“…Half of all those taking antidepressants experience withdrawal problems when they try to give them up and for millions of people in England, these are severe, according to a new review of the evidence commissioned by MPs….
A recent study touted in the media claims that up to 30% of people on SSRI antidepressants might experience severe withdrawal symptoms. This isn’t news to me, or the millions of people who have experienced severe withdrawal symptoms, and it isn’t news to the researchers, authors, bloggers, journalists, critical psychiatrists, documentary film makers, bereaved parents of SSRI tragedies, psychologists etc- but to the royal college of psychiatry, it seems to be.
Or is it?
It’s been known for at least 16 years in the mainstream UK (since around the time of the BBC’s Secrets of Seroxat documentary) that SSRI’s have a risk of serious withdrawals, however it seems that psychiatry, and psychiatrists (such as Wendy Burn) has been actively deflecting anything that would make SSRI’s look bad ever since.
Wendy (the Royal college of Psychiatrist’s UK president) seems to see her role not as a patient advocate as such, but more of a guardian of the psychiatric paradigm, and even the dogs on the street know by now- the psychiatric paradigm is owned by the Pharmaceutical industry, and has been for some time. Therefore, perhaps Wendy knows not who-or what- she really serves?
(or maybe she knows all too well?)
Wendy, claims that the study -touting 30% will experience severe withdrawals- is not scientific, and that also, we must
“…Remember this is a selected group, not randomly chosen. Terrible for those affected and we must try to help them but it is not 30% of everyone who ever takes an antidepressant…”
Let’s stop for a minute and consider that Wendy is correct (and she might be correct), let’s consider that it is not 30% of people who will have severe withdrawals, let’s bring down our guesstimate to 5% (a really low conservative guess) and let’s apply that to the real world.
A recent article in the UK press said that up to one in 6 people at any time in England will be on an SSRI drug.
….with over seven million adults (16% of the English adult population) being prescribed an antidepressant in England alone last year,” says the review….”
That’s seven million adults in the UK. All on SSRI drugs.
If we take the most conservative estimate of 5%, not the 30% that has been touted in the media, and which Wendy of the college of psychiatrists, says is not an accurate number. Let’s go down by 25% to 5% as our most conservative estimate.
5% of 7,000,000 is
That’s 350,000 people who could be experiencing debilitating withdrawals, withdrawals so severe that they are ill for months, sometimes years. A Withdrawal so severe and horrific that they can’t work, they lose relationships, jobs, their lives, personalities, health and so on. Some might be in such pain from the severe withdrawal that they kill themselves. I felt that way on Seroxat, the despair in a severe Seroxat withdrawal is beyond words.
It’s Stephen King level horror… and then some.
There are no official guidelines for helping those in severe withdrawals, no supports, and outdated advice from NICE. Many people will be left alone in agony and some will die because of it.
But Wendy doesn’t see any of this as a problem.
She doesn’t see that severe withdrawals are a serious problem, and that denial of them is also a problem..
She doesn’t see conflicts of interest between psychiatry and pharma as a problem either.
Perhaps people like Wendy are the problem?