In response to the NYTimes articles on antidepressant withdrawal

Update: Some of us have been on the front lines figuring out this stuff years before anyone was publicly acknowledging it. I am sharing this info and collection in response to the two recent New York Times articles:

Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit – The New York Times
Antidepressants and Withdrawal: Readers Tell Their Stories – The New York Times

This post includes a collection of links to additional information about antidepressants and antidepressant withdrawal. This is a repost with a collection of articles that have been posted over the 11 year period that Everything Matters: Beyond Meds has been documenting the difficulty people discover coming off all psych meds, including antidepressants.

Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, psychiatrist and senior lecturer, University College London:


hat tip to CEP

Books by Joanna Moncrieff here.

And below I’m cutting and pasting the Beyond Meds page on antidepressants. You can always find the most updated version of this from the navigation drop-down menus at the top of the blog:

Antidepressant info

Scroll down for collection of additional links to antidepressant info posts

This post will find a home in the navigation menu at the top of the page since it’s another post that brings together many articles on SSRIs. I’ll update it as appropriate.

This is what I wrote about SSRIs and the same can be said for SNRIs too, really:

To refer to SSRIs as no better than placebo is misleading because while it’s technically true in clinical trials — SSRIs are also very different than placebos…they are NOT inert…they are very active and they make EVERYONE feel differently.

People who are very depressed like to feel differently. Different can sometimes feel better even if only for a while. Sometimes different feels much better and sometimes different feels really bad and even dangerous (think homicidal and suicidal–SSRIs are associated with both).

They are not inert and they will act in all manner of ways in different people. And, then of course, yeah, they also cause iatrogenic damageoften severe

So I think the placebo line is overused and extremely misleading….it makes it sound like SSRIs do nothing at all which is absolutely not true. They are potent psychoactive and neurotoxic drugs.

Info on SSRIs from Beyond Meds (not an exhaustive list of info):

Do people recover and thrive after being told they cannot by psychiatry? Yes we do. All the time.

*it is potentially dangerous to come off medications without careful planning. Please be sure to be well educated before undertaking any sort of discontinuation of medications. If your MD agrees to help you do so, do not assume they know how to do it well even if they claim to have experience. They are generally not trained in discontinuation and may not know how to recognize withdrawal issues. A lot of withdrawal issues are misdiagnosed to be psychiatric problems. This is why it’s good to educate oneself and find a doctor who is willing to learn with you as your partner in care.  Really all doctors should always be willing to do this as we are all individuals and need to be treated as such. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page or scroll down the homepage for more recent postings. 

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