“…This week GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of Seroxat, are under the spotlight. A 2001 report stated that the drug, which is frequently prescribed to teenagers, was both effective and safe. It turns out that this is not true.
In fact Seroxat is neither as effective or as safe as we were all led to believe. It also turns out that it is more dangerous than we knew. I often wonder how Andrew Witty, the CEO of GSK, feels about running a company that makes a drug that can cause suicidal thoughts and prompts? Does it keep him awake at night? I know that citalopram kept me awake at night.”…
Great post recently by Irish mental health campaigner (author and radio DJ), Gareth O Callaghan, on his facebook page, about the perils of psychiatric (SSRI) anti depressant drugs, and psychiatric (mis) treatment.
I agree fully with Gareth and I commend him for speaking out.
I remember reading Gareth’s first book on depression, ” A Day Called Hope: A Journey Beyond Depression” about his own personal experience of severe depression some years ago now, and being very moved by it.
Gareth is also a fine novelist and radio host. He is genuine and sincere and this comes across.
Keep speaking out Gareth
I was asked today if I was trying to “ruffle a few feathers” with my recent posts here on antidepressant drugs and ECT (electroshock treament). Maybe the posts will make a few so-called professionals uncomfortable, but that’s not the reason I write them.
My posts (based on my own personal experiences) are not written with these people in mind. If they are written for anyone specifically, they are for the unsuspecting patient.
My post on antidepressant medications yesterday was slated by a number of people who don’t have the backbone to show their names publicly. They private-messaged me to tell me I was ‘irresponsible’, and ‘reckless’ with my story. Read my words: it’s my story. You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to.
The reason I write is not to scare people, or ‘advise them to stop their meds’, as one person suggested I was doing. I am doing one thing, and just one thing: I am sharing my own experiences in the hope that it shows others the importance of taking back control of their health issues.
Many psychiatrists will not help you to improve your mental health. Many don’t know how to. If you really want to overcome depression and anxiety issues, get a good therapist/counsellor and talk things through. Study the benefits of mindfulness. Start looking at what you are eating and how you sleep. Adopt a dog from an animal shelter. These are just some of the proven natural antidotes to depression. Drugs are not an antidote in either the short- or longterm. They carry huge risks. In many cases they carry deadly risks.
Shane Fennell died as a result of the toxic effects of citalopram (cipramil, Celexa) six years ago. He had been taking the antidepressant for only 17 days.
In his defence at the Coroner’s Court, renowned scientist, and psychopharmacologist, Dr David Healy said that the antidepressant was the cause of Shane’s behaviour (and violent death). I followed this case avidly not only because of the huge media coverage it received, but also because I too took citalopram many years ago.
I can identify with the Akathisia (restless, aggressive inner anxiety) that Shane suffered as a result of the drug. I could really frighten people here if I was to explain in detail what Akathisia does to the mind. Thankfully I had a chance to stop taking the tablets. Shane didn’t. He died, and in the process killed another man in a shocking knife frenzy that was completely out of keeping with his gentle and caring nature.
Patricia Casey, the emminent psychiatrist, unexpectedly turned up at the hearing. She was not called on by the coroner to give evidence; although she did say after the hearing that David Healy’s evidence was speculative. She stated that she believed Shane Fennell died because of his “illness”, not because of the drug he had been prescribed.
It’s more important to remember here that Shane Fennell was not ill. He had no “illness”, Doctor Casey. He had just broken up with his girlfriend and his heart was broken. Since when did heartbreak become an illness?
This week GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of Seroxat, are under the spotlight. A 2001 report stated that the drug, which is frequently prescribed to teenagers, was both effective and safe. It turns out that this is not true.
In fact Seroxat is neither as effective or as safe as we were all led to believe. It also turns out that it is more dangerous than we knew. I often wonder how Andrew Witty, the CEO of GSK, feels about running a company that makes a drug that can cause suicidal thoughts and prompts? Does it keep him awake at night? I know that citalopram kept me awake at night.
