think they left with hope. I hope so. So rock on `Open Dialogue’! We should be looking for `healing’ not treating. We should not be saying `they’, `you’, we should be saying `us’ and `we’. I took my uniform off way back then and I happily told everyone that `I’m not better than you’, `I don’t know better than you what you need’, `I don’t know how you feel unless you tell me’, `I’ll believe what you tell me’, `your reality is just as valid as mine.’ Well I don’t know if the aliens are coming, do I, do you? Can we please do better? THE PATIENT is just another person and you are not immune.
[…] libros como Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare. En un reciente artículo, Gotzche enlistó 10 mitos o creencias difundidas entre psiquiatras que contribuyen a la […]
[…] como Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare. En un reciente artículo, Gotzche enlistó 10 mitos o creencias difundidas entre psiquiatras que contribuyen a la […]
I’d like to see some comments on this blog post critiquing Dr. Gotzsche’s article above http://real-psychiatry.blogspot.com/2014/02/an-obvious-response-to-psychiatry-gone.html
Just went, read and commented 🙂
Read and commented, told my story but he hasnt allowed my comment a place on his blog – too much evidence contradicting him clearly isnt what he wants
I have told my story so many times – In short I had no mental illness until put on SNRI Venlafaxine
Initially diagnosed in 2001 for `Mild Depression` which was basically my being unhappy and stressed as a young single mum being bullied by an ex – I steadily became worse and diagnosed with manic depression and suicidal tendancies.
My research into these drugs has led me to despair that they are still on the market despite the actual evidence of both patient and medical professional testimonials alongside the death rate.
Pharma still lies and promotes these drugs as wonder treatments and even cures. Billions in profit overriding peoples lives.
How can these myths still be believed? Pharma`s marketing is disturbingly clever, How it has not been brought to book for false advertising and fabricated evidence God only kows
I won’t argue here about the existence or non-existence of mental illness. What is certain is that a vast number of people are MISdiagnosed–and that the diagnosis is never corrected. Before the inclusion of PTSD in the DSM-III (1980) many thousands of Vietnam veterans were routinely diagnosed with schizophrenia despite over half a century of awareness of “battle fatigue” and “shell shock” etc., and that PTSD had been first accurately described in 1942 (38 years before) by Dr. A. Kardiner who described the physiological aspects of an altered stress response and called it a “physio-neurosis” (see Traumatic Stress (1996?) B. van der Kolk, et al, editors).
This is also true for survivors of severe child abuse and molestation who have endured daily interrelational trauma–but the negative effects and stress
of long-term unhealthy relationships are ascribed to an inborn defect such as a personality disorder.
And few PCPs take a careful history before diagnosing depression and prescribing SSRIs, and even fewer respond to problems of side-effects.
If they would fully correct these errors–and similar ones–it would go a long way to addressing the existing problems.
I applaud this article.
I’m dealing with anxiety and emetophobia for over 4 years. I have never been prescribed medication and only did therapy for it. Even though my phobia didn’t get any better and my anxiety is at it’s tops, I would never take any medication. I’m tired, I can’t leave the house, but I wouldn’t take anything for it. Most of the people around me tried to convince me that drugs would make it easier, that I could have a normal life. Lucky me, my therapist told me: “I can give you Xanax, you will be like a vegetable and you would come to therapy twice a week for many many years. I would make a fortune out of you as you would need me and medication more and more. I can’t put anyone on Xanax. I’m human.” I was indeed lucky.
I have friends on Xanax and they are doing worse than me with the same anxiety problems to start with. After 4 years of therapy, reading articles and meditation I still believe that anxiety and phobias are emotional imbalances. In my world you cannot treat emotional imbalances with medication. You can’t fix them like that. In best case you only avoid the symptoms and pretend you are fine when deep inside of you, the roots are still there. In therapy I’m trying to find the roots of my anxiety and phobia and heal those from the roots.
Leaving side effects and painful withdrawals apart, does anyone think that emotional pain can be cured with medicine? Isn’t it, in fact, something very personal that has left you a scarr? How could you ever cure something emotional with meds?
Will meds take away unfortunate experiences or memories that hurt? Will they ever take away the fact that you were abused on any level? Will they make you more confident, more aware or happier?
I am still lucky to have the force to try. I’m still trying my best. I’m trying to go out even though my confort zone is reduced to my 4 walls and when I go out I feel sick. I’m trying to go to therapy even though I hate it and love it at the same time – it just hurts. I’m trying to do exposure, I’m obsessing with images from therapy but I’m still going forward. I’m 24, I want a family and a life. I still do.
If I will ever go back to normal? I don’t know… But for the rest of my days I want to go to bed every night knowing that I did my best that day without any drugs.
After 4 years I can say that anxiety thought me how to more open minded, how not to judge people, how to understand everyone better than I did before, how to care, how to love more, how to appreciate everything I have, how to love the sunshine every morning regardless of my fears. I would never give that up and I would most certanly loose them by going on drugs.
Thank you for this article. Helped more than a lot!
For everyone else, stay strong whever you are! All my best wishes to everyone!
I’m glad you knew better and did not go down that path. I think that saying you had depression linked to Crohn’s disease is in itself kind of bs. Depression was supposed to be a disease, when a person has a long period of bad mood for no reason, or say pathologically. But now any reaction to a bad life situation be it disease, family problems, money issues etc. is a depression. There is nothing abnormal about being sad and feeling overwhelmed and hopeless when in any of these circumstances and labelling it as a separate disease that is somehow a medical problem in its own right is total and utter nonsense.
I don’t think anyone is advocating banning these drugs although the argument for a severe restriction could be made. Antipsychotics are not anti-psychotic, they’re just major tranquilizers and it should be up to the person who’s taking them to decide if they prefer this effect over whatever psychotic experiences they have. What does your son think about it? I know it can be difficult for people in your situation but letting the practice of just drugging people by default and keeping them like that is ensuring that the system will never be improved. Psychotherapy is not likely to help too much, the Open Dialogue-like approaches are different from psychotherapy, the fat that some talking is done does not mean they’re the same. Moreover, on the drugs – it seems like although they suppress the symptoms in the short term over the long-term they make people much worse. I could write more but I’ll just recommend a good article:
It quotes a lot of studies on the subject but does not exhaust the list.
I don’t have a good answer about what to do in your situation. I know from experience that the hospitals are horrific places of torture and drugs often are not better, the torture is just in your head. Unfortunately, until we build a better system there is no way out…
Dr Healy thinks electroshock (ECT) is great!
He wrote a book about it.
See these websites for more info on ECT:
ectresources.org, endofshock.com, breggin.com,
mindfreedom.org, ectjustice.com, ect.org
You bet, Sue. I did send a missive about this but I’m not sure where it went. I’ll send a few facts again. A black panther is a leopard, you just have look harder to see the spots.
1….”the move away from using ECT as a first-line treatment of depression in the 1940s and 1950s…is a medical calamity: ” A treatment of proven safety and reliability.” Yeah, and the world began 6000 years ago??? “It is as though penicillin had entered a fallow period because of opposition from Christian Science.” (I think they mean Scientology)
2. Re memory loss, “It’s a non-issue. The idea that your memory is wiped out is a fiction.”
3. Co-author, Edward Shorter, “…the feeling…unilateral is really a waste of time. Empirically (?) we know there is less memory disturbance in unilateral, but what is widely overlooked is that the memory loss with bilateral is not that big a deal. It’s vastly overstated…”
4. Co-author Max Fink “ECT is one of God’s gift to mankind.” But it’s women who get 70% of ECT.”…”“Persistent memory loss is a very rare phenomenon. You won’t find much in the literature except from individuals who complain, patients who get together and chatter and say all their troubles are due to ECT.” (NASTY EH? They’re keeping Maxy away from the public these days. Typically, hide anything close to telling the truth.) Let’s check some FACTS:
1. Healy: “ECT is effective and prevents suicide.”
FACT: NO. It does nothing for depression. It merely superimposes a traumatic brain injury/organic brain syndrome whose symptoms are interpreted as `improvement’.
NO evidence whatsoever that ECT protects against suicide, may CAUSE it. Telling people this is irresponsible as they may stop being vigilant.
2. Healy: “New techniques make ECT safe.”
FACT: NO. The power & strength of the shock to the brain is hugely increased from earlier times. Old = under 100volts for 0.1 second; new = 450 volts for 8 seconds.
3. Healy: “There has to be a suitable convulsion to be therapeutic.”
FACT: NO. The convulsion is a side effect. It’s the power that does the job. Brief pulse (1940s) ECT was ditched because the lower power didn’t cause an injury severe enough to `change’ behaviour.
How does Dr Healy feel about the `need’ to top up ECT’s miserable results with an anti-depressant? But then he can always give people a head injury every week, or month for years to `maintain improvement’?
Why won’t Healy et al allow access to patients and set up a placebo study; or let us do a simple non-invasive study using EEG supervision before, during and after ECT to check out your claim of `no physical’ injury to the brain; or use neuropsychological testing at regular intervals over a long term; or Sabin’s 1951 Autobiographical Memory Test or something similar before and after ECT to see if your claims of NO Memory loss?
Why do you tell us that those against ECT, including your own colleagues who don’t like ECT, are liars, manipulators and `whining’ insightless idiots?
Who is the REAL David Healy?
For anyone interested to chase this further, there is extensive prior correspondence on healyprozac.com under the academic stalking section and the shock therapy controversy section of this.
There is a very interesting speech given by a name I can’t remember, on the lecture series called “TED”.
In his speech he speaks very favorably for ECT and gives his story. Very impressive and he supports it 100%.
Dear David, I really mean it. Who IS the real David Healy? Your stance on the drugs is great. But those comments about ECT that I quoted, are what you said. Have you changed your attitudes or don’t you go there any more? I can understand that the drug issue would take an enormous amount of time and I realise that no one can do everything.
Having worked at a large mental hospital I actually saw the impact of the phenothiazines. Suddenly you only needed 4 staff members in 45 bed wards, but sometimes the guys would get stroppy, spit their meds into the pig bin slops (most placid pigs in the country, didn’t need ECT either). That’s when the ECT machine was brought out. Whap!!! `turn up the power for this bastard, he won’t do that again.’ (he’s senior `fellow’ now). There were wards there where no one spoke, they sat staring at the walls. `Burnt out schizophrenics’ Burnt out was right – Insulin, ECT & lobotomy, people with near dead brains, no life, not even unhappy, just nothing. Hundreds of them, a massive tragedy. And they’re bringing those brutal, procedures back?! I think this is a sign that the docs are afraid. They really DON’T have much to offer and they’re beginning to see that. What are they going to do? Closapine & ECT? Then add `psychosurgery! The extremists, zealots and money guys are shouting the loudest. A lot of docs have been happy with the status quo, they haven’t kept up, but now they’re being confronted by patients who know more than they do and they’re not coping. Too many haven’t really learnt any `talk’ therapies, CBT might work for some, but not with amateurs. The message is coming in loud and clear from some of your colleagues, the `New Psychiatry’, Pat Bracken’s group; the Critical Psychiatry movement is growing too. This is where your lot should be looking. Not behaving like trapped rats fighting to the death to keep something that’s not keepable. There is no disgrace being wrong – sh’t happens. Where it really goes bad is when you know it’s wrong but refuse to fix it. Of course there will be financial consequences if ECT is dismantled, but is that really the most important thing? It could be a really exciting ride to test out new things. Instead of bits of silly science struggling around the fringes of the dying bio theories, that are, in fact proving the ECT `damage case’, the emphasis should be on finding, identifying and implementing some of the newer ideas on psychosocial, psychotherapy developments. There can be enough controversy in that to make it fun. Instead of the standoff between disciplines, embrace and iron out your differences for the sake of the PBP (poor bloody patient). I actually I don’t have an issue with the use of some of the available drugs for acute situations in the short term, Open Dialogue actually use the benzodiazepines which in the very short term could tackle the incredible anxiety that someone can feel at the beginning of a psychotic episode. It’s very frightening to hear voices saying horrible things.
I read your stoush with Linda Andre and you came across as defensive. A lot of people trust you so I think we all need to know where you stand across the board.
“It’s [memory loss] a nonissue. The idea that your memory is wiped out is a fiction.”
No wonder they say that about ECT. I was given benzos and suffered almost complete antergorade amnesia (you don’t lose memories that are already there but you can’t form any new ones) and when I complained later about it to the doctors they told me it was impossible. Interestingly so, because there are numerous papers on pubmed when people use benzos for exactly this purpose – to induce amnesia before invasive medical procedures to reduce trauma. Psychiatrists lie about side effects. Lie or are totally misinformed but honestly I don’t care which one is it. It’s criminal.
I have five sons, when my husband and 2nd son died within 10 months of each other. My third son had an emotional breakdown. The psychiatrist here has given every anti-psychotic imaginable some causing him agony pain in his head that was unbearable for him. He wants to get off the medications completely but the doctor threatens me that it is impossible to get him off the meds that he would go into a trance or something permanent uncommnicable while other doctors dsagree. He has given him so many and he changes them all the time. He works for one of the drug companies doing speeches and recommending the drugs. The current one he is on is LATUDA and Seroquel and my son has had terrible side effects that are really bad. Can he go off the meds without going into a trance or whatever the psychatrist has threatened me will happen. I am so heartbroken, this boy earned a Doctorate of Divinity and his mind sounds gone from all the years of these meds. Please help me, I will sell my house to come to you if you think you can save him. He has suffered so much. The doctor even told us when my husband was alive that he gave the boy now a man two drugs that caused him to hear voices (Effexor and Wellbutrin) there are so many Geodon, Abilify, Lithium, Injections, Zoloft, Paxil everyone you could imagine and my son would scream from the pain in his head. Please help me Help him. He was so well edcated and his thinking now is like he forgets simple things. It is lke they gave him a CHEMICAL LOBOTOMY! How do these pychiatrist know what levels of chemistry are in the brain. They don’t, it is a guessing game and they have destroyed my wonderful son who was so well educated. They took his soul. Please give me some ray of hope. You sound like an innovator and could save these poor souls victimized by pyshchiatrist who so easily give out these lethal drugs that cause terrible agony. They don’t know what they are dealing with. My son has lost his youth and any possible happiness plus it is heartbreaking to my family what is left of them. Please advise, you sould like someone who cares about the individual. God bless you if you expose this horrible practice of frying people’s brains! Thank you.
Here is some information:
The point is to get off the drugs very, very slowly and be prepared for withdrawal symptoms.
The follow is shared from The Wellbeing Foundation Article on the words of the late Dr Michael Corry…who spoke out about the evils of Psychiatry and ECT…
ECT must be outlawed — now
If you arrived at A&E with the same symptoms as ECT produces, you’d be rushed to Intensive Care. Why does this barbaric practice, masquerading as ‘treatment’, continue in use? Michael Corry says it should be outlawed
Mary, a 66-year-old woman, was one of 859 patients who in 2003 received Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in this country. Two years later, she has trouble remembering how many shock treatments she received, can’t remember what time of year she was in hospital, or how many weeks she spent there. “It’s all a blur”. One thing Mary is certain of is that her memory is greatly diminished: “I feel as if I’m suffering from dementia. I can’t remember things, and I keep losing the thread of conversations and I’m always forgetting where I left things. I have to look at old photographs to remind myself of the life I had”.
Mary is a retired school teacher whose husband was killed in a road traffic accident in 2002. Her grief was overwhelming, and her adult children were so worried about her living alone that they advised her to sell her home in the country and move to an apartment in Dublin where she could be close to two of them. It did not work out. ” I felt enclosed and trapped, I missed the open spaces, my garden and the familiar surroundings. It was like living in a coffin with the lid off”. She became anxious and fearful and disliked going to the shops. She dreaded answering the phone. Everything now seemed pointless. Her admission to a private psychiatric hospital with depression was a speedy one.
After three months of hospitalisation and eight sessions of electroconvulsive therapy, she was discharged on three different kinds of medication; an antidepressant, an anti-psychotic and lithium, all of which she still takes. Mary now wants to come off this medication. “I feel numb, and my emotions are frozen. I can no longer feel joy or sadness, instead I feel nothing. If I stop the pills and can start feeling again, maybe it will compensate for my confusion and memory loss.” Mary’s story is not unusual for many survivors of ECT.
But what exactly is ECT? In many respects, it resembles a surgical procedure. An electrical current of between 70 and 400 volts is passed through the brain of the patient with the intention of producing a grand mal or major epileptic seizure. The voltage is typically as great as that found in the wall sockets in your home. If the current were not limited to the head, it could kill patients by inducing a cardiac arrest, the cause of death in electrocution.
Electrodes are placed over both temples. The electric shock is administered for as little as a fraction of a second to as long as several seconds. The electricity in ECT is so powerful it would burn the skin on the head where the electrodes are placed unless conductive electrode jelly was used. Because a shock-induced seizure is typically far more severe than those suffered during spontaneous epilepsy, in earlier times, unless the patient’s body was paralysed by pharmacological agents, it would undergo muscle spasms sufficiently violent at times to crack vertebrae, break limb bones, and damage teeth. To avoid this, current practice involves sedation with a short-acting intravenous barbiturate, followed by muscle paralysis with a curare derivative, and artificial respiration with oxygen to compensate for the paralysis of the patient’s breathing musculature.
The shocks create an electrical storm that obliterates the normal electrical patterns in the brain. They are administered in a series over a few weeks, in an average of six to ten sessions, to ensure the procedure ‘takes’, that is, alters the electrical activity of the brain in such a way that the individual will not remember, at least for several months, the depression that they were experiencing before the shocks. I have seen a number of patients who have been administered over100 ECT sessions, and are no better as a result.
In essence, ECT is an electrical brain injury, typically producing a global mental dysfunction. Following it the individual is dazed, confused, and disoriented, and cannot remember or appreciate current problems. The changes one sees are consistent with any acute brain injury — a concussion, such as from a blow to the head from a hammer.
