The Pill That Steals Lives

May, 23, 2016 | 23 Comments


  1. Hi is it possible to get this article sent to my email ?I live in norway and want to post it to a Group og doctors and hopefully some will “Wake up”and see how careful they have to be in prescribing drugs With horrible sideeffects

    My email

  2. wow – what a story!!! i have a similar bad experience with ssri’s and medications! love to hear how you healed…..?

    many thanks! will check out the web site.

    • thanks, caroline. my website will be going live in next couple of days…hope you managed to get off the pills

      • Katkina, may I send you a confidential email regarding your book & a catastrophic incident in our family please?

    • Hi Caroline, I had a bad experience too in June this year. Is there any support you have found useful ? Please feel free to email me.

  3. I have been on seroxat for 20 years. I had a break from it when pregnant in 1999. My story will blow you away. I’m now on 50 mgs.

  4. Wow, Katinka; powerful stuff….and, a sense of humour

    You came back big-time

    The extra ordinary resilience of children witnessing such scenes of a monsterish nature although today they are more used to it……daddy used to buy all the kids eclectic books, Where the Wild Things Are…….ha..she loved it

    Three in a Bed, how we used to laugh and do all the animations, the little one tucked in the middle, laughing, safe as houses, and when she went to sleep out came our books and we all fell asleep, books propped open, each with our own dreams..

    “I hate you, you’re not my mother” she cried, daddy flying high in the skies, and, my arm ‘flew out’ from under the Seroxat Catatonic Covers and struck her, unwittingly, fully across her face.

    I crawled into her little bed and hugged her until she was calm, we were both water worked out, exhausted.

    That moment really shocked as I ‘discovered’ I wasn’t her mother; the monsterish drugged wild thing.

    Too many secrets, I buried them all away, too, but children are not stupid.

    Leaving on my pc, was not clever when, out, years later and she was ‘home’ educated and, of course, totally Home Educated with all the Seroxat Goings On..

    How did I know that…..mothers telephoning me at mid night telling me stuff about a ‘suicide’ her daughter, had told her. Oh, no, said, I, she got totally the wrong end of the stick.

    And, so it went on.
    All the secrets..

    We never talked about all that as when she was sixteen and about to move out to the next door stables where there was joy, happiness, best friends, families full of laughter, enticing dreams, she always said ‘lets talk about something else’ and so we did and may be that was all for the best

    Anyway, Katinka, your ‘discovery’ is very enticing and how articulate you are, funny, interesting and clever and athletic, too

    I would never, ever normally do this, share a recent communiqué from said daughter who has been in Canada since she was 18…..and now 23

    All you Need is Love, on the front

    Dear mummy

    Just a little welcome home card.
    Hopefully even Scotland realises its now springtime!

    I’m on the ferry heading back to the island. Watching the mountains go by and reading One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. I am halfway through. What a good book!
    I think it might be my new favourite. And I can just see Jack Nicholson as Randle McMurphy. I shall watch the movie after.

    I just hope the big nurse doesn’t do anything evil to him before the end of the book!

    Hope you get home safe and get everything in order. You are such a brave soul.

    And, here are some earings!
    I thought they were pretty..

    All my love, and some, your daughter, Naomi

    I hope your Discovery is as revealing, and, pusillanimous, you are not.
    I just love that word; I heard it when it rolled beautifully off David Tennant’s tongue when he recently did a revival of Look Back in Anger, followed by:

    Tennant Looks Back at Osborne
    Sixty years ago, one small play shocked British theatre to its core and started a cultural revolution. John Osborne, a writer from an unfashionable Midlands city, put ordinary lives on stage and made them an extraordinary comment on post-war Britain. As he prepares to star in a new production for Radio 4, David Tennant explores John Osborne’s own papers to uncover how he put his own life and relationships into Look Back in Anger.
    Along the way, we look back at the anger which greeted the play from many critics. The BBC’s theatre critic Ivor Brown called it, “unspeakably dirty and squalid. It is difficult to believe that a colonel’s daughter, brought up with some standards, would have stayed in this sty for a day.” He went on to fume, “I felt angry because it wasted my time.” He was one of many who hated the play.
    David Tennant hears interviews with John Osborne, reads his personal letters, as well as archive of critic Kenneth Tynan and director Tony Richardson. He also plays extracts from previous productions, including a classic with Richard Burton as Jimmy Porter.
    Contributors include playwright David Hare, critic Michael Billington, and actors Gary Raymond and George Devine.

