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Conondrum: Should I be afraid of taking Psychiatric medication? (New User Seeking Advice)


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I heard about this forum when I was researching psychiatric medication for my psychiatric condition.


I am very well aware of the anti-psychiatry movement and the work and content of Peter Breggin and David Healy for example.


I am also aware of many of the YouTube testimonials of people who have been through a lot of difficulty and hardship with regards to psychiatric medications.


However, myself personally I am left even more confused after reading and seeing all of this information.


For the last 5 years, I have been struggling with Depersonalization/Derealization disorder and OCD like symptoms.


I have been formally diagnosed with Depersonalization/Depersonalization (1x) time, and also diagnosed with OCD (2x) times. All by different psychologists.


The symptoms of these disorders have limited my quality of life and enjoyment. I am not the same joyful person I was before developing these disorders. However, because these forums, and video testimonials, and also the content released by Peter Breggin and David Healy, I have been terrified of trying any psychiatric medication. I simply have been sitting and dealing with the symptoms of my disorder, telling myself if I ever try psychiatric medication I will ruin my life and end up like all those people who make YouTube videos describing the horrors and lies of psychiatric medication.



I have done CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) with multiple psychologists and tried so many natural methods (food, vitamins, exercise, meditation) etc.



The only choice I have left is Psychiatric medication. My doctor wants me to try something like Anafranil (Clomipramine)  or Celexa (Citalopram). Anafranil is a very old tricyclic antidepressant. Celexa is an SSRI.



I am terrified of beginning a psychiatric drug but at the same time it is very difficult living perceiving things around you to look unreal and also dealing with the Obsessive symptoms. 




I guess the main question for people on this forum is, are there people (like me possibly) who might actually need psychiatric

medication despite all the negatives, and might even see benefit from it? Or should I just live my life with these symptoms (which would be extremely difficult for me)



Thank you

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Conondrum and welcome to SA,


I am really pleased that you are researching so that you can make an informed decision.


As you probably already know, this is site providing information and support for people who are tapering psychiatric drug/s or have gone off their drug and are suffering withdrawal syndrome.  We assist people to get off drugs.  We are not medical professionals and we do not recommend drugs for people to try.


Because of what you written I am assuming that you haven't taken psychiatric drugs previously.  BUT have you ever taken any street drugs in the past?  If you have, then this might have caused the issues you are currently experiencing.


There are many different non drug techniques so if it were me I would keep on trying different ones because you might find the one that helps.  It generally takes time to implement these and for them to become effective, so you may need to try something for longer than you have been in order to gain any benefit from it.  Obviously if it is extremely distressing for you then I wouldn't continue with that thing.  Here is SA's topic on Non-drug techniques to cope


On my website (link in my signature below) I have an Information Links page with links to things I have found on the web.  There may be some things there which you haven't yet seen.  This is the link to a video about the following Video:  Irving Kirsch:  Emperor's New Drugs:  Antidepressants and the Placebo Effect (1 hour 20 minutes):


Antidepressants and the Placebo Effect by Irving Kirsch (link to full article)


Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain.  Indeed, their supposed effectiveness is the primary evidence for the chemical imbalance theory.  But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect.  Some antidepressants increase serotonin levels, some decrease it, and some have no effect at all on serotonin.  Nevertheless, they all show the same therapeutic benefit.  Even the small statistical difference between antidepressants and placebos may be an enhanced placebo effect, due to the fact that most patients and doctors in clinical trials successfully break blind.  The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong.  Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.


How Did These Drugs Get Approved?
The FDA requires two adequately conducted clinical trials showing a significant difference between drug and placebo.  But there is a loophole:  there is no limit to the number of trials that can be conducted in search of these two significant trials.  Trials showing negative results simply do not count.  Furthermore, the clinical significance of the findings is not considered.  All that matters is that the results are statistically significant.
(NB:  emphasis in abstract and excerpt are mine)


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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I also welcome you to sa conundrum.


I'm surprised to read that your psychologist(s), of all people, are now herding people towards doctors !

From the content of your post i also assume you have never taken any mind altering drug from a doctor however could you put my mind to rest and confirm that to be the case, in addition to answering cc's question.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.


Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017



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