If a woman like Mary came to a hospital emergency room displaying the same symptoms as those produced by ECT, perhaps from an electrical accident in her kitchen, she would be treated as an acute medical emergency and might be placed on anticonvulsants. If she developed a headache, stiff neck, and nausea — a triad of symptoms typical of post-ECT patients — she would probably be admitted for observation to the intensive care unit.
The greater the brain damage, the more likely that certain memories and intellectual abilities will never return. Memory deficits, retrograde and anterograde (before and after the event), are among the most common early signs of traumatic brain damage, and are seen in virtually all cases of ECT. Events which follow an ECT session are forgotten completely, such as visitors calling, phone calls received, speaking with their psychiatrist, etc. Memories are foggy about details of personal history such as family weddings, graduations, and jobs. Since the mind is the place the memory calls home, such deficits are extremely anxiety-provoking and disorienting since one’s very identity has been altered. Autopsy studies of animals and some of humans show that ECT causes severe cellular damage, including cell death.
Arguments put forward as to the benefits of ECT have to be examined with extreme caution, for several reasons.
It is fundamentally traumatic in nature.
Many of the patients are vulnerable and unable to speak up for themselves.
It is administered to many involuntarily due to their having being committed to hospital against their will.
Most controlled studies of efficacy in depression indicate that the treatment is no better than placebo.
It perpetuates the illusion that depression is the result of a disease of the brain rather than an emotional response, as in Mary’s case, to life events.
Why has there not been medical questioning of ECT as a procedure? There can only be one of two answers. Either the psychiatrists using it are misguided enough to believe still that the dubious benefits outweigh the well-established risks to their patients, or a cover-up is occurring in case, if brain damage to patients is acknowledged, law suits will follow.
ECT should be abandoned immediately, as it is no longer medically sustainable and is dehumanising for all concerned. The eminent American psychiatrist Thomas Szasz wrote:
Electricity as a form of treatment is based on force and fraud and justified by ‘medical necessity’. The cost of this fictionalisation runs high. It requires the sacrifice of the patient as a person, and of the psychiatrist as a clinical thinker and moral agent.
The words and writings of the late Dr Michael Corry who valued “the patient” as a person and as a human being….God Bless Him…may he rest in peace…
If we ban all poisons we effectively get rid of medicine which is the art of giving a poison to produce good. The problem doesn’t lie in ECT which is no more brain damaging than the medications we use in vast quantities or in the drugs, the problem lies in the doctors.
We need doctors whom we can trust to take the risks that are involving in using ECT and drugs. If you don’t have a doctor like that you need to change doctor
Problem with the Drs is, if you know the drugs are harming you and one Dr states, (as many do) you are wrong to even suggest such a wild claim, you are spoken to as if a child or worse, as if a `problem patient`…..
Getting another GP to treat you let alone agree with you is what furthers the despair and confusion – Why and How are the supposed intelligent and most trustworthy individuals in society so clueless? or are they?
I am not saying all Drs are evil or stupid, however, 1 in 12 (over a period of 11 years) – not including the 2 Psychiatrists and a Psychologist, took it upon himself to actually check my notes and see the pattern of destruction – I never had a mental illness prior to an initial mild depression diagnosis in 2001 (I was alone and being bullied by an ex), and of course he noted the worsening on switching medication and dose upping/downing (all so obvious when you say it like that, however as the drugged neurotic manic depressive I could not think let alone work it out myself).
Drs need education as do patients…. if Pharma was innocent and truly a health care specialist well, educating the masses would be first on a list.
These drugs are to fool everyone, as is all brain `treatment` and mental disorder propaganda, Not only does pharma thrive on a patient cured is a customer lost, it thrives on inventing an illness to treat.
Emotional trauma is not a mental illness, nor is stress, nor is an excitable child or a subdued child. There are reasons as to why people are struggling emotionally, calling life`s struggles an illness is insulting as much as it is ludicrous.
Getting to the root of why is the only way forward and science (medicinal) has`nt worked this out? I mean come on.
So sad only some of us have come to learn this the hard way. The only comfort I get from all my past suffering is, I know of 3 people who have been offered antidepressants and declined due to having witnessed first hand what they did to me.
The Doctor doesn’t take the risk, the Patient does.
It is not possible to change doctors for public health patients. There are too few choices. I have watched my son become more ill with medication. There is very little communication from doctors to family. I have waited two months to meet my sons consultant. He has developed symptoms he never had prior – whispering to himself huddling in bed praying his hands so rigid tremoring….his eyes roll up blink uncontrollably. Staff dont seem literate. They are writing the notes on patients with scant experience or understanding of what they think they see in patients. Its frightening.
..just to add. He is in hospital currently. I find the level of education in staff a worry. V young. Speed trained dont think outside the box laugh at symptoms they dont understand commentary to patients that belittles, is demeaning upsetting to them. This is damaging ppl as much as over use of medication. Its a lack of sensitivity training but more often just ignorance of the illnesses/injuries/potential side effects. Thats hard to watch as carer parent. You gather your own research care for your child immerse 24/7 in trying to understand and then find you are dealing with a factory mentality,often.
The attitude to intelligent parents can be very harsh. Its reductionist- reducing a patients illness to a word. IE: You are ‘psychotic’. ‘You have psychosis’ etc.
It skips right past the long complex history of patient experience so personal to them that to put it into words is an herculean task for them – pain trauma suffering is reduced to a label inhibiting the patient further and also.
I am 32 days off this poison! Now I have horrible depression and was treated for anxiety without depression 26 years ago. Withdrawal? How long can this last!?
Jay it depends on how long you were on the medication and at what dosage?
The longer you were medicated and the higher the dose was, will determine an estimate amount of time alone, the rest depends on what your tolerance levels are?
You say you are off the poison, are you going cold turkey? Please dont, take into account the dose and time period, a rough guide…..
I was medicated in 2001, (initially 75mg) the dose upped/switched/upped and switched back again up until 2009 (my highest dose being 300mg)
It took me from December 2009 until Feb 2012 to wean myself off via liquid doses. by the later days I was pushing hard at reducing 1ml per month/six weeks…. sheer determination is what keeps you going (and the knowledge that you know what you are going through… try not to say, `I am depressed`, tell yourself you are in withdrawal)
No one, only you can determine the pace you can tolerate, just ensure you read and research what you are going through because the medical profession is still ignorant, especially the prescibers and pharmacists.
I was even disturbingly advised to take one 75mg pill every other day for a week or two, as a means to taper the years of abuse to my brain and body…. if i had not have known better (thanks To reading David Healy/ Peter Breggin/ Moncrief and more) I very much doubt I would be sat here today… in fact I know I would not be (just words on a screen but, sincere!)
I appreciate that what you are going through is hell. A cautionary tale. A woman, friend of a friend, took anti-depressants for several years, appreciating that `you shouldn’t just stop, because the depression might return’. She then suggested to her doctor that she stop. He was reluctant, but she went ahead, tapering her dose in what she believed to be a sensible way. (He did not help). She became extremely distressed, he said, `I told you so’, and admitted her to hospital, diagnosed her as bipolar and treated her with anti-psychotic drugs and Electroshock. When the first round of this didn’t `work’ he shocked her again and raised the doses of the drugs. From an `extroverted, fun’ person, she is now housebound and withdrawn, `a changed person’, her friend told me. This treatment is for the withdrawal symptoms. This is ABUSE! Beware. You may have to go back on the drug in order to survive the withdrawal effects but don’t do it with your previous doctor. As Sarah said, it can take months, even years to get off them and you will need a pharmacist as well to make doses in small enough increments. After all, the `balance of your brain’ has been severely disrupted, as it is with cocaine, heroin etc. It will take time. But it will happen. All the best.
5 years ago I was given a 3 year course of SSRI’s, for the last two years I have been hoping I would recover from what I know now to be permanent Akathisia, Tinitus and a terrible memory. The withdrawals were shocking but to live on with permanent damage is not pleasing, my psychiatrist actually denied that headzaps were related to venlafaxine withdrawal.
My mind is certainly not what it was 5 years ago. I have no job , no friends and no life thanks to the effects of these medicines.
In hindsight I broke up with my girlfriend and as a result the medical profession saw fit to damage my brain.
I applaud you for writing this.
I find this article fascinating! I have just experienced almost every single one of these MYTHS. Seratonin Syndrome/ Bi Polar Mania due to a side effect caused by fluoxetine. I was told all the things you said, I need the medication,my brain doesn’t produce a certain chemical, etc. etc. I was completely convinced my depression? went to a WHOLE new level and that was my REALITY! The scariest part is that 2 primary care doctors and a psychiatrist didn’t catch it!! They just kept insisting on more medication. I caught it in TALK THERAPY.. When I went back to the doctors with PRINT OUTS from the pharmaceutical company and showed them the side effect black box warning, which were all my symptoms, they denied it and diagnosed me Bi Polar! I was on the medication for almost 7 years. Once the doctors put you on an anti depressant, they never take you OFF, very scary. I am 6 months into recovery. And for anybody who is interested, it took 4 MONTHS for my mind to stop racing. Reading your article was a nice refreshing validation today. THANK YOU
Thank you for your article and amazing work and my sympathies with your current situation in this world of psychiatry connected to corruption. I have been caught up in the psychiatric system all of my life. And am still fighting now at 63 to somehow come off my medication knowing hopelessly and helplessly that it doesn’t do what doctors say and never has. Time and again my well years have been ruined and my whole life has been a shambles. But I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. Simply because I am still alive. And haven’t contracted tardive dysconesia. Although my memory is pretty bad.
How I ask myself and others have we come to have a world where in the UK doctors have the right to force medication on someone and have the right to detain them when they are harmless creatures and do not commit any crime. I have been accused today by my nurse as being a high risk case because I accused some people of committing a crime against me but did not do them any harm.
So this is where they have you and the fact there is no alternative when you go mad and become overwhelmed but to turn to doctors. To me what is happening to people and has happened within the psychiatric industry during the last century and present is tantamount to being worse then the holocaust. Because of the lives ruined and lost. It is an evil. A modern day crime against humanity.
I cannot understand how it is allowed to continue in this present day and age when so many are affected and dispute the way they are treated and diagnosed. How are bio psychiatrists who are so obviously incompetent allowed to continue this practice all over the Western world? Why has this been continuing with none of them being brought to account? Are lives now so cheap? And drug company executives lives so lavished?
I haven’t given up hope. I will persevere and somehow find a way to stop these toxins being pumped into my body affecting my mind and brain. Before they kill me altogether.
Thank you Dr. Healy for this site.
You are so right, the lunacy of the `text book expert` who is believed to know more than that of the person actually experiencing the traumas of these drugs and `therapies`
The answer is yes – Peoples lives are cheap and the lavish lives of Doctor/Psychiatrist etc are deliberated
Problem is that the psychiatric industry and pharma is raking in billions at the expense of millions of people.. Profit keeps this going, the media are paid to advertise, governments too – No one gives a damn so long as the money is flowing in.
There is only the likes of us who can educate the people on ground level. The less people taking these drugs and the more people who are educated into not taking them is the only way to fight back against the brutality of mental and emotional rape – because at the end of the day that is what it is!!!
Good luck with the reduction process – it took me two and a half years to taper liquid doses (mls as opposed to mgs)
Go at your own pace, I was pacing 4/6 weeks per ml drop. Only you know what you can tolerate at any given time – Just because you dropped a ml 6 weeks ago does not mean you are ready to drop another.
Keep coming back and let us know how you get on 🙂
Yes, it is indeed rape , and like all rapists the aim is to blame the victim! I want to reccommend a book by Rebekah Beddoe, `Dying for a Cure’, well written, rattling good story and tells a tragic but eventually uplifting story WITH some excellent research. If the general public, like your friends and their friends read such a book, it could be a good way to get the story on the ground. They’ll be horrified and they need to be. Good luck. I wish I’d known about mls. I’ve been 10 months drug free after stopping at Quetiapine 12.5mg. I’ve hardly slept since, but now, very occasionally can get 3 -4 – 6 hours straight sleep at a time, instead of the 1 -2 hours I got for 6 months. It’s been, dare I say, a nightmare but I think the light at the end of the tunnel is not the train coming.
I am one of those people who have been harmed by antipsychotic. I was an English teacher and a mother of 3. I have bouts of insomia ever since I was a teen but never take medications for it until I was 33. I went to a psychiatrist to ask for some sleeping medication here in Japan. Two weeks later I have panic attacks and crippling anxiety which I didn’t have prior. I immediately suspected it is the medicine that cause these. I searched for zyprexa and was shocked to find out it was an antipsychotic drug. The doctor told me it’s not addictive so I immediately stopped taking the drug without tapering. I was not aware of the withrawal or the proper withrawal so I quit cold turkey. It was just 5 mg. Two days later I cannot get out of bed, sweating, couldn’t eat and could not sleep. I became mental after 3 weeks of not sleeping. I confronted the psychiatrist why did he prescribe antipsychotic when I am not psychotic. His answer stunned me. He thinks that I am suffering from psychosis so he prescribed it.
I switched doctor only to end up taking zyprexa because none of the drugs she prescribed can make me sleep. I became worse taking quetiapine which is an antidepressants. Once zyprexa was reinstated I was able to sleep. I ended up taking both antidepressant, antipsychotic and benzodiapezine. I was not able to function for months. I lost my job and ended up in disability.
It’s only been a week since I took my last dose of zyprexa 2.5. I suffered severe anxiety from the withrawal but I could at least function. I will soon taper my antidepressants and once I’m over this, I will never ever take these drugs again.
My psychiatrist was irresponsible, handing zyprexa like a candy to unsuspected patient.
Lesson learned! Don’t take any medication without first researching what it is for and what the side effects are.
Quietiapine is seroquel. It is not an antidepressant. It is a newer anti-psychotic medication. It is in the same category as Zyprexa.
I stand corrected. Quetiapine is an anti-psychotic drug not an antidepressant. I only took it for two weeks but didn’t help at all to put me to sleep. My psychiatrist put me back on zyprexa and added mirtazapine and benzodiapezine. Once I stabilized I reduced zyprexa to 2.5. I stayed on 2.5 mg before coming down to zero. It’s been two weeks without zyprexa. My benzodiazepine was also reduced to 1 mg. I haven’t been sleeping well since but I will tough it out. I hope my sleep will improve in time.
Sadly, Zyprexa is an even worse drug than Quetiapine. Still, now you’re off it, it’s a moot point. I was given Quetiapine for 11 years, originally as a `sleeper’. Since it didn’t do that too well, I was given Temazepam as well. No thought of removing the failed drug before adding another. Temaz is a benzodiazepine, ergo highly addictive. However, rather than review the Quetiapine, it was decided to use it for the bipolar disorder I’d also been given, as a `mood stabilizer’. Since I was mostly depressed from the PTSD given to me by the repeated use of `shock treatment’ against my will & protests, (66 in 20 months – a treatment style often called `furore therapeuticus’), & as a side effect of the Lithium (yes, it causes depression & suicide according to its makers), the idea of a `mood stabiliser’ was odd. But following 2 major suicide attempts (Lithium) my new doc carried on the good work. In January 2013 I’d had enough. I walked away from psychiatry, psychiatrists, drugs & ECT (which she said in the end was all she had to offer me after 10 years – having not once EVER checked my minor vulnerability to depression as a result of childhood trauma). My original diagnosis of bipolar came about after an overnight suicidal reaction from Prozac which I took for stress – thence a panicked doc and the ECT. I wasn’t stupid though I tapered VERY slowly off Quetiapine & Temaz – over 14 months. But not slowly enough. They say always get supervised by a doctor when you do this but WHO? The only drug withdrawal centre was at the clinic that started the abuse 13 years before. Since the tapering began I have had one infection after another, vague low immune infections e.g. 6 months with a huge tongue ulcer, an unknown `virus’ that put me in emergency, where they asked if I’d overdosed – I was on the tennis court when I 1st collapsed & at lunch with my sisters the 2nd time? But all the old long dead chooks hang rotting around your neck forever in the psychiatric system. My sister was disgusted at how rude & offhand the staff were. I also had many colds after 30 years cold-free, flu like symptoms (last in 1958), a cold that quickly became laryngitis and bronchitis for 6 weeks and lately a recalcitrant cystitis. I had never had any of these in my life before. In July 2014 that I stopped all meds & since then I have had terrible sleep problems plus the ongoing infections, my body temperature went up and down even when I was without any other symptoms and I’ve had terrible Restless Legs Syndrome symptoms that I fear may be more related to akathesia. I’ve spent a vast amount of money on specialists without much help. Quetiapine, Zyprexa, Risperodone etc all interfere with Dopamine among other neurotransmitters and dopamine is involved in controlling a vast amount of how our bodies function. The immune system, sleep/wake cycles, pancreatic function, urinary function, body temp regulation, digestion (Serotonin here too) – all rely on the correct interaction of all our neurotransmitters. You know the ones the drug cos claim are unbalanced BEFORE they sell us the drugs – the myth that most doctors seem to believe despite an extraordinary amount of evidence to the contrary. So, it will get better, just remember the damage has stopped happening and now your good brain is working to set itself right again. Fortunately you weren’t taking the stuff for a long time. The rule of thumb is, I believe, 35 days of withdrawals for every year you took the drugs. With a strong will and belief in yourself you should make it. Remember, you don’t have to have 8 hours straight sleep. Don’t panic if you only get a couple of hours here and there for a while, if it totals 5 plus, you’ll probably function OK, and gradually these periods will lengthen to regular 3 & 4 hours, then to 6 and so on. And every time you get a 6, you’ll feel great! Even if it’s only one a week, feeling good once a week is all right, isn’t it? Good luck
So sorry to hear, once again, of such irresponsible ignorance on the part of members of the medical profession. Quetiapine is not actually an anti-depressant, it is an anti-psychotic that is used for `mood stabilisation’ and as a sleeper. Long touted as a `good’ drug, over the last few years it has been found to be one of the worst of all. It is involved in heavy litigation in the US, including claims against the military. Apparently, in Iraq/Afganistan etc, young fit soldiers were given SSRI anti-depressants (for stress), and Quetiapine as a `sleeper’. Many took their meds, went to bed and didn’t wake up. It appears among many other issues there can be deadly cardiac complications. Most, if not all psychotropic drugs act on dopamine, serotonin and other neurochemicals, either as antagonists (decreasing) or agonists (potentiating). Sometimes these are prescribed at the SAME TIME which always seems odd to me. The withdrawals occur because the drugs alter the way the normal brain works. It can take years for the brain to re-adjust, and sometimes it never does. Dopamine is involved in many body functions apart from its action in the brain, regulating the immune system, sleep & wakefulness, kidney function & urinary output, body temperature, motor function, pancreas (insulin) and digestion in the gut. Sadly, the BigPharma lobby is so powerful & the government regulatory bodies so weak, people continue to be poisoned, addicted and have their lives ruined as well as shortened (by 25 years with long term use of anti-psychotics) in their tens of thousands. I’m so glad you finally got off them all. I know from bitter experience how appalling this withdrawal can be. But be proud that you not only made it but are sending the message that will encourage others to do the same. Even if it’s only one by one, we can do it. Congratulations.
