“……Patients seeking treatment for depression should be informed of the potential for “severe and long-lasting withdrawal symptoms” when coming off medication, leading doctors have said.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists said official guidance on halting medical treatment for depression needs to reflect “the full range of patients’ experiences”.
Guidelines from the National Institute for Health Care Excellence (Nice) – which are currently being consulted on – suggest most people should be able to halt antidepressant use over four weeks…..”
“…..This led to a row with campaigners in which one of its experts was attacked as a “pharma whore” and “worse than Hitler”. After spending a year speaking to patients, the college has accepted that some of its critics have a point. “As psychiatrists, we are duty-bound to take on board the concerns of patients who’ve experienced more severe and long-lasting side effects of these medications,” said Wendy Burn, the college president….”
Interesting news today about the Royal College of Psychiatry UK changing its tune on the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Although I welcome this U-turn on advice from UK psychiatry, I am not comfortable with how they are trying to take credit for what effectively has been a patient-led-activist movement (mostly online) for the past 2 decades. I am also not comfortable with this U-turn being almost 30 years too late (Seroxat for example- was first licensed in 1991).
Since SSRI’s were first licenced in the 90’s people have been complaining about severe withdrawals, particularly online. There have been numerous SSRI forums, websites, blogs and you-tube videos/documentaries etc all attesting to the severity of withdrawals. This phenomenon has been well known for decades, and has always been much more common than has been reported by mainstream psychiatry.
Since last September, I basically badgered the Royal College, Wendy Burn, and her associates on Twitter. Firing off information and tweets at every opportunity for her to read and for her colleagues to think about. My activism culminated in a controversial post where I said that one of the grand-dukes of UK psychiatry (and Pharma Funding) Dr David Baldwin was a Pharma Whore.
The UK press caught hold of this and the Royal College spun them a yarn, which led to headlines such as these:
The ‘worse than Hitler’ quote came from a comment (left on the David Baldwin post) by an SSRI damaged person who regularly reads my blog. See it here:
Whilst I welcome this u-turn on the severity of withdrawals (something I have been campaigning on for 13 years), I don’t welcome the Royal College trying to take credit for it. It has been because of the Pharma-Whoring ( and lies and spin) from the Royal College (and the APA: American Psychiatric Association) that patients have been duped about the harms of SSRI’s for many decades. Just because they are admitting it now, doesn’t wash away all the death, destruction and disablement of vulnerable people (that they have been responsible for) for almost 30 years.
Where is the apology for not warning people sooner?
UK psychiatry head- Wendy Burn- defended David Baldwin on Twitter when he was under fire for the “Pharma Whore’ debacle in the media, yet David Baldwin (and others of his ilk) are directly responsible for the misinformation about SSRI’s for many decades (and were paid handsomely for it by their Pharma sponsors too).
Where is the apology from people like Baldwin? David Nutt? Guy Goodwin? Andrea Cipriani, Carmine Pariante etc?
(all known Pharma compromised people who have taken Pharma Money to defend SSRI’s in the media for decades)
For more on this , see the following links-
The Royal College should be apologizing to all those who have been harmed by SSRI’s , -and who have been harmed- by the Royal College’s own protocols of playing down harms and not listening to patient’s concerns. The college should also be ashamed of how Pharma has utterly corrupted its key opinion leaders over many decades.
It is because of campaigners like myself, Bob Fiddaman, Altostrata (from Surviving Antidepressants forum), Seroxat Secrets, MadinAmerica, Joanna Moncrieff, Luke Montague, Leonie Fennel, James Davies, Peter Breggin, Kevin P Miller, David Healy, Fiona French, Kristina Gehrki, Dr Alec Grant, Marion Brown, Peter Gordon, Jill Davies, Robert Balfe, Peter Kinderman, Wren Cage, Leigh Fanner, Dropthedisorder, Michael Hengartner, John Read, Dr Terry Lynch, Andy D’ Alessio, Kelly Martin, Aine, Lucy Johnstone, Alyne Duthie, CEP, James Moore, Sarah Hancock, Ann Marcos, Aunty Psychiatry, Brian (from antidepaware) and many many more people* and organizations (too many to mention) who have been fighting (both online/Twitter and off-line) for recognition of the severity of SSRI side effects and withdrawals for many decades now- that this U-turn from UK psychiatry has come about.
Our relentless campaigning (in particular – on Twitter in recent months) has forced them to recognize the seriousness of the harms of SSRI’s.
This is where credit is due.
*if I have missed anyone… let me know!