    Brilliant stuff and I hope your book and film provoke the same cultural revolution

    I have ordered it on Amazon as I think we should all order from the same point to take advantage of bumped up sales and let’s not forget to leave reviews and lets have a follow up, here, from Davids, when we have all read it

    I leave the last word to Ben whose face appeared amongst my search for pusillanimous clips, from Tennant, must have compared chisel edged jaws..for those not in the know….Dr. Who?

    The Pill That Steals Lives/The WillThat Gives Back

    Hurrah, for Katinka and another set-back for those Professional Turncoats. Insistently playing dumb..

  5. I agree with everything that has been said so far as regards Katinka’s story. I also agree with Annie that all of us ordering from Amazon is important for maximum impact. Hope that Amazon Kindle counts too as I’ve just placed my pre-order.

  6. Congratulations, Katinka, you have made American Soil..

    “an impossible situation where the patient still may or may not have the problem they came with, are living in an obtunded mental state from all the medications, and have the added prospect of one or more withdrawal syndromes to face. One unholy mess!


    A retweet frenzy..

    ben goldacre
    ✔ ‎@bengoldacre
    Once again, why #AllTrials asks for CSRs to be shared where made: vital info missing from journal reports on trials



    Le Noury J, Nardo JM, Healy D, Jureidini J, Raven M, Tufanaru C, et al. Restoring Study 329: efficacy and harms of paroxetine and imipramine in treatment of major depression in adolescence. BMJ. 2015;351:h4320. doi:10.1136/bmj.h4320.


  7. Katinka, I will be ordering your book and thank you for finding the strength to get your story out there.
    My son went through venlafaxine withdrawal and it was absolutely horrendous. Without the help of David Healy I dread to think what would have happened to him.

  8. I too have ordered a copy of this book off Amazon. There are two aspects of Katinka’s ‘treatment’ which are really astonishing. Firstly the polypharmacy – did someone really believe that using multiple drugs to turn someone into an overweight zombie might constitute some sort of ‘cure’?

    Secondly, who determined that she was to be taken off these drugs ‘cold turkey’, with no consideration for the damage that may have resulted in? Where do these ‘doctors’ get their drug-training? Do they think we are just bags of chemicals which can be stirred around and shaken up?

    I’m hoping the book may reveal more about the individuals/institutions who chemically abused her, and took a year of her life. Exposing incompetence and stupidity in the clinical arena must be a way to put a stop to this sort of psychiatric meddling.


  9. I have this huge BEEF that BG and his mob consistently back up GlaxoSmithKline in their literature, videos and personal comments

    Seroxat was one of the most utilised drugs for ‘subjective’ depression and the clinical trial, on children, one of the most shoddy pieces of datawork that has probably ever been done. If it wasn’t, Study329/RIAT would not be available.

    I was crucified in referrals and blatantly shrieked at and destroyed by a gp because she deemed me suffering ‘endogenous’ depression, she was quite the smart alec, but the damage she did was second to none.

    She went far, far beyond anything a psychiatrist had ever said

    “I put it to Miss make a timetable to spend time with her daughter…” and so on and so forth. It was a mocking, merciless savage attack on child, partner, mother and she didn’t hold back.

    Jeez, within 8 weeks of two hospitals, emergency admittance, I was treated like a retard and no, nobody ever gets over all that and nobody ever is knocked dead when then reading of lies and such about certain medications. Three benzos and hundreds of beta blockers, a psychiatrist never told her to do that.

    I was threatened with losing my daughter, I was threatened from abroad, I was thrown around the NHS mental health system like a leather football with a hole in it.

    This is why I cannot tolerate #Alltrials and #SaS, who have done more damage to the Paroxetine nightmare than anyone else in living memory

    I hope a few people realise that and I hope a few people are able to litigate against GlaxoSmithKline and the Paroxetine Nightmare some of us went through.

    Without the Seroxat Prescription, smarty pants gp and parochial psychiatrist would not have blown me out of the pleasant she was on our first meeting, by all means go cold turkey..damn the woman and her suffocating, opportunistic boss and a Clinical Director who should have been fired from his post for sucking up to his fledgling consultant

    I’ve lost count of the times I have been trousered, resulting in professionals knowing full well what they had done to us or they would not have put up such hollow, defensive postures…….thank you Witty for ceasing to care about little children…what sort of man are you?

    A trial of great UK magnitude is all set and how likely is it that BG could be the subject of a sub poena, as a character witness for declaring the clinical transparency with the outfit called Alltrials

    I, personally, have not time for those ‘taking the Mickey’ and running with the pack and neither should anyone else, if they just think about it..