“New generation” antidepressants, SSRIs were developed from antihistamines, some of which were noted to have “non-sedative” effects.
Some of the common side effects of antihistamines include drowsiness, headache, nausea, impaired thinking, dry mouth, dizziness, constipation, blurred vision and urinary retention, less common side effects include insomnia, nightmares, hallucinations and itchy skin, and rapid heartbeat and chest tightness. Libido loss or erectile dysfunction is known to be associated with e.g cimetidine, ranitidine and respiridone.
Common side effects of SSRIs: nausea, increased appetite, headaches, decreased appetite, dry mouth, fatigue and drowsiness, sedation, insomnia, feeling nervous, agitation – restlessness – anxiety (resulting from the stimulating properties), dizziness, blurred vision, concentration problems, constipation, aches and pains, reduced libido or loss of libido, yawning, palpitations, itching. Less commonly [inc.]: nightmares, urinary retention, confusion, rapid heartbeat, hallucinations, rashes, urinary retention.
Common symptoms of depression: feelings of sadness, low mood or unhappiness, loss of interest or enjoyment, reduced energy, tiredness even after only small effort, fatigue, trouble thinking, reduced concentration, reduced self-esteem and self-confidence, ideas of guilt and unworthiness, bleak and pessimistic views of the future, ideas or acts of self-harm or suicide, disturbed sleep including insomnia, diminished or increased appetite, loss of libido; in some cases, anxiety, distress, and agitation may be more prominent at times than the depression.
So although an antidepressant may ‘psychically energise’ a patient, it may commonly cause fatigue, reduced energy, anxiety, agitation, insomnia, concentration problems, changes in appetite, weight loss or gain, and loss of libido; most of the less ‘psychological’ symptoms of depression. It may less commonly result in suicidal ideation or completed suicide. It may also cause an array of additional side effects not associated with depression.
In 2000, I took Prozac for a few days for stress and mild depression, mostly due to a very unhappy marriage. Overnight I had a suicidal reaction that flung my barely acquainted doctor into such a panic that he locked me in an ICU unit, & ordered ECT as soon as the unit opened. This proceeded to 30 Rxs in 16 weeks including 3 sessions of Multiple Monitored ECT (the referring doc for THAT was an ECT fanatic – he advocates it for children to this day). As I objected to the ECT I was frequently dragged or pushed physically, threatened with being `certified’ to a public hospital, stood over and forced to sign the consent forms x 5 times, I quickly developed a stress disorder, had my organic brain syndrome symptoms diagnosed as bipolar disorder and suffered the permanent memory & cognitive damage that put me out of business as a writer and artist. My books weren’t published because my contract ran out when I didn’t remember to contact the editors, my movie writing deal fell over because I forgot I had one, my sculpture died because I forgot how I did it & I lost the memory of my children growing up. Oh, and Lithium caused a chronic suicidal depression for the entire time I took it. End Lithium, end suicide attempts (Life support eps didn’t do much for relationship with my kids either). It has to end. I worked in mental health in the 1970s – we held high hopes for the drugs as helpers but we soon came to fear the side-effects they caused our patients and became very wary. We, at least where I worked, never used ECT at all and even in an old 1000 bed hospital only a few did, using the facility no more than once in a while, sometimes as for as long as 3 months. But BigPharma got away in the 80s & now we have a huge 80% increase in the use of ECT here in the private hops system in Melbourne, Australia. Brain damage for the masses if you’re insured, and the government restrictions found world wide no longer apply here since July 2014 when the Mental Health Act got changed, at the last minute before being tabled in parliament. 6 years of consensus between human rights groups, consumer groups, legal bodies, medical bodies wiped out in a week. Now, no age restrictions on ECT, no criminal penalties for illegal brain surgery, 12 instead of 6 ECTs per consent, no declaration of financial interests, no witnesses on consent forms, among other `changes’, & no supervision whatsoever of ANY ECT procedures in private hospitals. These places operate 5 days a week, their supervision of patients is sparse and I predict deaths will occur but they don’t have to be reported and near deaths will stay as hidden as they always have been. I guess $20,000 a week each for the ECT docs is too much to jeopardise with ethics or external controls. The mad dogs are loose, pity help us all.
I am 31 years old, I have been on neuroleptics since I was 18. I have been taking abilify since I was 23 apart from olanzapine, clozapine, quetiapine. I started tapering from the drugs 2 years ago. Since I started tapering I have had terrible insomnia, headaches, cognitive impairments and memory loss. I am in so much pain and feel so isolated. Nobody mentioned this to me.There is nobody to ask for help, my GP just seems to agree with the psychiatrists.
I have been reducing the drugs by myself….I now feel completely paralysed, like a vegetable, I have little memory left..i just don’t know where to get help…I am in the UK… I just don’t have the energy anymore to keep struggling..
I am 31 and in total have been on antipsychotics since the age of 18, abilify, clozapine, olanzapine, quetiapine etc and others which I did not know about.. While I am upset and frustrated as I realise that some of the best years of my life have been ruined by drugs, which I was told were necessary for the rest of my life, and the complete negligent attitude of psychiatrists who saw me as problematic and difficult, and brushed me to the side, I am still hopeful. After years of actually thinking there was something wrong with me which turned into self hatred, lack of self esteem it has taken me years to find this was not the case. I was also told that I would have to take them for the rest of my life like insulin for diabetes, of course I was devastated as I completely trusted in my psychiatrist, I thought she would finally help me… but then this was in 2007…..
I tried to taper off the drugs 2 years ago, having left and graduated from university, I did not see anyone for this just a psychiatrist who wrote vaguely how to come off the drugs, making cuts from 15 mg to 10mg..I was not warned of the nightmarish experience I would encounter, the memory problems, the cognitive difficulties, the insomnia which is unbearable, the memory zaps and the resistance I would find from many psychiatrists themselves. I decided to contact the last psychiatrist from 2007 in 2014, who did not take me seriously at all…she behaved as if I had a brain disorder …….. I have had to keep insisting to my GP that I would like to see a neurologist. I decided to see a psychiatrist, and I mentioned that I had herbal remedies to help me sleep….After years my GP told me that in fact they do cause memory problems….the psychiatrist who prescribed me the drugs did not even inform me… In fact I was told that they had no side effects at all…Also as my medical file is flawed with information which I did not say, 10 years later I am trying to amend the information something which I did 10 years ago but which was actually disposed of. Today the psychiatrists keep using information from the past, insisting on the chemical imbalance theory…he even stated that people have come off antipsychotics without withdrawing…and that if I experience problems it would be the illness…… I feel there is help out there but they are just keen to keep you in the system… ..I feel terribly isolated in this whole situation…and so much resistance is put up against me having a life… .thanks to people like David Healy for exposing this…I am at my wits end going round in circles trying to find help and realise that I am going to have to do it on my own…
You are so far from alone. Try reading a book by Rebekah Beddoe, `Dying for a Cure’. It is a good read and though the book was published in 2007, most of her data remains true today. Her story of a nightmare ride is terrifying and should force a wake-up call to the entire psychiatric profession. That it hasn’t means they are not looking. It will take time but these stories have to come out. I too, am facing a shortened life span and possibly early dementia as a consequence of some unbelievably incompetent medical interventions. However, I will continue to raise the hard questions, publish stories and push, push, push to alert the public, the politicians and above all the medical people who don’t know. Reform can only come from education. If the public know, they too, can ask the hard questions until we get answers.
I wish I could help you on that…there seems to be no place to go but forums to discuss these problems we face with psychiatry. I feel we have no one to lean on but other patients who have been through the same experience. I can’t tell family friends, my own friends or anyone else. I now have no life whatsoever and time is pressing but I would like to rekindle my old friendships.The only people who are really supportive are my parents. My mother has been so many times to my GP, psychiatrist, but they pay no attention to her saying that I am old enough to look for help myself…
Anyway I have been looking into neuroplasticity..and ways of learning new things…I have heard that the brain can recover new pathways of learning..but it requires hard work.. I too will be pushing, wishing you all the best….sending you hugs…
I agree, Samantha, that’s what’s been happening. So many blogs, websites, all kinds of terrible stories but it still goes on. Even the major researchers like Bonnie Burstow, Lucy Johnstone, Phil Hickey, even Robert Whitaker, and here in Australia, Jock McLaren, constantly expose the mess of psychiatry, and STILL no relief. BUT, Sicily has just banned ECT, Argentina has a bill introduced to ban it and one small province DID, 20 years ago. But we can send out books like Rebekah’s to friends we haven’t told, who don’t know anything about it, we can write to politicians and suggest that these people actually VOTE, that by bringing this up they might get their names in the papers, get onto newspaper reporters when we find a scandal, a suicide, a bad doctor. We must have our facts absolutely right & we must make quite sure we get these into the public domain. I am, for instance, attempting to get a diagnosis of an `acquired brain injury’ (which I have) so I can apply for rehab. This will force people to recognise that ECT causes Brain damage. If I don’t get it because it’s `only ECT’, I will make sure that the media know that a brain-injured person is being denied proper treatment. POP PRESS, you bet! If that could pave the way for a lot of people to get rehab, there might be questions asked as to why a TREATMENT is causing so much damage, and costing so much MONEY! These are the kind of campaigns that MUST take place. Governments/politicians respond to public outcry over MONEY. If the rehab programs fill up with ECT victims, and others can’t get a place, the papers will lead another outcry – can you see where I’m going? Any suggestions?
Rather odd to be addressing the issue of acquired brain injury through ECT on this site when Dr. Healy, who is passionate about revealing the evils of psychiatric misuse of dangerous psychiatric drugs that destroy lives and can trigger homicidal and suicidal thoughts and horrific side effects and withdrawal, while continuing to advocate for ECT and
administer it to unfortunate people who have usually been ravaged by
Iatrogenic illness caused by psych drugs. ECT causes more brain damage than any of the psych drugs, including the toxic antipsychotics which were originally used as pesticides that killed worms.. …
Have you heard of Soteria? there are only two places here in UK .I will try to find places which I can support, and which can support me as well. A few weeks ago there was a peaceful demonstration against the barbaric practice of ECT in over 20 countries, the media completely ignored it.. no mention of it at all on the news. In the UK, the government wants to reform mental health..I hope for the better… I think things could be going in the right direction if they do.. if they don’t make things worse that is…
I have heard about vitamins B to help with memory… if that helps a bit..
I also heard the most horrendous thing.. that pharmaceutical companies are trying to make drugs which work in the same way as ECT.. just like neuroleptics which were like lobotomies…something I just found out..
Yes Samantha, I have heard of Soteria. It was, I believe, founded by Dr Loren Mosher, now sadly deceased. He was the president of the American Psychiatric Association at one time (I think) and very publicly resigned in 1998 stating he could no longer be a member of an association where there was so much scientific and intellectual dishonesty. Soteria was shut down by having its funding barred by the APA. I believe there are some in Europe, but I don’t think it has happened here in Australia. Have you heard of Open Dialogue? This is a program developed in Finland, starting over 20 years ago. It advocates social support and `talk’ therapies, and minimal (if any) use of drugs for psychosis. It too was shut down by the establishment psychiatrists in the main cities of the country but continued to flourish in the north. Today, there are very few psych beds required in North Finland, the recovery rate is over 70% with much reduced psychotic episodes for the rest. Open Dialogue is actually spreading throughout the world, I believe, there may even be something here at the bottom of the world. You might try and check it out in the UK. There is also a psychotherapy program called `formulation’. It doesn’t ask `what’s wrong with you?’ It asks `what happened to you?’ Lucy Johnstone, researcher and critic of today’s biopsychiatry is the person to ask about this. She says that evidence for today’s psychiatry just doesn’t exist.
I have heard of the book. However I really would like something positive to read not negative. I have muscle spasms due to the drugs, and may have tardive dyskinesia. Could anyone advise what I could do to help myself with this.
Rebekah’s book IS positive. She now leads a normal life with her children, without any psychiatric contact or problems, a clear indication that there is light at the end of the tunnel and it ain’t the train coming. It’s really a triumph of hope and resilience over a corrupt and dangerous juggernaut. I hope you’ll find that kind of strength to carry you through, too. All the best, Deirdre
i have ordered the book on amazon. I am looking forward to reading it..many thanks from the bottom of my heart..Sam
@samantha. I’m so sorry to hear about your story. I too was put on antipsychotic, antidepressants, and benzodiazepine for my insomnia. I did not know about the dangers of this drugs. I was able to successfully come off of the antipsychotics successfully after my second attempt through slow taper. My first attempt, I cold turkeyed which was a bad idea. I became bed ridden and a whole lot of symptoms. I did not sleep in a month. But I just want to encourage you that it can be done. You can come off of these evil drug on drug at a time. I will come off of my antidepressant this week and I’m having trouble sleeping even though I take benzodiazepine for sleep. I have no anxiety or any problems besides sleep issues. Before tapering my antidepressants I found this website point of return. They provide guidance and supuuplements to prepare your body before you start the taper. The supplements will ease the withdrawal symptoms. They have great support. You might want to give them a call. Don’t lose hope. I too had lost hope beforeand became depressed that I’m stuck on this mess for life but I now I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not going to be easy but it can be done. Sending my hugs. Wish you all the best.
Thank you Roseberry, you have given me hope…I have looked into point of return, but it is in America. Do you know of anything in the UK at all? There is light at the end of the tunnel..
@samantha.. I live in Japan and had to pay a lot to have the supplements shipped to me. You live closer to the U.S. I phoned them once to inquire then I ordered the products. They do help me with my taper and we communicate through e-mails and I signed up to their private forum to communicate with others who are tapering off and those who have successfully come off with the help of the supplements. Last night, I took my last dose of remeron, my antidepressant. I have one more drug to deal with which is benzodiazepine. The supplements helps me so much. I’m not anxious, I have a better mood. They will help you and there are people there who are going through the same experience as we do. You are not alone. There are many of us who are suffering because of these evil drugs. firstname.lastname@example.org. Shoot me a message if you need someone to talk to. I understand exactly what you’re going through.
I think I may have tardive dyskinesia. I am coming off the drugs and feel like a vegetable. I am also losing my memory. Does anyone know what I can do to help myself??
To Samantha S
You do not give much information hon, What is it you were prescribed?
Depending on dosage and how long you have been on will determine a better understanding of the reduction withdrawal process.
You will be better taking it slow (it is quicker in the long run) I strongly advise you go back to your GP and ask regarding liquid doses as the reduction process caters to tolerance levels much better… (it doesnt cease them but, significantly reduces impact of symptomatic stress)
As it stands you could be dropping too bigger a dose.
I wish you all the best, come back if need be 🙂
I am on abilify… 2.5 mg approximately- I have been cutting the tablets in half. I was taking 15mg abilify for over 7 years and decided to come off it in 2013 after doing some research… I received a letter from the psychiatrist giving me a taper programme.. but I think it made far too deep cuts…I am thinking should I go back to 7.5 and then reduce.. or carry on with this..
thanks for getting back to me Miss diagnosed….
You should taper at 10% of previous dose per month? So from 15 mg to 1mg will take 27 months. Making the next drop if and only if stable. If you are getting no symptoms you may like to do drops every 3 weeks if symptoms then you may need to slow to 5 % per month.
I took Quetiapine 400mg (at times more) daily for 10+ years. I tapered on my own for 12 months, to 15mg daily, ending 12 months ago. I tapered the Temazepam at the same time. I still have major sleeping issues, though now on rare occasions I can sleep for 6 hours straight, some immune system problems (dopamine), but nothing else now. Is it possible for this to come good?
I wish I’d known how long it took but I had no support from the psychiatrist who yelled, `You’ll be back when your serotonin levels fall!” as we parted company for the last time 2 years ago. I only ever had 2 lots of anti-depressant SSRIs (serotonin) and both made me suicidal, which led to ECT both times, so she merely showed her ignorance and total lack of awareness of what she was doing.
Quetiapine etc are more involved with DOPAMINE than serotonin but this so-called `educated’ woman didn’t seem to know that.
I have an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) from the ECT, diagnosed by a neurologist and go into rehab next week. The government paid for the ECT and now has to pay for the attempts to repair the damage it caused! Ironic, and EXPENSIVE, particularly when all the other ECT victims find out and want their right to rehab!
Oh, and I’ve had NO psychiatric symptoms WHATSOEVER since the beginning of the process in January 2013, despite huge amounts of stress. In fact I was knocked back by a research team who wanted me as a subject for some bipolar (my diagnosis) study, (more likely a study into drug effects), because I didn’t fit the CRITERIA! I wasn’t bipolar enough! I never had it of course, or anything other than a mild depression/high stress situational reaction that turned into a 13 year drug and electroshock nightmare because a friend suggested Prozac! Within 10 days? (no memory due to ECT), no effects, then, overnight I was acutely suicidal, in a high supervision unit in a private hospital and shocked and drugged into oblivion over 20 months. There is a name for this type of doctor’s reaction – “Furore Therapeuticus”. It means the doctor gets angry because the patient WON’T get better so they increase the treatment, and sometimes can kill the patient! I was 57, so suicidal reactions can occur in ANYBODY! This was NEVER recorded as a reaction, so reports are certainly a fraction of the actual numbers. Oh, and Lithium also causes suicidal behaviour. This appears to have slipped under the radar. As long as I was taking Lithium I was appallingly depressed, and acutely suicidal. Something like 10 attempts – 3 requiring life support. When I refused Lithium, it stopped, though some ideation remained for a time as a `learned response’ to stress. Now GONE. Anyway, good luck everyone.