I want to talk here this evening about medicating depression with prescription drugs. Most people don’t want to talk about it. I do. And I talk about it often. And lots of people think I am bitter and uneducated. I am neither. I like truth and honesty. Many people don’t.
Taking antidepressants has become one of those grubby little secrets that many people feel uncomfortable to talk about, let alone admit. And it shouldn’t be like that.
It’s almost as if I need to justify why I take something that makes me feel better; that’s if, of course, it makes me feel better. It didn’t, so I stopped taking them. They made me so sick I can’t understand why I fed into the lie. Maybe back then the truth was hard to find. Maybe the pills made me realise I had to find another way.
I have received many emails and messages from people asking me about my views on antidepressants; some of the emails also criticising my views on mind-altering drugs (some of which are no different from the effects delivered by illegal drugs), and also how to find a way to stop taking them.
Therefore I would like to break this post into a series of different posts because it’s an area that is quite complex and divisive, and it also takes time to explain the importance as to why I want to write about this.
I am regarded as ‘anti-medication’. This is wrong and couldn’t be further from the truth. There will always be an important place for medication, provided we are not being lied to as to why we are being prescribed it, and provided it cures whatever it is being taken for. This is where psychiatry has got it all wrong.
And therein lies my objection to antidepressant drugs. They medicate nothing. Instead they cause serious physical and neurological damage longterm. (I know because I have been left with a number of physiological scars as a result of taking these drugs over a number of years, including a facial spasm under my eye, and hand tremors.)
Depression is NOT caused by a brain chemical imbalance. There is no scientific evidence whatsoever EVER to support this botched theory. It was part of a global marketing campaign that cost millions by the pharmaceutical company that put Prozac on the market in 1987. Prozac was affectionately known as ‘the happy pill’.
Of course there is nothing ‘happy’ about fluoxetine (Prozac), or any other antidepressant – cipramil, lexapro, seroxat, effexor, in fact all of these SSRIs. In more recent years most of them carry a ‘black box’ suicide warning. This is meant to be a precursor that might prevent litigation against the manufacturers by families of kids and loved ones who have killed themselves taking these antidepressants. How can a pill that is meant to prevent suicide cause suicide?!
I took cipramil in 1999. I had the most terrifying reaction to it that I can ever remember. My brain went into meltdown within weeks of starting to take it, and the Akathisia (inner restlessness and aggressive agitation) I suffered almost drove me to take my own life. It was the most horrific time of my life. I will never forget it because I had lost control of my life. I wanted to kill myself. So where’s the therapeutic benefit in that drug?
Ironically during my most depressed days (prior to medicating) I never felt the physically terrifying restlessness and the morbid brain-fear that I started to feel once I started to take the pills. I remember going three weeks without sleep! I felt I could run into a brick wall and break it down. I was demented. I was loose like a horse out of control. That was when I stopped swallowing the poison.
These pills are very dangerous. They drive people to a level of insanity that their original depression couldn’t reach with a big kite on a windy day. But yet doctors and psychiatrists prescribe them – even though they know how dangerous they are.
Psychiatrists claim to know more about depression and anxiety than anyone else. The truth is they don’t. They know very little. If you get depressed, you know more about how you feel than the entire field of psychiatry. You know what’s good for you and what’s not. They don’t.
Many psychiatrists are well rewarded by the large pharmaceutical companies who make these dangerous drugs. They are given free holidays, carribean cruises, concert tickets, and golf memberships, etc., just to promote and prescribe the so-called benefits of these mood-altering toxic drugs. “Take them and you’ll feel better”. Why? And based on what scientific evidence? There isn’t any.
Psychiatry comes from two Greek words: ‘psyche’, which means ‘soul’, and ‘iatris’ which means ‘to heal’. I don’t see too many psychiatrists healing many souls these days.
My life started to improve the day I decided that I needed to stop taking this strange pill. It took a while to wean myself off it and to re-adjust, but it was well worth it in the longterm. If you are reading this post this evening and you can relate to what I have been through and what I am writing, then have faith and trust in the inner strength you have that sustains you. It’s the same inner strength I finally found after a long painful inner struggle when I needed honesty that I wasn’t getting anywhere else.