  10. My tale of woe is similar, albeit not quite so horrific – I was severely POISONED by SSRIs, could not sleep and was hospitalised and diagnosed “bipolar’ – a total joke. Such a ridiculous label…….there could be fewer people on this planet less ‘bipolar-like’ than me (when not messed up by prescribed meds). I shall never forgive the medics (foolishly influenced by Big Pharma) and am VERY annoyed that I now have a restricted driving licence. Someone should be saying SORRY to folk like me and remedying this crazy situation.
    Well done to Katinka for telling her story.

  11. Sorry to hear about your nightmare Katinka. And congratulations. Looking forward to reading your book

  12. Just pre-ordered. It’s a shame that those NHS doctors were unfamiliar with Dr Kelly Brogan’s books, to give them a better idea of how to gently take you off the poisons…
    I have had two episodes of depression, serious enough to “treat” with medication. Both of these pits I crawled out of… no thanks to the SSRI’s, weaning myself off at my own pace. I did not like what I had become, cold, emotionless, disconnected and dangerous.
    Twenty years later, I’ve been dropped into another one, though this time I suspect the minor (?) ‘Brain Surgery’ did more than merely trigger it . The way the Eminent Surgeon and his Team…treated me,- or rather didn’t warn, inform & support me post-op, bears some responsibility…
    How deep the hole this time ?- “Severe” according to a private Psychologist, and “Extreme” was the assessment by a Clinical Psychiatrist. At least the latter didn’t insult me with a prescription!

    Taking charge & responsibility for one’s OWN health is the singular step towards mental/emotional AND physical stability that we can make. – It is in the Best Interests of the Patent-Medicine industry to convince us otherwise…

    I have yet to find a caring and competent Physician who is not supportive of an interested, motivated and well-informed patient.
    Indeed, this is MY ‘Gold Standard’ of care when consulting with a Doctor…

    Looking forward to your book.


    Paxil, (paroxetine) and Lexapro (escitalopram) both SSRI’s

  13. I have been reading all night, having received Katinka Blackford Newman’s book yesterday. It is wonderful. I now fully understand what happened to our beloved son Olly, who died on 25th September 2012, at exactly the same time as Katinka became unwell and when her world began falling apart. Olly’s began falling apart in early 2001 and finally ended on that same date. I too have been writing our story, trying to show the far reaching and devastating effects these prescribed medications can have. I am a children’s author and illustrator and known for my ‘George and Matilda Mouse’ stories (Heather S Buchanan) but this book I am writing is not about animals but the tragic story of a family, our small family, which will never be the same again. Katinka’s book shows me, from the inside, how Olly suffered; I could see it and we pleaded with doctors to listen but they regarded us as over-protective fussing parents. The thought of Olly’s terrible experience, holding on so bravely for 11 years, unbelieved and humiliated, frankly, makes me cry a lot of the time. We loved him so dearly, he was such a caring, sensitive, thoroughly decent human being, who had such courage and perseverance, was so creative and able, but in the end, he had to go. Thank you so much Katinka for this enlightening excellent, but heartbreaking book. It is truly wonderful.

      • Dear Katinka,
        Thank you so much for your supportive response and I will get in touch directly. But one question in the meantime which I think is of vital general interest for all your readers is how they could get the genetic enzyme test for polymorphism that you had, which, as you say, gives groundbreaking insight into why some people cannot tolerate certain drugs which have neurological effects and others seem to be able to adapt to them. This is something I have always found so difficult to put across to those prescribing them. That people are different. I would like to take that test myself, as I have had terrible reactions to most medications with the result that for many years I have taken nothing. I have never had anti-depressants but was given steroids for a couple of weeks for an allergic reaction to crop spray, and was suddenly landed into a chemically induced anxiety state which left me shaking, my mind running repeating nightmare waking dreams, and my body shaking, diaphragm in spasm so that breathing was frighteningly hard. The mind effects went on for a whole year! On reporting this to my GP at the time, he said he accepted I thought I was feeling these things but it was not possible and it was’all in my mind’. I have had anaphylactic shock from injected iodine (for MRI scans), mild depression from the contraceptive pill, another year of mind blowing anxiety which lasted a year when I was 30 when given a hormone tablet to help me avoid repetitive miscarriages – I felt the ‘madness’ fill my mind within 2 days of taking it, it was like flicking a switch. Interestingly, my only ‘odd’ symptom which has always gone unexplained is high prolactin levels which you also reported having had. I feel sure that our son Olly, who died after a combination of RoAccutane/isotretinoin for his acne and various anti depressants afterwards for the low mood it induced, with Olanzapine finally lobbed in on top for good measure, may well have inherited this kind of drug sensitivity from me.
        We heard on radio recently that the Government are introducing a test to show which anti depressants are more suitable for which patients. Is this then because they realise the polymorphism connection is now becoming generally known? Is this a damage limitation move on their part, maybe sensing that people are beginning to twig that ant-depressants don’t really do a great deal to help the problems which can cause depression, and in many cases can do instead a great deal of damage. Would Dr Healy have any views on this?
        This knowledge which you have given us Katinka, is of enormous importance, and I do applaude you for your tenacity against all odds, to discover it. With best wishes and a huge thank you,