Hi, Sorry so long in responding 🙂
Cutting in half is pretty drastic, far too big a drop, I was tapering 1ml a month/6 weeks for over 2 years and still suffering (but, nowhere near as severe as when I was dropping large mgs – My worst was a 75mg drop from a 150mg dose).
The tardive dyskinesia symptoms you speak of may well be just that `symptomatic`.
I had trouble with involuntary spasms (esp during sleep, so violent they would wake me up) They have since diminished – I have been off Venlafaxine for 3 plus years now and they did wane as my dose lowered.
My own research has come to show that many symptoms are evident (to the patient) without any actual physically noticeable cause to the Doctor – Hence why Doctors nor specialists are convinced we even suffer what we say we do concerning a multitude of symptoms
Tardive Dyskinesia is a common ADR with both Antipsychotics and Antidepressants so try not worry too much about its effects until you are on a much lower dose. Keep an eye on it so to speak. Do a little research into ADRs (Adverse reactions) and side effects regarding Ablify (and any other medications of a similar ingredient) and you will see this.
Please consider asking your prescribing professional about liquid doses. It is the best (and only way I know of) way to minimize doses as it becomes per ml over per mg, it is thus the only way to reduce withdrawal symptoms, which of course will reduce the stress 🙂
Dear Miss Diagnosed
I am now on 2.5mg and have been on it since i would say february this year… month after month hoping the pain would disappear..about 2 months ago I decided on one day to stop taking 2.5 mg. I tried for 1 day without it… the following morning.. i woke up almost screaming.. terrible akathisia..and terrible memory.. such a frightening experience..i did not know where I was..
i think it might have something to do with how i decided to taper in the beginning… my psychiatrist drew up a plan.. going down from 15mg to 10mg alternating days.. then settle on 10mg then go from 10 mg to 5 mg on alternating days.. this is when my brain sort of froze.. after being treated like a yo-yo my emotions when up and down and this is when i had some awful days of insomnia.. i am now on 2.5 mg which is very little… would you recommend going up to say 3mg 4mg etc up to say 9.5 mg until i start to go down again.. thank you miss diagnosed for getting back to me…:)
Deirdre, I am going through the whole process of tapering and may have to go back to the médium dose so I can come down again. Struggling but will get through it.
Your story is an inspiration to many of us and gives me hope and many others that we can recover. Take care
First off thank you for your work I believe in truth and if psychotropic drugs are doing more harm than it must at least be fairly presented. II was diagnosed with depression at 15 almost immediately by a psychiatrist once I saw her. She never asked me what my situation was what I had been through but just gave me Wellbutrin based on my outside appearence. It was a tough time in my life and I needed help but I did not know that the medicine would have such devastating effects on my mental state. It eventually led on a journey toward schizophrenia, mood problems, possible bipolar, and schizoeffective or indifferent. and it was hectic full of many suicide attempts and hospitalizations. I gained depression through a lot of things in life and with the added medication could never solve my problems. I lost friends relationships and never found help because the medicine just worsen my problems both mentally and physically. I always questioned the psychiatrist how they knew I had this or that as I always felt many the diagnoses were subjective and non scientific. I have been getting off medication for some time and I must say violent thoughts, both agitation, anxiety and fear as well as psychotic symptoms come
Jonathan I feel your pain. I am at the end of withdrawal from various medications. I was around 14 when I first saw a psychologist. I am 31 now and I feel my 20s and teens were affected.
I would like to thank psychiatrists at work trying to reform the profession.
In a nutshell is this all about socalised medine Pick the most vulnerable Low in Incomed Label and Medicate with psychiatric drugs and earn a thirty year client group and salary and lesion
Thank you so much for enlightening us in respect of the work you have carried out in this field. I respect you for being honest with your findings as well as taking the very brave step in alerting antidepressant and antipsychotic users about the dangers and myths of these powerful drugs. I was placed on antidepressant medication 24 years ago for postpartum depression and no health professional within the UK has ever suggested it is time to consider withdrawal. I have now taken this into my own hands and am in the process of a very slow withdrawal after so many years of dependency. I am 54 and am struggling but remain completely focussed and determined to be free from this destructive medication. I wish everyone strength and a successful recovery.
Do you have any references to make all the claims you made?
It’s very dangerous what you (the author of this article) are doing.
The author is Peter Goetzsche who has two books on these issues in which the supporting evidence for his claims appears. I suggest you read these.
I HAVE A SON WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA. HE IS 35 NOW AND HAS SUFFERED FOR 16 YEARS. IF NOT FOR THE MEDICATIONS HE WOULD OF EITHER TAKEN HIS LIFE, SOMEONE ELSE OR BE IN PRISON. WHO EVER THIS MAN IS THAT WROTE ALL THIS CRAP SHOULD HAVE TO RAISE A CHILD WITH THIS TERRIBLE DISORDER IN THE BRAIN. MEDICATIONS HAVE HELPED A LOT, NOTHING ELSE WORKS.
Peter Goetzsche doesn’t work in the system or have a child who is mentally ill but I do work in the system and while medication can be wonderfully helpful both medication and the system can be tremendously destructive also. The goal is to get the system to work for people in a better way than it is doing at present
I am extremely wary of people who make flippant remarks without giving any actual information concerning what medication, how someone was diagnosed etc…. The angry capitalizing of letters and not a lot off info while putting down the author yet no real detail of the suffering in which you speak of
You say your son is 35 and has suffered for 16 years – You say you raised a child but indicate `suffering` for 16 years of a 35 year old adult, it does not really make any sense. Was he formally diagnosed and medicated aged 19?
really some people I do agree need these drugs were talking about people that it has effect which seems to be more than a normal mental illness boils me how un educated some people are, yes your son needs them others don’t
well a think if you educate your self that yes your son mat need this but its effected more people who have been wrongly diagnosed the point is that people with illness not produced other than genes have suffered because of these medication my self included these are not drugs to be dished out other than what they are needed for ie your son it is a crying shame people are treated with drugs your family need and they don’t and suffer all crazy side effects its a shame how many peoples lifes have been ruined by them and a godsend but blame the doctors and not us …….
The pendulum swings both ways for all things including this. A blanket statement saying ALL psychotropic drugs need to be eliminated is dangerous. Have they been over prescribed? Yes. But they have also given many people a better life.
Be informed, do your research with credible sources, check with health care providers and family/friends that are intelligent and open minded. Be ware of religious groups telling you to not take medication. Talk with other high functioning people with your condition re: reputable doctors. Believe me, since I was a child, I suffered. At age 32 I was diagnosed. With a combination of reputable doctors, nurses, counselors, therapy AND medication, my life is lived healthily and to its fullest.
Not convinced that the above post was not just orchestrated after mine written yesterday (that has not been approved of as yet) A bit fishy!!! The terminology exceptionally fishy concerning my last (unadmitted as yet) post…. am waiting to see if this gets posted now?
Do your research???
I have researched, I have experienced first hand and spent 3 plus years researching clinical trials, case files, patient testimonials, professional testimonials and more besides. The truth lay within those that have experienced and lived to tell the tale, a medical professional (reputable? ahem, only by other medical professionals) is not aware of the effects first hand- therefore is not an expert in your brain function! No one is except you!!
There is no danger of eliminating all psychotropic drugs (Well, there is in the process of reduction and withdrawal on route to elimination)
Good God, Do your research and please note that the increase of psychosis since the introduction of psychtropics…. We are now inundated with mental illnesses and `disorders` that never existed, please do not insult anyones intelligence and state these disorders were not previously recognized for what they were.. Any psychotic behaviour is and has always been, recognized – Introducing the so many – Profit for the business that treats and never cures!!,
Millenia of non synthetic chemical abuse didnt have the general public living in fear of psychopaths and the introduction of these drugs calming the nation of that fear…. On the contrary there are far more stories of people on these drugs becoming psychotic but, the psychosis used as a scapegoat as to why they are medicated….. Again DO `YOUR` RESEARCH!!!!!
Again in the above post there is no indication of a story whatsoever just a flimsy attempt at keeping the psychotropic propaganda alive….
GINA, of course the pendulum swings both ways. But these criticisms come because many people have suffered due to an imbalance of power and abuse of power. I suggest you read into this. These are not patients just ranting away but who have probably always trusted doctors and the medical professionals. These comments by Dr Healy and Peter Goetzsche have been thoroughly researched and are not wild statements. People have been silenced for a long time and suffering in silence too. Why should this go on? why should it be allowed to go on? isn’t that dangerous, isn’t that a threat to democracy, to the first oath to first do no harm. There is sufficient evidence and there has always been, but now people who have been harmed are standing up and not letting themselves be cornered.
As for religion, doctors and the medical profession have very often treated anybody with faith as idiots, science v theology etc – leading them to be labelled-but you will find that the most respected and best professionals are well rounded people who actually know as much about philosophy and how to treat people spiritually and as individuals as they do about medicine. There is no doubt that there has been a witchhunt on priests by the media, and probably fuelled by unethical psychiatrists etc… You can really find many atheists gloating over that, im sure. But that is a different matter! As soon as a patient walks through the door to see their psy. he/ she is sometimes influenced by what they see and their own prejudices and this immediately lead to a diagnosis.. a diagnosis the person can’t shake off for life. Then the professional( psychiatrist) goes on to other authorities and preaches to society that there is stigma- counterproductive.
For myth #2 he states the the medication causes changes in the brain- are those changes reversible?
Whether they are reversible or not, those years taken from many people will never come back.
I have just seen my psychiatrist for a quarterly check up and she stated that I still have depression if the withdrawal is causing me so much anxiety. She claimed not to have about head zaps or poor balance as a result of withdrawal from the medication. I explained that I could not still have post natal depression after 24 years but she strongly disagreed with my opinion. I have been turned into a zombie, my cognition has declined, I have no physical desires anymore and still the psychiatrist believes I should take the medication! Psychotropic drugs are the third highest cause of death and it seems to me they would rather kill than cure.
I have just had my quarterly check up with my psychiatrist who tells me that I still have depression because I am experiencing difficulties withdrawing from the SSRI’s. She claimed not to have heard of people having head zaps or poor balance when tapering from the drugs. I also tried to explain to her there is no test available to determine a chemical imbalance in the brain, for which she attempted to tell me there are tests. I also tried to tell her that I cannot possibly still have postnatal depression after 24 years to which she also disagreed! It is a travesty if a physician can create a long term illness – surely this in direct contradiction of the Hypocratic oath – that ‘one shall create no harm’. My cognition has been impaired, my creativity has been taken away from me, the physical part of my relationship has been destroyed so I am now trying to take matters into my own hands in order to reclaim my life and live it in fullness before it is too late. By the way I have just discovered that health professionals are advised to prescribe SSRI’s for a maximum length of 1 year for postnatal depression. How could they just leave me to rot? I consider this a form of abuse.
How could they? Simple, they are useless, stupid, uneducated, have nothing to offer, don’t care, are often sociopaths and have no clue how to “treat” human distress. All they know is toxic drug poison and shock.
Yes, take this poison never tested beyond 6 weeks and eat it for a year, destroying your physical health, creating addiction/dependence, and ensuring future devastating withdrawal symptoms after rewiring your brain.
These people should be sent out with tiny sponges to clean up nuclear waste spills, or used as lab rats for future tests on psychiatric drugs.
Did I read this right? Left on drugs for 24 years after a postpartum episode? I thought it was bad enough to be prescribed Effexor for 12 years for a situational depression (just normal life reaction) which resolved in 2 weeks…reason for that? Missing the drug by 6 hours caused immediate crying, a violent headache, symptoms of withdrawal my GP instead said were “depression returning”. Later withdrawal became horrific, spun into toxic drugging, and brain destroying ECT. Incompetent lunatics. A cancer in society. Poisoning toddlers, teens, pregnant women, any poor person who falls into their deranged, dangerous, malevolent clutches. They need to be taken to court and stripped of their licenses to poison, torture, and kill people. More lawsuits must be undertaken.
Hi Truth, i found it very interesting to read your post. Thanks for taking the time to add your comments. I was sorry to hear about your experiences and having been in the grips of your medication for 12 years. Yes, I was prescribed Seroxat in 1991 and withdrew from that in 2009 but landed in hospital as a result of the horrible withdrawal effects only to be put onto Citalopram with immediate effect until present – a total of 24 years and the psychiatrist wanted to keep me on the medication indefinitely when I saw her on Monday. She stated I was highly anxious, but it was utter rage which I felt, not anxiety. I am considering a lawsuit. I am 54 years old and feel I must try to reclaim my life, utilise my talents and concentrate on a healthy lifestyle before it is too late.
Dear all fellow sufferers and family’s!
I have been in and out bof Phyciatrc hospital over the last three years!
I have never been given a defined diagnoses! Been put on Haliperidol, ( one dose and crying on the flor in gtreat pain after one dose, rispiridone, olanzapine and quetiapine, I was in chronic pain unable to move! My husband and me discharged, took me off the meds and after a week in pain it went completely! They have ruined my life for 3 yrs, now I am happy and getting a part time job next month! Theses Physiatrists think they know all the answers but they don’t, I weened off quetiapine with a weeks worth of Zopiclone, which can be purchased on line if Dr wont prescribe! Do not use zopidem or any other sleeping pill! Also Zopiclone can become addictive I taken for more than 2 weeks, I found one weeks worth did the job and no pain! Good Luck!
I would just like to share something today. The first time I went to hospital I was disturbed, frightened and horrified, these are just words but they will never express how I felt when I saw the cruelty towards helpless vulnerable patients especially the elderly. The image of one elderly man stuck in my mind, he looked at me with such sorrow I could not stop crying. He was dribbling, he was crying. That same man was kind, gentle, sweet, intelligent, softly spoken and so friendly yet he was mocked by the people who are supposed to help. These people who work in the mental health system have NO sense of compassion, no empathy, no idea what it is like to treat a fellow human being with kindness. There are many psychiatrists roaming around who are mad and cruel. How can these people continue to practice. How is it possible to see a fellow human being and not feel sympathy for their suffering, to feel ashamed of them when they need more help than ever.
Patients were treated worse than animals in a zoo- yet we treat animals better than human beings. How has society come to this end? I hope more is done to make sure that this comes to the surface, I for one will not give up. I am trying to recover myself but I will not give up helping others. As long as this keeps happening we cannot call ourselves a democracy. Bless!
I had been on cymbalta, klonopin, nurontin and trazadone and came off them cold turkey Now I am a zombie I was always a “extroverted fun person” these horrific drugs turned me into an absolute withdrawn zombie and I’ll never be the same again 2 beuatiful childern a nice wife great jobs etc these drugs ruined them all Pshciatrists need to be arrsted for all the lives they have destroyed!
and years later I read on my medical file that I have suffered from a Stress reaction causing mixed disturbance of emotion/conduct. Is that a sufficient reason to have given me antipsychotics all these years. I also did not know this at all.
This article was very informative and I was shocked to read this statement “One of the worst consequences is that the treatment with ADHD medications and happy pills has created an entirely new disease in about 10% of those treated – namely bipolar disorder – which we previously called manic depressive illness.” and then to read it bipolar disorder increased 35 fold in the U.S. Is there a way to get the cited works for this information. It is obviously common knowledge in Europe but not here in the U.S. I believe it to be true. I’d love to know where the statistics were derived from.
Like peter breggin has stated ‘what the psychiatric field is desperately in need of is educating and helping people get off these drugs safely’
I just read every posting/comment on this “page”.
For the last 5 years, I have suffered Depression and Anxiety/Panic attacks of varying degrees. I did the therapist, psychologist, psychiatric rounds (13 different ones) all together.
I have been on the medications you all mention (5) and have had my doubts with each one as each was recommended.
At the same time, I have been reading voraciously books about the Food Industry, etc, and decided these (5) man-made chemicals CAN NOT be better than my own body healing itself if I just can figure out how to do it. I’m still working on that, but the point of my comment is to tell you what I have been doing for the last 6 months (which not a single one of my “therapist” knows.)….and it is working. Ready? And I am serious about this.
Every single “diet”, food, paleo, anti-Wheet, etc. book says a glass of Red Wine is good for you. Ever single book. So, when I would get home from work, I would relax with a book, or movie, etc and sip a glass of Red Wine and eat a “square” of 90% Cocoa chocolate (also recommended in every “diet” book). I found myself relaxed, calm as ever and so slightly pleasant.
Then, I got to thinking, since “every book” says don’t drink coffee or alcohol after 7 PM (interferes with sleep, which we all crave), I wondered if I could use Red Wine during the DAY as my “natural” medication, to fight my Depression and Anxiety, and drop the Synthetic Man-Made stuff. If I could seriously control the Alcohol consumption, would not this be better, by far, than the Frankenstein Woodstock Brown Acid I have been taking?
So, I take one nice gulp (dosage…sounds more medical) around 8 AM of the Red Wine and then a sip every hour so that I finish off an 8 oz glass by 12 noon. Then I eat lunch (paleo, wheet free, etc) and begin a second 8 oz from 1 PM till end of work at 5 PMm (I’m self employed and can hid the “medicine” in my personal bathroom…….sneak in there like a Junior High kid smoking in the boys room………
It works. It’s natural and I can control this. Why? Well, I am lucky that I hate the taste of Red Wine (I like the Whites but that is NOT in my diet books). It also stings when it hits my stomach, so, lucky me, I don’t even like taking my own medicine. Thus, I see no way abusing this natural anti-depressant, anti-Anxiety drug.
