Started just a year ago, AntiDepAware is a website which aims to research and document cases of suicide, homicide, and murder-suicides (where anti-depressants are a possible contributing factor) in the UK and Wales. By collecting newspaper reports and coroners reports this website paints a startling picture of the dire state of mental health treatment in the UK.
Brian has done a great job here and no doubt this site will be a great resource for further study into anti-depressant induced suicides and related issues. The evidence that Brian has collected here really speaks for itself. Brilliant website and great resource. Well done Brian.
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The objective of this site is to promote awareness of the dangers of antidepressants.
There is no wish to ban these drugs which give support to a large number of people with depression. However, it is clear that antidepressants are being prescribed to those who are not depressed, to whom they are likely to do more harm than good.
In 2009 my son, who had never been depressed in his life, went to see a doctor over insomnia caused by temporary work-related stress. He was prescribed Citalopram, and within less than a week he had taken his life.
As a consequence I learned of the suicide risk of antidepressants, particularly in the early weeks of uptake or if the dosage is changed up or down, or withdrawn.
Drug companies will say that an adverse reaction which induces suicidal thoughts will affect only about 1% of users. But there are at present over 4 million users of antidepressants in the UK, which means that there are 40 thousand people who may be at risk at one time or another.
The centrepiece of this site is a link to inquest reports, found mostly in the online archives of local newspapers, in which antidepressants are a factor in self-inflicted deaths. The reports cover England and Wales over the past 10 years.
It must be noted that this list is far from exhaustive but, even so, contains exactly 1650 reports, including 263 (or an average of 5 a week) from 2012 alone.
My motivation in embarking on this research has been to offer some understanding to the grieving families who are invariably left a legacy of unanswered questions, along with the memory of horrific loss. Perhaps this site will help answer some of those questions.
WARNING: People who have been prescribed antidepressants should never suddenly stop taking their medication. Gradual tapering is advisable. Anyone considering altering the dosage of their medication, or withdrawing from it, needs to take medical advice first.