  14. Hi I’m so pleased I saw you on the This morning program. I’ve just ordered your book. I’ve had a bad reaction too to SSRI’s, SNRI’s , Trazadone and pregablin. ( Prozac was the worse reaction). I never felt like this until I took the first pill.(it was sertraline).felt back to normal after I came off it after one day. Then was put on Prozac . Nearly got sectioned on it. Took myself off it and was better within 2 days. The doctors said only teenagers have the reaction that I did on Prozac. Now they just fobbing me off with different ones saying I’m just sensitive to dosage changes. I’m still on trazone & they are wanting to add another one to it. I wasn’t depressed until I started on these terrible meds. Now I’m not eating, can’t sit down or sit still even with a Valium, am terrified to be on my own, struggling to look after my kids, tingling shivering, terrible visions, feel angry and aggressive all the time. I was put on them because I was having panic attacks in my sleep and now that’s even worse. The doctors are just not listening to me or my family. Thank you for going on the show. These meds have took away 5 months of my life now.Tried to come off the Trazadone & ended up in A&E a few months ago. Wish I’d never took them. I’m 4o and feel like the real me had gone forever but you have given me hope that I will get better .

  15. I’m just starting on this book (having seen part of Katinka’s interview on This Morning) and went to the helpful websites first!

    I would like to stop taking venlafaxine because of excessive sweating which makes me just want to stay indoors at home when it is warm, but from looking on the internet I am not sure I will ever be able to as its antidepressant effect is very good for me and reducing the dosage – I did get from 4×37.5mg to 3 a day, but going down to 2 a day makes it difficult for me to cope with everyday life and my mood plummets. My gp seemed to think I could easily go from 4 tablets a day to 0 in four weekly stages, and sees my inability to do so as my being difficult/obstructive and/or reading too much about venlafaxine on the internet. She now refuses to see me after I said the drug company had found the goose which lays golden eggs – a drug that it is impossible to stop taking! Three visits to a psychiatrist who is apparently the only one I am allowed to see have proved fruitless – she does not give any indication that she knows about this drug or how to come off it. My only support has been the professor of psychiatry, now retired, I used to see when I was a student years ago, but his advice to go back to the psychiatrist and ask to see someone else is too scary for me to embark on when I am quite low and without support from my gp or other people.

    I have given up for myself but do want to join any campaign which asks: 1) the Royal College of Psychiatrists to try to research and publish more useful advice about coming off venlafaxine than they already give ie one case study. Is switching to Prozac and then coming off that a feasible course?

    2) how is it possible for general practitioners to prescribe this drug when they have no useful advice to help people come off it? I have never had this problem with any antidepressant before.

    3) how is is possible also for doctors in general practice to ignore the warning given in NICE’s advice on depression that people being put on this type of drug should be warned in advance of the difficulty of coming off it?

    4) I am totally in favour of drug companies’ results being published in full and also subsequent information about the prevalence of side and withdrawal effects – I gather venlafaxine poses some risk of heart problems and, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ website itself, a higher rate of reported problems from patients than any other antidepressant.

    I already some vague idea of how to proceed but am not sure of the procedure by which drugs get licensed for use, and am not sure also whether one voice will count for anything!

  16. I have just read your book and had so many light bulb moments, I can relate so much, unfortunately I have been through this for 14 years now, until diagnosed with complex ptsd
    And given therapy. No phychiatric illness after all!! dispite all the labels and medication ( same as you) but I was given Lyrica/ Pregabalin for anxiety – 14 months ago, I have never returned to my job as sales and marketing manager and have been left with “suspected neurological disease” 6 months off the drug. It is not an SSRI but has so many similarities with your book.
    I belong to a Facebook group called Lyrica survivors and have posted all 1850 members to read your book. I wonder if you would consider looking at the group?
    Thank you for sharing your story and hopefully getting people in the medical profession to finally listen.

  17. I’m sorry but I am a healthcare professional in mental health and also suffer with numerous mental health issues: depression, OCD, trichotillomania and an eating disorder. From reading bullshit books making psych drugs out to be scary from age of 15-22 I refused to take medication. Spent over 30,000EURO on private therapies and public. I finally gave in to taking medication and it was the only thing that worked. Yes it may be masking environmental factors but no matter how much talking I do, I will never forget what happened to me therefore medication helped me exist as talking never changed what happened.

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