Today, my Depression is extremely mild, when it appears, and there is no more Anxiety. At the end of a year, I am going to taper this down to only 1 glass for the entire day at which time it will not be MEDICINE but just an item on my “to eat” list.
My present therapist has no idea, and I’ve self reduced my Prozac down to 20 mg/day. Since he started me at 30 mg/day (on this medication), I have to take one 20 mg and one 10 mg at a time. I’m saving all the unused 10 mgs, since starting May, I will be taking only 10 mg. Then…. eventually NONE and my “therapist” will never know. Oh, he thinks I’m doing SO WELL !!!!!!
Thanks for the article. You cite a lot of specific statistics and studies throughout. Could you provide the references for these so that I might read them myself?
So I’m age of 2x now, I’ve been social outcast for 15 years now, ever since getting bullied @ school. I’ve stayed home most of my life, fearful of other people / interactions with them (I’ve been to some groups past 2-4 years but it hasn’t been of much help). Only recently have I been to psychotherapy, and while it hasn’t been all that helpful either, it has awakened my conciousness a little bit of why it could be that my life is what it is.
I believe I may suffer from some type of depression or dysthymia. Yet I was never diagnosed this, my whole life I’ve been under diagnosis of “fear of social interaction” well yeah sure it’s true I don’t like social interactions, but does that explain why I don’t brush my teeth, don’t cook my own meals, don’t have energy to do anything beside sit in front of computer either surfing web or playing video games? I’m very doubtful it’s only “fear of social interaction” (or social anxiety or whatever it’s called).
So I talked a little bit about it with my psychotherapist , and the idea was brought up that maybe I should quit my meds to see if there would be anything different. I didn’t want to end on wall, so I brought the idea of quitting to my psychiatrist when I met him, and oh boy was he not showing any support for my thoughts. He was all like “yeah whatever, do what you like” and not being helpful at all, not respecting me at all. Is the big pharma this deep in the pockets of doctors? I’m from a motherfucking nordic country, and this is how you treat people even in here? What the fucking fuck?
So now there’s really no choice, I’ve been taking half-dosages of my meds every 2-3 days, there’s some withdrawal symptoms but I think it’s worth it if things are really this bad in the system. I may turn into alternative medicine if there’s no help from nutrient suppliments or there’s nothing out of ordinary on blood test / liver values / hormone test whatever.. even neurological magnetic brain scan came with pretty much “no results”. It’s as if the science community has no answer for people with depression.
Please be careful with the withdrawal from psych meds. A good reference can be downloaded here (scroll down for translations): http://willhall.net/comingoffmeds/
Please get away from your computer and find a hobby. Painting, woodworking, Ukrainian egg decorating. Get outside in the fresh air. Run.swim, scubba dive. You’ll feel alive.
Taking medication is the worst thing what you can do .
I have lost my sister .
My sister started to use medication 23 years ago though I noticed after 3 years there was
no improvement it got even a bit worse when the years were passing by it got more worse .
Right now she cant even work any more .
I have dealt with the same problems as my sister severe panic attacks depressions of the
panic attacks etc..
I have tried the medication for 2 months but I stopped with it because I was loosing my soul and my personality for me those drugs are pure evil !
The best way to deal with those mental problems is just turning off the switch just like a light switch and pretend it does not exist any more .
It sounds very easy though it need some practising it toke me 3 years .
Twenty years later I do feel beter than I have ever done before .
You have to make your own tools drugs is just pollution for your brain.
Most doctors are just drug dealers because there is a lot of money to be made out of drugs !
It’s a billion dollar industrie
To get back to my sister I have tried to help her but she was already to far gone .
Good luck to every body
Myth 11: Antipsychotics are drug medicine.
I was taking one typical neuroleptic and one atypical neuroleptic since 2002 (one long term effects and one short term effects drugs). In 2009, the typical neuroleptic disappeared from the country’s market and the psychiatrist didn’t give me a drug replacement. One month later after the disappearance of the typical neuroleptic, I fell in hell and it’s not over today. I had suicide thoughts. Everyday I was thinking about killing myself, I couldn’t sit still for 15 minutes, visual hallucinations for the first time in my life (…) Now I can not concentrate anymore for a long time. I feel like a very old man even if I do my best cooking the best natural meals myself and doing exercise everyday. My disorders today are : attention and thinking, gastroenterology, urology, proctology, neurology. I decided to stop taking these drugs in 2009, in 2012 I had big problems with another psychiatrist and also justice and it’s not finished today. I pretend that antipsychotics are real killers. Antipsychotics are worse than heroin because once you have taken them for a long time, you can not stop taking them anymore. I have never felt such an addiction to a drug in my life. It’s the complete body that is addicted to antipsychotics. I repeat : Once you have taken antipsychotics for a long time, you can not stop taking them or they will destroy you. It is for this reason I discovered your website and also the work of Mr. Peter Gøtzsche. Thank you so much for your work. I have no girlfriend, no wife. I will spend the rest of my life fighting against eugenics, authoritarianism and social darwinism. Regards !
While I agree with a lot that has been said, I do want to toss my experience out there.
I’ve been “depressed” since the age of 6. No one diagnosed me, but I recall that it was about that time that I decided life was futile. It was pretty heavy for a 6 year old so I never talked about it. I thought maybe it was normal. Of course once I became a teenager I was equally as emotional but I chalked it up to hormonal changes and again ignored it.
Once I grew out of that, I started to notice that I still felt empty. I felt like there was just nothing and I was some piece of driftwood in the ocean. I didn’t matter to anyone and certainly not to myself, so why bother existing? It was at this time that I began to notice the difference between myself and those around me. They were finding purpose in their lives while I was searching for a way out.
This is when I decided it might be wise to talk to someone. I skipped the psychiatrist and got an appointment with a counselor at my college. After many many meetings she asked me if I had ever thought about meds. Now, I’m the type of person that postpones Advil until I can’t bear whatever pain I’m experiencing so of course I was a bit hesitant. After several weeks I decided I wanted to try it out ask asked my counselor if she could arrange something. I do want to stress that she never pressured me into medication and hadn’t mentioned it after the first time she brought it up. I felt confidant this was my own choice.
Once I began medication I was feeling nothing. No side effects, no change, just nothing. My doctor suggested I give it a little while and if nothing happens we can talk about dropping the meds.
Well, after several months I began to notice my desires change. I actually wanted to play music and go out with friends. This was very unlike me and it gave me some confidence in myself. I did feel hazy sometimes though, so I wasn’t getting too attached.
After about a year of being passionate and laughing once in a while I decided it was time to get off the meds and enjoy this bliss naturally and haze-free. I followed my doctors instructions and took small steps until a year later I was completely off the meds. I had a few withdrawal symptoms like an upset stomach and some crazy mood swings, but I knew that it would pass with time.
After a year of being completely free from the meds I felt myself slipping. I could feel my mind drifting back into the abyss where I spent my entire childhood. It was at this point I had the worst emotional breakdown of my life. I attribute the abrupt crash to the sudden lack of medication in my body, but the state of mind I was experiencing was all too familiar. This was what I was being kept from for those last couple years.
Again I believed this would improve with time so I gave it another six months until I got physically dangerous to myself. I could feel myself wanting to act on plans I had made to off myself or hurt myself as a kid and that terrified me.
I went back to the doctor and explained my situation stressing that I was nervous about going back on meds and feeling hazy. She suggested that we try a different medication if I was ready. I was scared of myself so I decided there wasn’t anything to lose.
The new meds I started gave me side effects immediately. I felt slightly nauscious and would have minor headaches daily for a couple weeks. After about a month or two of little change, some improvements began to show themselves. I felt “open” again if that makes any sense. I had all the range of emotions I had seen others experience, desires to actually do things, and most importantly NO HAZE. I felt clear and like a dark blanket was lifted and this time they took the sheet too.
I’ve been on this medication ever since. Both my very dear friends and I can attest to the fact that I’m a completely different human than who I was years ago. I’m actually enjoying life, but the best part is that I can actually be sad on a regular basis and it’s okay! I don’t feel like I want to disappear anymore. I don’t feel empty or like an outsider. I don’t even feel hazy or as others aptly describe, zombie-like. I genuinely feel as though the current medication I’m on has helped me in ways I would never imagine.
The purpose in me telling my story is that meds aren’t bad for everyone. I understand that I’m probably a rare case and I completely agree they are prescribed far too “willy-nilly”. In fact, without proper counseling and therapy, I wouldn’t know what to do with these emotions I have now. But if this medication hadn’t existed, I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t be around right now. I think those in authority need to be much more responsible with their prescribing habits and use it as an absolute last resort only, but I think having that last resort can help lots of people in similar situations to my own, however uncommon they may be.
My husband has been ordered ( CTO ) to continue taking a drug, which causes him to be aggressive towards me-he’s never been a danger before, or to anyone. This drug had previously caused him to experience blackouts, which resulted in him falling down a flight of stairs and whilst travelling on public transport. I have written to his Responsible Clinician and haven’t had a listening ear or response-total blackout on the people who have to live with the consequences of these drugs.
Been off and on this shit almost a decade and it definitely didn’t help although I can’t say it made things worse as my life and ocd and other problems were a trainwreck before it began
I Sometimes wonder if my parents dropped me on my head as an infant a few times on accident but I was basically born broken and should have never been born
Life won’t get better at least not for me and I have tried to have hope for years but nothing improves I wish someone would end my misery asap
Also fuck doctors who make people not only pay exorbitant amounts for false promises and treatments and cures but also make them suffer needlessly there’s a special place in hell for you
My 30 year old son has been on antipsychotic meds for the past 5 years off and on. He stopped taking them about 3 months ago. Now he is full of anger and hatred almost every day. He texts me and my husband daily terrible things pretty much all day. Then he will have a day of clarity and apologize and be remorseful. Then the pattern of hate starts again. Will this drug eventually leave his system and he will return to normal? Will his brain heal itself and then he will go back to normal? We are trying to be patient but we are getting too old for this. Any help or advice would be great.
i was the same to my parents and yes it will get better i have been pill free 10 months and feel much better i found reading the bible and giong to church helped me loads lots of talking he needs to address all issues as they arise god made everthing so perfect course we will heal i here cold water swimming is good to yet to try but on my list of to do,s. dont lose hope tell him to keep active and sleep lots body recovers in are sleep chin up
I’m not promoting anything here but there seems to be quite a bit of evidence emerging on just having cold showers each morning.
There are also programs like the wimhof method ( you tube is full of instructional videos)
I have 1 cold shower daily ( as cold as I can get it to go) sometimes if I feel stressed or tired I repeat it later in the day. I had a rough time on meds, this seems to work well for me at least
Hi thankyou for your honesty, i was put on stertraline by the doctor ithout even being assesed by a phystatrist etc, i went to the physcatrist after taknig the stertraline cause my docotr was beliving everything my family was saying about me. I have had to stop stertraline cold turkey due to the side effects now i am getting dizzy spells all the time, but if i had kept taking stertralioe i’d have been getting consipation feeling sick all the time etc. I’m not even depressed etc which is the crazy thing if someone can email me and let me know how tos top the dizziness that would be much appericated thankyou so much.
Hi, I guess the dizziness is one of the withdrawal effects which should stop, hopefully, once your brain has recovered from the Sertraline. Don’t know how you can bypass those effects though, without tapering off the drug rather than ‘cold turkey’.
I appreciate this article greatly. For a while I suffered from issues relating to military service. Naturally, I went to the VA for help. The doctor prescribed a generic antidepressant on the first day before a full picture of the issues could even possibly be given. The worst part was that the doctor didn’t even tell me they were antidepressants, but when I got home and looked the medication up, I found out that it was an SSRI. I’ve had problems with SSRI’s as a young adult, becoming very depressed and suicidal because of them, so I disposed of the drugs. After some time with a civilian doctor, I was prescribed Risperidone, an antipsychotic. I noticed very harmful side effects after about six-eight months of use, while none of my issues were alleviated, so I quit taking it. I was prescribed another drug, Lamotrigine, but it did very little. I was very disappointed with the entire experience. The worst medication I took throughout my adventures in psychiatric medicine was Depakote. After a week I was depressed and on the verge of suicide.
I quit seeing a psychiatrist altogether and looked into holistic and natural solutions, improving my diet, and low impact exercise. This improved my issues greatly. Another veteran I knew suggested that I try medical marijuana to help with my stress, anxiety, and sleep issues. I know it’s extremely controversial and scoffed at in the medical community, but a tincture of THC has worked very well for me in small doses when I begin to experience certain anxiety and stress related issues.
The problem I face now is that the antipsychotics I took have done some damage that I fear is permanent. Strange tremors in my wrists and hands, times where it’s difficult to control my fingers and sensations of restlessness in my thumbs and wrists. My sex drive is almost non existent, I have very brief visual hallucinations at times, and the most embarrassing is that, when I am alone, I sometimes speak to myself. This is over half a year of ceasing the use of the medications. The problem, I found, wasn’t that I needed any medication at all, I just needed to add vitamins and nutrients I wasn’t getting in a diet that I had thought was healthy, and to exercise more. These medications are very dangerous, but doctors hand this stuff out like candy on Halloween. There needs to be a serious overhaul in how psychiatrists conduct their practices before trust in these institutions becomes nonextant.
Perhaps you can present this ‘myth’ about a a persons mental health based on anti-psychotic medicine:
Is it true that the usage of anti-psychotic medicine in the following ways can lead to a state termed “burnt out”?
1) Perhaps the multiple changes (trials) of this class of medicines over a course of time.
2) More importantly: The starting and stopping of these medicines over a course of time.
My experience is to start and stop taking these drugs over a particular period of time, and at particular dosages (moderate to heavy). I have tried ALL of the atypical anti-psychotic drugs.
Would someone hep me out? Myth or fact? Obviously this has a lot of particular set of circumstances and therefore bias for the individual patient, yet still I would like to know if there are any other people who understand this type of unfortunate health concern.
Thank you for working to expose the truth about antipsychotics and antidepressants. I have been struggling to withdraw from antipsychotics for a long time, but I managed to withdraw from an antidepressant without any side-effects while taking them.
I am now wondering if it would have been better to continue taking the antidepressant (sertraline) and instead have tapered the antipsychotic?? I feel that the antidepressant is perhaps a lesser evil.
Is there any evidence that this may be more successful than tapering the other way around?? I’m quite desperate now because I have been having memory loss. Thank you to anyone who may be able to help.
Dr Peter Breggin’s book “Your Drug may be Your Problem” gives advice on how to withdraw from multiple psychotropic drugs and may be helpful for you.
When they studied the association of schizophrenia with HPV in the 1980s and discounted it, did they distinguish between those who carried the virus and remained ‘ill’ and those who developed a natural immunity (which is in the vaccine we first gave to 13 year old girls in the states after which there was an explosion in 13 year old girls diagnosed with schizophrenia for an illness well known for 19 years old as the onset of the illness -followed by a rash of lawsuits to the pharmaceutical company for 13 year old boys who suffered warned side-effects for a drug designed for an illness with an established age of onset of 19 years old after we began giving the vaccine to 13 year old boys in the states) and those with no indication of EITHER the virus nor antibodies to the virus, or when that theory was discounted were only two variables considered instead of three?
Hi, thanks for sharing this with us. I also have schizophrenia, and have had this (and psychosis), I have also been on a range of drugs including respiridone, olanzapine and zuclopenthixal (what i am now on). As much as i hate taking it, it is too big a risk to stop it all at once, and then just pretend like everything is okay. I am having my dose reviewed every six months. Sometimes it is reduced, at others not. But they keep a close eye on me, and i think they do a good job basically. Good luck to every one else out there who suffers from this nightmare!!
I’m just learning so much from you all and certainly from Dr Begin and Dr Healey. I started reading because I have a 19 yr old nephew who is a total sweetheart. Old school heart. Carries your groceries and beautiful a light inside. Except the last two years. It started w cymbalta added Prozac and the seroquel and he was so agitated inside he ended up self medicating with xanax. Now he faces in charges for bizarre episide running from police and stolen vehicles and faces 7 yrs in prison. I felt like we were looking for a needle in a mountain of hay and found it here and Dr Breggin. but now what? You have to have a lot of money in the USA to get to truth to defend yourself. Google don’t serve as evidence. We need psyciatrust that just talk people through their problems not high end legal drug dealers. Think how easy it is to make a fortune to charge big dollars for a piece of paper. Many should not be able to write scripts. Just counsel .
Why We Should be Sending Some Psychiatrists and Some Individuals at Drug Companies to Jail
The World Health Report 2001 explains that one in four people suffer from a mental illness. That means that mental illness is effecting hundreds of millions of individuals around the Globe. If you’re a business – providing therapy to individuals inflicted – does not make a very interesting business model because – of the high staff costs involved – and because such a model would mean a lot of competition. A medicine based approach – does provide a scalable business model.
It is of no surprise – that this is exactly the strategy – that big business has chosen. For almost all mental illness – there is a medicine based approach.
I am a psychosis sufferer and the side effects of this medicine based approach has been detrimental to my well being. In the past psychosis sufferers have received heroine, opium and cocaine for example. These solutions were all introduced by drug companies – as the best solution for society. Today there are anti-psychotics. The side-effects are really nasty of these drugs. Furthermore, a scientifically proven method called: Open Dialogue – from Finland has been around for more than 20 years. However, this understanding – is being purposefully kept – from other psychiatrists, policy makers and patients. Because, it is a therapy based approach – that does not provide an interesting business model. Now, this understanding is slowly spreading.
With depression it is no different. The World Health Organization estimates that worldwide there are 350 million depression sufferers (Fact Sheet April 2016). The answer – from drug companies is coming up with anti-depressants. 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 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Also anti-depressants can have detrimental side-effects. However, it is becoming more and more apparent – that alternative treatments – are similarly effective – without medication. Several studies show that psychotherapy (particularly cognitive therapy, behavioral activation, and interpersonal therapy) compares favorably with medication in the short-term, even when the depression is severe, and appears superior to medications over the long term (Antonuccio 2002). Again, this does not make a great business model for drug companies.
Drug companies – especially their marketing department – have come up with strategies – to make drug use more prevalent and combat – increased understanding – that effectively – do not involve side effects from drugs. As an example – at psychiatric wards around the world – psychiatrists are stimulated – not to take the what they call incomprehensible communication of psychosis sufferers seriously – although it has been proven – Open Dialogue – that by doing so psychotic levels are lowered. Thus, more medication is necessary – and medication becomes the only alternative from coming out of a black hole.
Academics around the globe have been hired by drug companies for their strategies. Governments have been tricked – or bought. Mental hospitals – chose strategies – to keep patients ill – since the science is now out there – so they are also to blame.
I think it is time we start sending a lot of these crooks to jail for crimes against humanity. Especially – because – only now it is being more and more scientifically proven that love, understanding and healthy choices – in almost all cases solves mental illness. Has this understanding been around, since the beginning of time and has there been a lot of scientific misleading of humanity! I know the latter – but I can’t scientifically prove it!
I was put on antidepressants and anxiety medications after I tried to kill myself. Now this psychiatrist I am stuck seeing because of my SSI insurance is taking me off them. A lot of the things that caused it are coming back. I have: bipolar, PTSD, anxiety, panic disorder, agoraphobia, major depression, and physical problems which cause chronic pain in my hips, knees chondromalacia in both patellas, fibromyalgia in right side neck and shoulder, degenerative joint disease in cervical and lumbosacral, and cervicalgia. No pain medication. Physical therapy failed many times for the same things. I have been in therapy since I was 10 years-old because that’s when I was raped (7-10 years old) the first time.
Now what do I do?
I’m glad they ruin sexual appetite because I don’t want to reproduce or have the burden of checking out every alluring girl as she walks past me.
I don’t even consider sex these days since I have been on AS meds, I don’t even masturbate…sometimes I look at a nude photo on the internet, but I quickly click it off because its base and gross – I honestly now find the whole sex thing disgusting… and lets be honest, when the whole affair is over, it is never as glamorous as it was ten minutes ago…ugh.
I feel freed from burden because I have no sexual appetite for girls – or boys for that matter. I have more focus. It made me realise how much energy I used to waste on just showing off to get naked with the opposite sex.
As for the rest, who knows.
Personally, I have been broken all my life. It is my state of mind that is to blame, the way I see things, the way I think about life…these things cause my personality disorder.. and the effect of my personality disorder on my life situation causes anxiety and depression ( to the point of disorder ).
Can a medication change the way I think about reality ? – well actually it can. I have experimented with mdma and various other drugs… and I can honestly say, a drug can change the way you perceive reality ( In a beneficial way to yourself and others ).
Ok, I’ve now read loads of these posts and the thing I’d like to know is how are you all so sure it’s the meds and not actual mental illness causing the suffering. Take my example for instance.. Five years ago I had a breakdown causing massive anxiety hearing voices etc. Words cannot describe the suffering I was in. I was prescribed Citalopram 20 mg. I was then hit with about two weeks of further suffering. There is know doubt in my mind that the introduction of this drug during that period made me worse, but I stuck with it. After about six weeks I was back to normal, infact better than normal. I felt more confident, more energy, more relaxed and stayed that way for two years until I slowly weened myself of the drug over six months. After being citalopram free for one month I suddenly got up one day and the the dreaded feelings were back. I went back on Cit at about 5mg. Then I had an almighty panic attack in the middle of the night with what sounded like a mega phone shouting in my head and it felt like I was connected to the mains. This was two years ago and I’m still not right. I went through the doses and am now on 40mg. All I feel I’ve got is questions. Did coming of the drug cause it. Did restarting at 5 mg cause the panic attack, did the citalopram not work 2nd time round, do I need to change meds. The point I’m making is when Anxiety and Depression cause the same symptoms as the meds you guys are so anti, how the bloody hell can you know what’s the difference. I’m not right but there’s no way I can distinguish whether it’s the meds or the illness. It’s ok someone saying they’re suffering withdrawal etc from time on the meds, but how do you know if you didn’t restart that you might get better. To me there’s not enough evidence either way it’s a bloody minefield. I’d like somebody to answer me definitively whether the huge panic attack and immense suffering that happened to me was the illness or because I came off citalopram and restarted. I don’t believe that question can be answered accurately. I think like all things in life we look for things to blame and meds are one hell of an easy target.
No one (including the medical profession) can be specific to you as an individual.
I can only speak from experience, my and the research i have conducted the last 6 years
You ask lots of questions I will answer with honesty so, I am no miracle worker.
Your Initial breakdown isn’t explained in detail- Sounds terrifying and needs a root cause delving.
To identify the cause is the main ingredient to identifying and ever being able to solve.
The problem is drugs were given without any understood root cause – The root cause could be traumas long forgotten or excessive stress (the list of what could be? is long) . Only you can identify (or provide details for speculation – not to me but, to a psychological (please not psychiatric) professional.
The medication worked for a bit – it usually does (however, that said. Not for everyone. Many case files express unique instances)
The problem, as i explained to another poster here, clinical trials are short lived – the expression of working short time is scientifically categorised (not for everyone, symptomatic adverse reactions are still identified)
The person is also in a placebo mindset – belief of being better is a belief that works – this is again scientifically proven.
So, once having taken the meds, believing all is good – the medication is doing the job
Unfortunately the drugs are becoming part of the brain, it has become reliant on an influx of synthetic chemicals all the whole you are in a mindset of a need for them – both consciously and subconsciously you are believing in these drugs – the brain is merely compliant to you feeding it toxins
You say you don’t know if the problems you have are the meds or illness?
An illness is what you were told you had – was it an illness? Do you think every moment of anger, stress, sadness is an illness? Daily life is a multitude of stresses from relationships to money, from work to inability to express the self.
Stress is not an illness it is a factor that sparks a multisession of symptomatics – mental, emotional and physical.
An angry temper is in need of anger management but, an upset person is mentally ill…,
Hearing voices? is that an illness? I would hear a nasty voice (albeit only once being on the drugs) – it said unkind things. I now know i was under extreme emotional distress (because of the drugs) and that the voice was actually myself on a deep psychological level. I would also have intrusive thoughts of which were ugly and stressful, the anxiety from these was debilitating. Panic atteacks were daily – i would fear other people’s thoughts and spend days analysing what i thought they were thinking. i lost about two stone in as many months worrying about other people’s thoughts of me.
Mentally ill? No! Dysfunctional yes! because my brain was being subjected to toxins
Thing is, the media, pharma, medical profession will jump on the band wagon – again to identify the root cause will bring the ‘problem’ not ‘illness’ into understanding – delving deep into what truly is going on will explain and reason many emotional issues – to call them mental is in fact misleading.
It’s emotional not mental – hence ‘mood enhancing’ not mental enhancing therapy!
emotional health is the key – to have emotion is human not an illness.
To become confused as to whether the problems you have are medicinal or emotional speaks volumes because – had you not been medicated you would have the answer.
to say, that is silly? if you had attempted (been given the chance) to identify the root cause first would have made the difference
Your brain now… is wanting (via reliance and confusion of belief) relief –
to wean off is the crux here – the brain needs a huge adaption ability. 6 months is not in comparison to the two year of being drugged..,
it took me 2.5 years to wean yet once having ceased wasn’t the end of it – the last year or so i had to resort to liquid dosage at 1ml per 4-6 weeks to reduce the excessive withdrawal ( i turned evil – attacked my daughter, hated (and i mean pure hate) everyone and thing) i was physically symptomatic, blood thickened, headache on continuum, electrical spasms and extreme sweating – i looked like a soaked rag, sleeping up to 36 hours… the list is very long. basically the what i was like on the meds but ten times as violent.
Unlike you… Prior to the medication i had no real problems – i went to the Dr one day saying i felt so alone because i was a very young mum being bullied by my daughters dad….
this was enough to drug me!!! 75mg Venlafaxine, he proceeded to up and down, switch etc when i never seemed to get better….
You say meds are one hell of an easy target to blame?
I don’t understand this comment.
How are they easy to blame and in what way?
if, as you can see so many people are having extreme issues and the case files, medical journals, testimonials from patients, their families and the medical profession itself, say there are many discrepancies then what is there to misinterpret?
Since being off the meds (5 years now – it took at least another 2 years after ceasing the drugs to cease symptomatics associated) i have been able to compare who i was prior and who i am again.
my life on the medication and as i say, two years after was traumatic, scary, without normality and destructive to all those i love.
so i can answer ‘that’ for myself. the drugs stole my life, my daughters upbringing, my relationships and my right to a mormal life.
If you disagree though? and that is your right to please, please look into the evidence hidden by pharma to truly make some sense to your confusions
The last question – you ask how do you know if the return problem is having come off the drugs or the original problem.
1. having started the drugs make this a problem in itself
2. the brain (scientifically proven) is now dependent on the drugs and with defence comes withdrawal.
withdrawal is not so simple as to last 5 minutes, a day, week…. much time will tell – there is no quick fix and no dr will tell you the drugs were to blame anyway
3.looking into the root cause is the only means to resolving anything – time, effort and will power to help yourself is hard and at times exhausting
look at it the logical way
A recovering Alcoholic is forever stuck dependent on alcohol. To return ‘just for one’ is lethal.
Medicinal therapy is drugs – drugs unless prescribed are considered dirty, irresponsible
drugs are synthetic chemicals (toxins) they are not organic as the the brain is…
the brain is an amazing work of art – it is you!
i wish you all the best and will respond if you secise to reply
There a tens of thousands of researchers out there that would disagree with you.
All I can say is thank goodness you are not my mental healthcare provider.
There are far more ‘tens of thousands’ of people taking these brain affecting drugs for years after a menial 12 week trial.
The research you express is not ongoing – the people on these drugs (their families and medical prescribers) make huge disclaimers to the pharmaceutical industry concerning both the side effects and adverse reactions yet, despite this being data that ongoing research would benefit from scientifically, it is ignored! – To recall the profit of billions is never going to happen.
There is no scientific means nor ability to balance chemicals such as Dopamine, Serotonin nor Norepinephrine. The actual scientific evidence is mere boosting of and decreasing levels by blocking… The level however is not known.
If you believe chemical boosting and blocking is an amazing scientific ability to enhance mood and keep it on an even keel? You need do some of your own research and not rely so heavily on others to do this for you.
Think Heroin, Cocaine, Cannabis, Amphetamine…. Each affect the brain in similar forms of boosting and/or blocking…. Like the medical ideal – a boost is the upside – but, it does not last, then comes the downer, dependence and addiction – the withdrawal and mental/emotional dtysfunctioning.
(not including the fact, the brain is wired to send signals to the body… a rush/block of signals confuses the process and a multitude of symptomatic responses begin)
Your brain is unique to you – it’s the most important part of you. it controls your entire being –
You would not deliberately take a class A drug to uplift your mood and assume you were all good in doing so.
Those who do, tend to on a recreational purpose – they do feel the come down (like a hangover)
However, they allow their brain time to recover before recreational purpose again.
These drugs are instead medicated on a daily basis for years. Dependence and the inability to cease when wanting to (without severe withdrawal and symptomatic influx- mental, physical and emotional.
There are many out there believing they are in need of medicinal therapy – the belief is mere belief in a science that lies and misinforms in the name of profit not care.
If you truly value yourself, family and life…. you need research the clinical trials, medical journals, case files and testimonials before concluding the market of brain drugging is a safe and respectable one.
This is not my attacking you and what you are stating. The intent of my post is educate yourself – research everything yourself. Be one of the tens of thousands but, in a manner that identifies the risks for what they are.
A crazy belief in this day and age is, you can’t learn anything unless you go to university and enter the profession – Who do you think became the first medical teachers? who taught them?
Do you think yourself intelligent? if you do? then there is nothing to stop you researching everything and disregarding the marketing bull.
Ok, to be honest I find the whole thing so complex and overwhelming I don’t know who or what to believe.
All I know is that I have been on Citaloram at 40 mg for the last two years and I just don’t feel right. One thing I do know is that other people just do not tolerate this. One reason why we all reach for meds is because our significant others won’t tolerate it, nor will employers for very long. All this adds to pressure and the hope of relief. It’s so bad it’s worth risking the meds.
I’m sick of feeling crap.
I just don’t know what to do. Do I change med, do I taper down like you advise and be drug free.When you feel like this people need guarantees to make decisions, not a sea of opposing views. You might be right or you might not, either way I’m not sure it helps.
Hi Dave, apologies in time lapse.
It is complex and overwhelming I respectfully understand that.
Not knowing what, and/or who to believe truly should urge you to research yourself everything that you have been presented with.
Archived medical journals and case files are extremely beneficial concerning adverse reaction and symptomatic issues – The list is not exhaustive because individually we react differently due to mental, emotional and physical backgrounds as well as tolerances and knowledge about our symptomatic responses.
The one thing to note is, the brain is naturally organic however, synthetic chemicals blocking/flooding are not.
In a common sense way… that’s the first note.-
Another note – brain affecting drugs are exactly what they say they are and to date there is no evidence of that mood being a consistent and pleasurable one… You yourself do not claim relief in a manner that these drugs have made life less stressful or now pleasurable.
To be called an antidepressant is claiming an ability to enhance mood for the better – that claim is the entirety of this drugs reason and regardless of the hundreds of thousands not feeling better (and proven to be worsening) it’s still believed in.
The same way that recreational drug use is explained away as damaging – everything is due to believing what we are told as opposed to researching anything ourselves. (To believe both concepts without seeing these drugs recreational or medicinal are both en route to damaging the brain expresses how we rely on others all information of which is just not acceptable as we go through life being affected by it )
All brain affecting drugs are damaging to the brain – it’s the most complex organ in the human body – it makes who we are and science has no knowledge of the psyche and emotional responses of any individual. – This is why there are so many different psychologies each attempting to explain away differences – behavioural, therapeutic, criminal….
The reason it is called Mental Health alone is a clever marketing play – Mental is not the issue, Emotional health is the truth. If it was actually called ‘that’ it would be seen for screwing emotions – we would mentally process the difference – calling it mental health instead powerfully suggests we do not have the logic to differentiate – we are mentally impaired as opposed to emotionally dysfunctional – science prides it self on memtsl superiority can it say the same for emotional superiority? It’s extremely arrogant in suggestion you are nowhere near as intelligent as science.
Emotional dysfunction is not impairment of the brain – it is response to that of the what is causing it.
… Sadness, stress, anxiety… all emotional responses not mental responses – mental is logic not emotion.
If science could bottle, measure, count, weigh, see emotion fair enough but, it cannot do any of the above – there is no way to graph, chart nor put statistics upon emotions and to balance is an out and out lie!
all science can do is disrupt emotion via a marketing ploy of the disruption works for the better…..
Take recreational drugs
because of the disruption of the chemicals in the same manner – they heighten mood periodically, enhance awareness for a period, affect thought pattern and more besides – the difference is however, the majority of recreational users allow the brain to recover between use – A tolerance is not built in the same way as medication because not in constant use
There is always a comedown as the body and mind adapts to resetting itself.
To not see that your brain and emotional health is the everything you are and not what science tells you it is, is the first step towards any relief at present.
So many people come here and argue how great these drugs are (i will always believe these people to be pharma trolls). If these drugs were so great there would not be the multitudes of those like yourself confused nor would there be any arguement as to balancing chemicals being a true statement.
And…, there would be clear data not using suggestive terminology to explain the manner in which these drugs are ‘believed’ to work.
Not one journal pro antidepressants and antipsychotics can state solid evidence – it is belief, suggestion, understanding and possibly (please, please go research this yourself)
Nowhere in journals and clinical trials is there evidence of exact measures of Dopamine, Seratonin nor Noropinephrine to determine a solid fact of mood enhancement.
No evidence of identified understanding of what these drugs do to the brain long term.
The questions ‘How to know if disease/illness coming back?’ is again extremely misleading – sadness, anxiety, stress are not diseases or illnesses but, emotional human responses to life
Root cause to any emotional response and finding a way to understand and resolve- pumping with synthetic chemicals is not.
You say the reason we reach for these drugs because others won’t tolerate – That maybe so as also the mass marketing to which conditions the masses is the influx of mental health awareness and therapies needed.
If mass marketing of psychological therapy then the tolerance levels of others would push you to ‘that’ not drugs.
The drugs market is about profit
Pharma is one of the biggest businesses on this earth – billions in profit – A business to be so big needs custom and repeat custom is the key.
I do not expect you to believe what i say – so much out there demands you listen to the expert – the expert however is very well paid and compensated yet when asked directly had no answers of relative use. The GP i respect as just not fully informed.
You can only take what i say and choose for yourself to look into the science that makes the claims. Once you identify not everything is fact, much is speculation, then you can take steps to help yourself
I will happily come back and talk you through withdrawal – My only want us for people to live life not be stuck confused, worsening, lost, alone etc…
You say you want answers not opposing views – opinions are not what is going on here hon – it’s more about experience – you want to get better – research!!!
Look into the clinial trials! see for yourself the difference in the marketing and the actual results specified as asdversw reactions.
write down all your symptomatics and lay them alongside the symptomatic reactions upon those clinical results –
I am here if you want to talk
My son a few years ago heard voices and act strangely like he was not in control of himself and could possibly hurt himself . He finally was prescribed Rispond . He takes every day 1 mg tablets for a few years. He does not hear voices but he is perhaps too calm. I believe the drug causes him to not have much energy and perhaps have little sex drive. He has no interest in meeting girls. I would like to try to take him off the drug. Once we tried and he then did not want to eat. Now he also speaks not logically. Is there an alternate natural remedy that can perhaps cause him to not need rispond but still act well without side effects. Or has the drug already possibly caused irreparable damage and affected the way he thinks ?
You know what to some extent I probably agree with you I’m sure if I looked into all the evidence your argument would stand up, but I do feel you contradict yourself somewhat.
If all these problems are emotional not mental as you say then surely this is a contradiction because the brain is what causes the emotion?
Are you saying absolutely no one should take any medication for any brain related problems, parkinsons etc.?
Surely the brain is like every other part of the body i.e. Organic.? We take drugs for every other condition that effects our health. Why are antidepressants any different?
I agree antidepressants cause side effects but so does every other drug on the planet on occasion, some people are allergic to penicillin, ibuprofen etc etc.
The point is for whatever reason people’s emotional health /mental health, to me it’s just the same and for a hell of a lot of people gets so bad they can’t function properly and at that point they’ll try these drugs. It’s ok saying all this is emotional and you have to work out what’s wrong etc and deal with it without drugs but the whole thing with this emotional problem is you can’t work out what’s wrong. That’s why it’s an emotional problem and it becomes a paradox. You can’t think straight because the brain isint functioning normally on a daily basis.
Even if you’re right about all this, I’ll probably have to accept that I’ll now be on these for life. If I am then so what, many people take medication daily for life for multitudes of different conditions.
I’m interested though because it’s obvious you’ve done a lot of research into this to form your opinion. What do you advice is the next move to make? If I was to stop taking the meds, what is the best way to taper down and how long? and what other forms of treatment do you advise?
I can only tell you my story. In 2010 I was dragged to a psychiatrist by a family
member. Within a half hour I was diagnosed bipolar. I was put on every possible
drug for bipolar for 3 yrs. That same year my father bankrupted our family business of 20 yrs at the age of 75. Leading up to that my wife and I were having some marriage problems and my family was forcing me to stay on the drugs. I felt like a zombie all the time while on those drugs. In 2010 I ended up in the hospital after going to my fathers house crying. I thought he was taking me to a regular hospital but I was dragged to a phyc hospital. When I got there I realised were I was and asked if I really needed to be here. The lady got mad at me and called a police car and they handcuffed me and threw me in the back of the car and took me to the phyc ward. I had never been in hand cuffs or in the back of a cop car. It scared the crap out of me. After I was released 2 weeks latter my wife of 26 yrs filed for divorce. We almost got divorced but my wife came back for 2yrs. She was very upset that the family business ended up in my brothers name. She wanted me to leave with her but I was in no state to go anywhere.She took all the money from our savings account and filed for divorce again. That divorce lasted a year. Then my family had my uncle move in with me. He was in such bad shape he died of cancer 8 months latter. After my wife left my doctor switched me to lexapro that I stayed on for a year. I have been off all drugs for 2 yrs now and it has been hell. I am tired all the time and have been unable to return to the old me. ( by the way my youngest son was diagnosed ADHD After this was all over) I feel that once you take these drugs for a long time it is almost imposible to stop taking them. I thought by now I would return to normal but I never have. I think if you take bipolar drugs for years your brain can’t function or go back to what you were prior to taking them. They force most people to go back on them so they can feel what they now feel is normal. I do believe they change your brain chemistry. I am tired all the time. The most common misdiagnose is bipolar instead of ADHD. Good luck with what ever decision you make. I can only tell you my story. By the way Bipolar diagnose has exploded in the last 10 years. (what happened to people just being what they are) I lived a very stable life married for 25 yrs. I was not a drug addict, drunk or gambler and did not do anything to excess.
SSRIs cause many problems that are worse than the disease or problem taken for.
I have had severe anxiety and nervous high blood pressure almost my entire life life. It seems to run in my family – its hereditary problem.
My Dr. put me on Beta-Blockers 5MG 2x per day. This was my suggestion since when I am under stress or nervous my pressure is off the chart. I was also given Zoloft. The Zoloft did not take away my anxiety, it made me into a zombie without a brain.
I knew taking Zoloft was the wrong medication for me when one day at work, I quit. I was called into my boss’s office and read some ridiculous write-up. Instead of disputing the claims or just trying to keep my job I quit. I calmly pulled a candy-bar out of my pocket and while unwrapping it like it was the greatest thing in the world said without looking at my boss “well, why don’t you go Fork-Yourself, I’m going home to make a delicious turkey sandwich (said this while calmly chewing my candy-bar.” Not only did I not care about anything and was completely numb to everything other than my own immediate desire of food but I was brain dead – could not access my large vocabulary of words or put a constructive thought together.
I have since stopped taking the Zoloft complete. I took half the dose the following day then “cold turkey” while I replaced it with St. Johns Wort. No exactly cold turkey but..you get the idea 🙂
I now take St. Johns Wort and the Beta-Blockers – great combo. I feel relaxed and no anxiety, I am not stressed at all, I can think clearly, and do not have to worry about future brain destruction or having a severe bad changes of personality. I have never been so happy, alert, focused and an all around better person.
Whole Foods has a 365 brand of St. J that will not hurt your digestive system and is great.
Moral – If you need to take a “happy pill that will relieve anxiety, and do what SSRIs are suppose to then take S. Johns Wort.”
I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar for 21 years and in the course of it I’ve taken Lithium, Epival, Zoloft and now Respiridine.
In fact, I feel my thought processes are pretty much completely normal and I have reduced my respiridone to 1.5 mg a day. It is causing side effects of extreme fatigue (burnout) and glaucoma. My intention is to reduce my dependence on it. Do you know of any way I can safely get off this medication? I tend to get destabilized when I reduce it (prone to mania).
I am a young psychiatrist based in India, Should we discount all the RCT’s which say medications do help. And what about the millions of people who do benefit from meds, what do we tell them ? Psychopharmacology, if used correctly can do wonders!
“Our citizens would be far better off if we removed all the psychotropic drugs from the market, as doctors are unable to handle them.” – Wouldn’t it be better to train the doctors/enforce guidelines so that the benefits of these meds aren’t lost ?
Yes you should. Drugs are about money, not about helping people. The biggest myth of all. Doctors should also realise that herbal medicines are not all quack medicine. Some work very well indeed but Drug companies have a vested interest in misleading the public and the medical profession about this.
I’m actually very fortunate that my doctor told me most of these things truthfully. I’m still a little confused though because I do take antidepressants, and I’m pretty sure I feel better, but so many people say that it’s bad. I don’t know who to listen to. 🙁
I wish I could tag the psychiatrist I’m seeing so he could read this and be more open minded about treatment. He really is a drug pusher
There so many natural alternatives that do work for depression and anxiety. I can’t help thinking that all this knowledge is buried for reasons of profit and greed. (As usual.) From personal experience I can recommend: L Tryptophan and 5 HTP. Regular use of Multi B vitamins especially B6, Spirulina 9g a day, and 6g of fish oil a day, are all very very helpful. And no side affects. If anything you will feel healthier. My Doctor gave me the 60 min long sales pitch on Paroxotine. The reasons (all false) were verbatim what this Doctor is warning about in this very good article. I never took the drug and thank God I didn’t. My guardian angel was on the lookout that day.
Dear Dr. Healy
Many of your articles are on the negative side effects of psychiatric medications, but what about misdiagnoses in cases of childhood trauma? Studies were begun in the 1980s* of the relationship between borderline personality disorder (BPD) and childhood trauma. An overwhelming connection of 80-90% was found.
This has been ignored–and here again Psychiatry has Gone Astray.
Survivors of severe child abuse are often misdiagnosed with major psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder or with BPD and consequently incorrectly overmedicated.
Despite this, for over 20 years there has been a growing movement for recognition of Complex Trauma (C-PTSD) also known as Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD).
The American Psychiatric Association has on 3 major occasions refused to recognize it (first for the1994 DSM-IV and as recently as the 2013 DSM-5).
Why? probably because they had been covering up the sexual abuse of children since before Sigmund Freud’s Oedipus Complex and they don’t want to admit to a century-long error.
I have personally lived through–and suffered through–the consequences of this, having first come across the Oedipus Complex in 1958 when I was beginning to deal with incest in my family, until the publication of the DSM-5 and beyond.
What is Developmental Trauma? Whether it involves systematic physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse or neglect it results in a continuing cycle of traumatic interpersonal relatedness, difficulties such as problems of self-regulation–from the ability to calm oneself when upset, to eating and/or digestive disorders–the ability to sustain healthy relationships, or even to explain what happened, abnormal cortisol levels, abnormal startle response and muscle tension, and much more.
One of the most important websites is The Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, US. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is one of the early proponents of understanding PTSD and C-PTSD and who did some of the earliest studies of their relationship to borderline personality disorder.
I’m so sorry to hear stories of so many here who are and who were given a psych drugs. I was in this site 3 years ago after a doctor gave antipsychotics when I asked for a sleep meds few months after giving birth. My health went downhill from there. Lost my job, became depressed, and was on sleeping pills, antidepressants and antipsychotics. I wanted to end my life but because of my 3 children I couldn’t do it. I tried to live one day at a time, surviving each day of hell. I searched for so many success stories of people who were drugged fro many years but were able to come off. It gave me a little hope.
I began a plan, I will come off of all medications no matter how hard or how long it would take. I preapared myself to suffer the horrible withdrawals. I did suffer terribly, panic attacks, agitation, sleepless nights for days on end. It didn’t kill me. I was put on drugs in October 2014 and I took my last pill on August 2016. The first month off was hard. I was experiencing the same symptoms I had while on drugs and while slowly weaning of off it. I was dry cutting the pills on my own without my doctor’s consent. She didn’t know I was reducing my meds. Grams per grams. Every reduction, I suffered so much but I persevered. I noticed that my symptoms were the worst two days after reduction. I usually give it a week or two before reducing my meds. I came off 3 meds one by one. Two months on began sleeping 30 minutes to an hour naturally. I celebrate small successes. The sleep slowly came back. Agitation and panic attacks became less frequent. It got better as months go by. One year off. I was already sleeping ok. The other symptoms were gone but I still didn’t have the drive to do things that I used to enjoy. Now 3 years later, I was not able to go back to teaching but I’m ok with it. I started a home baking business and that keeps me occupied these days. I also got pregnant to my 4th child.
I almost back to my old self, enjoying life and family life. I enrolled in the gym and taking care of myself.
I am sharing my story in hopes it will help others. Do not give up. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. There are so many people who had walked your path before and are now on the other side. Life gets better. You are not stuck in your situation. There a way out if you would just try. Educate yourself about what you can do to come off. Device a plan. Seek the support of your loved ones or friends who cares. Just do it.
Hi, i’ve done a few posts on here. Been on Citalopram for 6 years and at 40mg for the last 2. Read a lot about the use of liquid Citalopram as the best way to taper.
Can someone please give advice as to how long I should take to reduce down? Is the liquid dropped into water etc to then drink?
No, the liquid form is made as is and any good Dr will explain this to you.
It comes in a bottle and with a syringe style applicator.
You take the dose every day at the same time
It truly is the best way as the minimal amount is exact
I was reducing a ml every month to six weeks – compared to dropping excessive MGs it’s truly the best way,
The symptoms will still occur but not so severe because less of a shock to the system withdrawal wise.
All the best let us know how you get on
My son developed a psychosis issue after 2 years at college, after smoking marijuana regularly. He had always been an anxious child, but he had become isolated and lost in his thoughts. He was diagnosed with schizofrenism, (on the low end of the spectrum) and given Abilify. His behavior turned neurotic, dark, more anxious and he began chain smoking, binging in sugar and not sleeping a full night, for several months. He decided to try to taper but then abruptly stopped the meds. About two weeks later he had a terrible feeling one morning and asked to be admitted to hospital. I believe he suffered a break due to abrupt withdrawal even after only taking it for a few months. Now he’s back on it as well as Lexapro. Mostly he seems sedated , though he’s much more rational. But he also cannot motivate to do simple things like read or out his dishes away, or be as athletic as he normally is. So far no Psychiatrists offer any insight into side affects, or other ways to manage feelings, besides medication. I worry at such a young age if one is dependant on the drugs, you can never learn to cope and understand. After being stable for a few weeks, he again wants to taper the meds, but this time we will try it more gradually. Anyone experienced with doing this with a young person?
No I have not had any experience in which I have had to see my child go through this.
Like many here i am first hand experience on the drugs myself.
I do not care what drug name is being stated all are potent chemicals and do pretty much the same (that being disrupting chemicals via boosting and or depleteing on continuum.
Tapering off is the only good thing but, many traumas and problems will arise
There is no easy nor quick way – but for his brain to heal and for him to overcome his initial problems, the need to return to the organic natural process is paramount
Believe me keeping him on the medication for longer is never going to help nor make future tapering easier.
You say he is more rational (hence is knowing /wanting to taper)
There are indeed rational moments…
I went to my dr and asked outright if the drugs were causing my worsening condition
I was told no because they could not as they were uppers…
I would research clinical trials from the source itself and take copies of the results – I was told the internet is full of nonsense….
You know your son better than any medical professsional and you know none of this is normal behaviour
He needs you to be there as he tapers
He may seem like he is worsening but, it is withdrawal not as you may well be led to believe as his condition!
It’s a case of going very slow, very minimal in reduction, watching and logging symptomatics…
Depending on his dosage, his threshold etc…
You need help professionally – please look up Peter Breggin online – he’s American, a psychiatrist (a brilliant one, sorry but very few psychiatrists are and you are best staying away from the most)
See if you can find a psychologist and counsellor for yourself too if need be
I really wish you the best of luck
Ok, thanks Miss Diagnosed.
If I drop 1ml per month on that current rate it would take me about three years to get off 40mg, my current dose.
Would you say that is the required reduction speed or could I reduce from 40 to 30 for instance a bit quicker for example.
So sorry I did not respond and to be fair I haven’t been here in a long time.
Feel terrible I did not see your last questions.
I really hope you are doing okay in the tapering?
I hope also you asked your Dr for the liquid form as it is so much less hard hitting and you can control the amount.
Please do post again! Wishing you all the best
We currently have a petition with the Scottish Parliament regarding adverse effects and harm including severe difficult withdrawal from antidepressants and benzodiazapines.
They are open to hearing from anyone around the world affected or from people that have lost someone due to these drugs.
The Herald Scotland has been reporting our progress – and including important meeting on 18 January where Minister for Mental Health and Principal Medical Officer were giving evidence:
This is the verbatim transcript of 18 January meeting:
Should anyone wish to write and raise awareness the email address is: email@example.com and quote PE10651 in subject heading. The submission should be no more than 3 A4 pages and is not to include any hospital or Drs names.
Thank you very much.
I wholeheartedly agree that doctors are incorrectly prescribing drugs to patients when they don’t really need them. But sometimes a person DOES need them. As a teen I had an extremely hard time handling my negative emotions and very, very rarely felt anything greater than contentment. I couldn’t get excited about going to see my favorite band live. I couldn’t get excited about graduating high school and going to college. Once my doctor started me on sertraline (zoloft) and it started to take effect, I felt like a real human being again. Not zombie-like as many people describe the effects. I was lucky that the first medication I tried actually worked so well for me. It drives me crazy when people are completely against trying medication if that’s something that could really help them. Zoloft very likely saved my life and I am extremely grateful that it made me *feel* again.
Not sure why it would drive you crazy when despite the hundreds of thousands of people who do have severe reactions to these drugs are begging to be heard as their lives fall apart.
I would have thought a genuine person having been medicated would be thankful they did not have the problems that hundreds of thousands of people do…. Not being driven crazy by it!
Bit of an odd comment to make.
You want people to trial and error and hope for the best despite you being a fraction of the multitude?
The documented evidence of there not being any such thing as a chemical imbalance, no ability to measure, count, weigh…. the documented evidence of clinical trials and the severe reactions, have you read any of these?
Disruption of chemicals is the hard solid evidence. Now, this can go either way… it’s a 50/50 chance of feeling up or down.
Trial and error? – it will only be 50/50 initially – I felt okay to begin with. Bear in mind the placebo effect of a belief these drugs will help is a huge factor initially too.
Then, when problems begin – Well this is where the word problem is understated!
You do not say your dosage nor duration of being medicated?
There is life situation too… you could not get excited about anything. You were a teen…
A teenagers life changes on continuum – as an adult with serious responsibilities there is the situation harder to remove yourself from. I do not condone any drugging of child, teen or adult – A child has no say in the matter that alone is sick and twisted….
People are losing homes, their kids, spouses. Suffering severe mental, emotional and physical reactions (the brain once disrupted and overloaded sends confused signals everywhere).
Be grateful you were not subject to an entire life crashing down. Read other people’s stories and have compassion, respect and the decency to express it.
Because what drives me crazy…. is people (genuine or otherwise) stating they had absolutely no problem (this makes no sense to me) – in a post of which needs looking for to express adverse reactions about the myth of the pharmaceutical industry. How did you come by it? And why post on it?
It’s like me looking for a site that doesn’t effect me in the slightest and having my say. It is no myth disingenuous pharmaceutical companies and their stooges come by.
If genuine? Please express not being driven crazy when can evidently see people’s lives are being torn apart!
How can I even begin to describe the horrific experience of having my life destroyed by Seroquel. I first landed in the system as a patient of Dr. Terence Ketter, who was doing drug studies. He put me on Seroquel for sleep and I got tardive dyskinesia. I saw dr. Peter Breggin.
After ten years of ever increasing seroquel dosage I have lost my marriage and now my $2.5 million house. My boyfriend in there filed a restraining order and is living there for free now. I am out on the street
If you are forced to see a psychiatrist against your will…..meaning Dr.increases med if you complain about being forced. Dr. checks to see if you are taking the pills( I buy them…taking? Have drug plan from work that pays the $200 per month) so you must carry them to the 10 minute appointment. Every time I say I had allergic reaction to them ( did have paralysis of side of face by actually trying them 2 days. Another doctor said it was Balsy Polsy. So…treated for hearing low tones??weird.Stopped pill that day #3).
Apparently my psychiatrist says I was not alergic and will never be let off the Invega. Keep up the treatment.
Now….how to rid of the cost and prison mode that I am in. Not mentally healthy situation. Any ideas?
In what way does the doctor check to see if you are taking? You mean via the buying of?
I identify with knowing what symptoms are being caused by the drugs But, being told they are something else.
No psychiatrist (unless you are actually institutionalised) can force you to stay on any medicine. To say you will be on for life is ludicrous – so you have basically indirectly been told the cure is forever drugging??
Not sure what you mean by prison mode (forgive me).
You are not allergic – you are having adverse reactions- what you need is the clinical trial evidence to prove your symptoms are due to the drug.
However, this isn’t the b and end all of how to convince the medical professional.
What was your original diagnosis? What is your dosage? How long have you been on the drug?
Can’t say I have all the answers But, there may be a way to wean off at a pace and work a way to express the drugs are the cause.
Thank you for sharing this article online. I’ve got to admit that I feel physically sick at the damage that’s been done through ‘professionals’ prescribing antipsychotics to me many years ago and then continually coercing me to stay on them, even when I’ve approached them with evidence of problems with them. I now know that I have had c-ptsd which ironically is not yet recognised by the same ‘professionals’ for childhood abuse and neglect.
Does anyone know how if or how much it is possible to reverse brain shrinkage? I used to be intellectually very able but something which has been happening, which I believe has been due to the drugs, is moments of incredibly stupid judgement! It may provide humour for others, but this is my life and its been sickening because its happened since taking the drugs! I have also experienced great loss personally through being trapped on prescription drug dependency. It’s only relatively recently that I’ve discovered that I’m very sensitive to dose changes, which apparently is not unusual after taking antipsychotics for some time.
I still have a cloudy head after 6 years of having taken my last ever dose! I find I can’t absorb information properly at the time. It can be a few days after when something sinks in.
My memory is terrible too.
I don’t believe the entire damage will ever repair itself.
Dose changes!! They are brutal because there is the deprivation and/or overwhelming of the synthetic chemical boost! It’s extrmely dangerous and should be done with excessive caution.
No humour here with what you know to be brain damage.
I find I look and appear mentally incapable at times… I just need longer to think and some simpler things won’t sink in properly (which annoys others… very frustrating and upsetting at times).
Any dose changes really should be liquid and minimal… it’s only you who can determine tolerance of the altered doses!!!
Are you weaning off?
I believe without exception every single mass shooting in America was perpetrated by someone precribed SSRIs (paroxetine and co) or Prozac. The one today being an excellent case in point. Ex-Marine with PTSD. If they weren’t giving this stuff to this guy like they were smarties I will eat my used sweaty socks. Big Pharma is about money and greed just like our Government. They not trying to help us. They just want more money.
A friend of mine recently committed suicide within 2 weeks of being described anti-depressants. 18 years ago I was prescribed Prozac for stress. 2 weeks later, overnight, I became so acutely suicidal that I had to be admitted to a high supervision unit in a psych hospital. The upshot was a panicked psychiatrist prescribed ECT for my `sudden onset acute depression’. I suffered through 87 ECT treatments leading to brain damage, lost my career, got diagnosed with bipolar and treated with all those drugs for the next 13 years.
I finally got it together, aged 70, and ditched psychiatrists and the drugs, (it took 4 years before the withdrawal symptoms resolved), got rehab for the brain damage (another story) counselling for the PTSD I got from the trauma of ECT and started to live my life again with no sign whatsoever of bipolar or depression.
Now at 76 I have been able to start a new career, but I still resent losing all those terrible years.
The psychiatry, big pharma alliance, PPS, which began in the mid 1970s has perpetrated a gigantic fraud on the population and, as far as I can see, will continue to do so. Money talks.
Can anyone shed some light on my situation, I’m pulling my hair out looking for answers on what to do and why I am the way I am after 20years of antipsychotic use and 23years of antidepressant use. I have reduced both over the past 8months and I’m on a small dose of both (EFEO is really hard to get off). All my problems are Negative symptoms of Schizophrenia, poor concentration (finding it hard right now), slow thinking, memory loss but not with everything I do, I just can’t stay on track and learn new things and stay focused. Even things I used to know I have to relearn and that’s just too frustrating, so things I used to love to do I can’t. It’s extremely frustrating It feels like some sort of Alzheimer’s. I really need to make the right decision to move forward I can’t take much more. The drugs may have helped with cognitive function but is there a underlying damage being caused while being on them? Is it withdraw or the illness coming back? I understand that I may not have needed to be on them for very long or at all to begin with but now it’s too late I feel. I just want honesty and have been really let down. I have tried over the past 5months to educate myself but details in evidence becomes a blur the next day. I really need some guidance so much depends on it, please.
Hi Michael, while I’m not speaking from personal experience, I thought maybe there are a couple of books that might help you?
One is by Dr Peter Breggin and Dr David Cohen, entitled “Your Drug may be Your Problem” with some chapters on how to come off psychiatric drugs and the withdrawal symptoms you might experience.
Another is “Coming off Antidepressants” by Dr Joseph Glenmullen, which goes into withdrawal in a lot of detail.
I have had some anecdotal recommendations for seeing a qualified homeopath who has experience in these things, as they can help manage the symptoms you might be experiencing, and also would be able, most likely, to get a remedy made from a particular drug that you’re having trouble getting off. I do realise that many people think that homeopathy is just ‘bunkum’ but I do know that it appears to be more than placebo, going by experiences I’ve had with tiny babies and animals, I think there’s more to it than that. Anyway, it might be worth a try if you are able to and have nothing else left as an option.
Thank you very much for replying. I watch a lot of youtube videos on the subject including Dr Peter Breggin. I think what is happening is the drugs speed up cognitive decline over the years and when you come off the drugs the withdraw (another chemical imbalance) makes things worse. I really need to find out how long it might last. Probably a pretty hard thing to answer. It’s scary how bad it gets. Robert Whitaker seems to be knowledgable even though he’s a journalist, but I have problems understanding and remembering what I just watched.
Thanks for the homeopath recommendation too its something ill look into.
So sorry Michael I used to be here a lot, I haven’t had any notifications in a couple of years.
I see you posted a long time ago.
I hope you are okay, Peter Preggin as suggested is brilliant, I would read a lot of his stuff when weaning off a ludicrously high dose of Venlaflaxine I’d been on 9 years.
It took me 3 years of ml reductions of liquid doses because it was the only way to minimise with the least impact.
Let us know how you are!!
I am in the US but I want to ask does anyone have experience with a Dr. prescribing Risperdal for depression in a 32 year old female it’s the first time I have been described anything for depression and he talked to me about 20 min. And determined I am clinically depressed but the risperdal and the trazadone at night made it where I could barely get to work on time I was an outgoing bubbly person. People loved to be around me I NEVER left the house for any reason without makeup I cared. The risperdal made me gain weight regardless of what I eat. I can’t lose it. It took my husband 14 months to get me to realize it changed me and not for the better. I don’t ever have a desire to be touched I don’t get excited about going on vacations anymore my birthday my husband had his 40th birthday and because I don’t care about anything I didn’t do anything for his day. He’s trying to take me on vacation and I can’t get excited or “want” to go anywhere. I just don’t care and I haven’t been on any of those meds for 5 months now I know he said he was trying to stop my dopamine and make my serotonin skyrocket. It caused a chemical imbalance that made my gyno think I had a bad thyroid. I want to know if there is a way or does it just take time to get my feelings back? I really don’t care if the sun rises or sets. My husband cooks and cleans and I don’t have to do any of that but I did before he messed my chemicals up. I hope one of you know or maybe the author does if I can get my levels back right.
I found out the dr. Is publishing his 2-3rd book on serotonin and I was just a lab rat because I showed up on the right day and told him about the hard time I had the past year. PLEASE SOME ONE TELL me there is help for this.
I feel for you. Been there, done that.
First: You should have stopped taking this highly addictive neurotoxic drug very, VERY slowly. I presume you didn’t so a lot of what you are suffering now will be withdrawal symptoms.
Second: YES. Your brain WILL reset itself but it will take time. Anything from one to several years is normal. You didn’t take it for very long so your withdrawal/reset should be on the shorter end of the spectrum. (It took 4 years for me). Then one day you’ll suddenly realise, oh yeah, I’m myself again. You’re lucky you have an understanding husband – reassure him that he will get his beloved back again.
Risperidone (Risperal) is a particularly nasty drug and has nothing to do with depression. It is a tranquilliser called an anti-psychotic. It isn’t. It was a brutal early drug that was the first of the `atypical anti-psychotics’ and should probably be withdrawn.
Third: Your doctor clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The `chemical imbalance’ idea is FAKE, and even the leaders of the psychiatric profession have admitted that, in public, YEARS ago.
Ask that doctor why he prescribed that and not one of the other more recent ones. Was it, for instance that the, almost certainly, female rep. `suggested’ it and possibly supplied a lovely lunch for him and his staff every week, or some other pleasant diversion? He probably knows less about it than you do.
Fourth: You have been through a terribly stressful time. It might be an idea to find a counsellor or therapist (NOT a doctor, they don’t have the skills) to help you deal with all the anger and unhappiness this episode in your life has caused.
But, rest assured, it will get better.
I am in sri lanka i recently began taking 0.5mg risperidone and 100mg sertraline for OCD and social anxiety with mild depression. I have taken sertraline earlier up to 150mf earlier and this is my first time taking both sertraline and risperidone together.
I feel like a drunk and cannot feel happy or get excited about anything due to risperidone. But id did straighten up my thinking pattern compared to sertraline alone.
I never thought that i might have to take sertraline again after stopping it two years agobut here i am taking the same shit again.. Yes it is addictive but it makes me feel better and study better. But side effects are the worst
I lost my girl friend to this crap less than 3 months ago. She came back to me after 2 years and things are going good for about 4 months. She decided it was time to get off everything. She was on Seroquel and some other stuff for schizophrenia and depression. She was on a decent drug but it cost too much money for her. She said it was like paying rent to stay normal. She went off on another drug at the advice of her psychiatrist. 4 weeks later she lost her mind she was erratic. Through the course of events she ended up moving back to Tennessee, with every intention of me following her with me starting a life down there with her. I’m almost 40 sounded like a good idea. She moved in with her father who’s been estranged for over 10 years. He got into her head, he was the one that convinced her to go off her meds. There is a reason they never communicated – he was an abusive father growing up. But she had nowhere else to turn since her mother is the same only a control freak. Her Communications became less and less, her stepfather up here turned off her cell phone out of spite and being butthurt that she left. Secondly she started to slowly produce horrible symptoms I could see in our final text messages and she broke up with me talking about how she can’t trust anyone anymore, and it feels like she’s lost everything. I don’t really know what’s going on her Facebook in many other social media accounts just went dark one day. A few days ago her Facebook came back on for about 20 minutes then went dark again. And this is been about 2 months now. In our last text, she kept trying to convince me how broken she was and unable to love me anymore or feel emotions. And how she’s incapable of feeling Joy. Then as I was pleading with her to realize this is all withdrawal symptoms she abruptly ended the conversation by saying if I come back to you I do, don’t wait for me. Then she vanished all together. This is essentially all because she was diagnosed wrong as a kid one of those checkbox diagnosis. She already had anxieties when she was 14 15, what kid doesn’t when they enter High School? Also she came from a broken home no less than nine stepfathers, and almost all of them were abusive. Several were even cult leaders that forced her into things. Unfortunately for me she was a client of mine as a therapist, we ended up no longer seeing each other as therapist client relationship, once they were Sparks. But of course I couldn’t turn a blind eye why she was dealing with stuff, ultimately I hope to God she’s okay and not a routing Somewhere In The Deep South, I’m going to get myself together within the next year and try to find her I think she made a bad choice and is trapped by her father and withdrawal symptoms. But she really lost her mind going off these drugs she was sweet and caring and loving. She became distant and cold even when she was breaking up with me she didn’t want to but she knew she had to. I still wonder if her father forced her to it.
I have literally been saved by medication. I have rapid cycling bipolar disorder with mixed episodes. I’ve gone off my medications in the past and have had terrible suicide attempts everytime. I’m just speaking for myself, but it is no coincidence that my medications keep me safe and sane. I went through a chronic pain program and they had the same opinion as this doctor. Per their advice I stopped taking my mood stabilizer. In response I attempted suicide, was intubated and hospitalized in a trauma one ICU facility. I then went to the behavioral health unit. I eventually got back on my medication and haven’t had troubles since. If David were my doctor, I would be dead, no doubt about it. Thank God I’ve had the same psychiatrist for 20 plus years. I sure hope David doesn’t tell people they don’t have mental illness, if they do, and then talk them into killing themselves. It would be a tragedy. He can choose not to take medication but he shouldn’t hand mentally unstable people loaded guns.
Well this is pretty funny, you are a psychiatrist, who make money directly by diagnosing more and more people, feeding them lies about how many disorders they have, giving them pills to make them a different person then they were to begin with. Now you come out against your own profession ? Like you are some sort of hero ??? Why did you work in a clinic ? Feeding people drugs and trying to put them under control with electroshock if you were aware of the shortcomings of your education ? Why did you follow the whole thing ? It must be a flaw in your mind, looks to me !
You spent your life telling the people mental health needs to be front and center in evaluating everything ? You claimed only you had the solution, that mental health was a public menace, leading to untold problems and suffering ? Meanwhile you lied and cheated people with disorders, claiming any behavior you simply didnt like was a mental problem ?
Now you claim what ? You try to agree there is no behavioral theory ? Then why did you destroy your patients with so many lies ? What are you ? I think you are a degenerate and a manipulative liar who was trying to make a quick buck.
I would like to disagree with all of this bs. All of your findings are pretty subjective and have no basis. I have literally had my life saved by an antipsychotic and have returned to full functionality because of it. Again, you wouldn’t know that because you’ve never suffered such a disorder in your life I presume. Again, ignorance to this extent is such bs. You need to learn by having some patient retell their stories to you. Mine and several other peoples lives have changed because of drugs like these …. this has no basis. When I grow up, I hope to prove all of this wrong.
Adi I think you have just debunked your own comment.
You say you disagree with all of us here, stating a referring to have read every single comment, but, your comment doesn’t reflect that at all .
Then you further state no one has a basis to state what they do because they have not had any such disorders in their lives.
Why do you think they were ever prescribed these drugs?
So you say you have had a good experience on these medications.
Why would that lead you to be angry and aggressive to those who have not?
Wouldn’t it be more affective (if authentic) to say, ‘I feel lucky, I have had a good experience, its a shame to hear others have not”
What I find doubly very iffy and troll like about comments like yours is, this is an extremely old post. It takes looking for to come across.
Why would a more than happy on their medication person feel a need to come looking for adverse reaction posts and be unkind to those suffering such conditions you say you have had yourself?
As for being ‘subjective’ please research clinical trials and actually read adverse reaction sufferers stories otherwise you fall foul of being the subjective.
When you grow up is your last sentence… I know of no one over the age of 12 who would use such a comment.
Are you with a hope we are to believe you are a young child despite the rest of your post proving there is no way you are 12 and under.
Oh goodness me.
Thank you. Finally, someone had the courage to tell the truth. I was easily prescribed antipsychotics that made me sick. I was forced to take meds for a schizophrenic disorder I never had. It was too easy to be misdiagnosed. I was prescribed every antidepressant for dealing with my ex’s death and post-graduate existential stress (I didn’t know what I was doing with my life). The doctors didn’t really listen to me. They weren’t psychologists. There was no way for them to measure my serotonin levels. I have erectile dysfunction and weight gain as a result. I started having symptoms after they forced me to take injections of invega. Police lied on a police report about my behavior. I was on many different kinds of antipsychotics and they all made me nauseous. Your article was just what I’ve hoping someone would come out and say. Thank you.
TO ALL WHO ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE USAGE AND THE SIDE EFFECTS, WELL WHAT I HAVE SEEN IN ONE OF MY FAMILY MEMBERS AS OF RECENTLY!
I AM JUST GOING TO SAY THIS FOR ALL OF WHO ARE GOING THROUGH THIS ISSUE AS I AM IN MY FAMILY HERE IN NZ!
I would urge all families or loved ones who are using these types of anti-psychotic drugs, please get them off or ween them off entirely! I have seen (well in my family) a real evil side to OLANZIPNE ZYPREXA in my household. My family member calls HIMSELF A SO CALLED “SCHIZOPHRENIC, MENTALLY ILLED” PERSON. SIDE EFFECTS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Evil Laughter LIke HAHAHAHAHAHAA really loud
Takes coffee daily
Says He has A FAMILY which I believe they are demonic
Just wondering is there any family member out there who is going through this and not taking DOCTOR’S ADVICE?
I am sure there is a Olanzipine CheckSheet online somewhere where you can find out what and what not to have with these drugs?
Just to let everyone know that people are now speaking against these types of drugs on Youtube and telling there experiences online. I was listening to a TEDX speaker name Robert Whitaker, Youtube this:
How Do Antidepressants And Anti psychotic Drugs Change Your Brain? with Robert Whitaker
There are lots of RED FLAGS now that I believe that these types of drugs should be given AS A LAST RESORT OR GIVEN LESS MEDICATION TILL THEN BE TAKEN OFF ALL TOGETHER!
I want to urges ALL FAMILIES AROUND THE WORLD, IF YOU ARE TAKING YOUR LOVED ONES TO THE DOCTORS OR TO MENTAL SERVICES TO GET SUCH DRUGS AS OLANZIPINE OR OTHERS LIKE THIS, I WOULD TOTALLY RECONSIDER NOT DOING THIS! YOU’RE LOVED ONES WILL BE WORSER IF YOU PUT THEM ON THESE MEDICATIONS LONG TERM! Here is just another Youtube video should ALL be aware of when taking these medications:
Warning! Do not take these drugs | Seroquel Quetiapine Zyprexa Olanzapine
This young man talks about one of his family members who couldn’t talk much but after taking these medications, has left him PARALYZED AND CAN’T WALK!!!
Anyways, enough said about this: I hope you all will read this and get your loved ones either off these medications or ween them off slowly. These drugs are doing TOO MUCH DAMAGE TO SOCIETY AND LOVED ONES IN OUR WORLD TODAY!!