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Student journalist seeking antidepressant withdrawal stories to include in article


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I'm Ellie, a 23 year old student journalist, currently writing a piece on the withdrawal effects of antidepressants. I want this article to reflect the difficulties that we go through when tapering off this medication and to shed light on the controversies surrounding the ever increasing number of pharmaceutical prescriptions. If you (or anyone you know) has had trouble, either on or withdrawing from ADs and would like to have your story told, please leave it down in the comments below (or alternatively, email me at eh582@live.mdx.ac.uk) (names can be changed on request - all credit will be given to subjects)



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Hi @rhm98, what outlet are you writing this story for? What is the angle that you are taking? Have you read some of the literature on this already - i.e. Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker (who wrote for the Boston Globe). There is a lot to be written on this topic and it would be important to have an angle.

1) The most important issue that I see in the UK is the absolute overprescritpion (you can try and go to your GP and see how easily they give you an AD). Tell them that you have broken up with your boyfriend and that you have been struggling and very sad etc. 

2) Another issue that I see relates to women - ADs are often used to shut women up and stop them from complaining. I wonder if you could get information on what percentage of women get ADs in the US. It's almost double that of men. But often times women's complaints are dismissed and instead they are prescribed ADs. This follows the previous trend of giving women tranquilizers - "Mother's little helper." It is also increasingly given to older people to also shut them up from complaining at the doctor's office.

3) Many of the people who are prescribed antidepressants, especially elderly, do not know that they are being prescribed antidepressants - they go for problems with pains/discomfort and are then sent home with pills which months/years later they realize were antidepressants. Many ADs are prescribed off-label for various aches and pains, neurological complaints etc. 

4) Withdrawal effects are an issue, of course, that is finally being recognized by RPsych.

5) GPs and doctors are unequipped to deal with withdrawal effects and some think that they are always self limiting and dismiss complaints as return of the 'original illness.'  They are uninformed about proper tapering. 

6) Poly-drugging is another issue - people being put on drugs that don't work, then new drugs are added which activate the person, then tranquilizers are added to calm them from that activation, then antipsychotics are added for sleep/because the drugs don't work (The drugs don't work better than placebo by the way. This is an excellent article on that topic Antidepressants and the Placebo Effect (nih.gov)

7) Prescription of SSRIs to young people - it increases suicides in them and there is a black box warning to that effect. 


There are many more if one wanted to write - I personally am partial to the women's issue and that could be an amazing article if you are up for it. 


You should follow @Altostrata on Twitter to see what the various issues are that are being discussed in this area. 


Also, you should introduce your own struggles with withdrawal if any. 



"Nothing so small as a moment is insurmountable, and moments are all that we have. You have survived every trial and tribulation that life has thrown at you up until this very instant. When future troubles come—and they will come—a version of you will be born into that moment that can conquer them, too." - Kevin Koenig 


I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information and recommendations provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 


In the next few weeks I do not have a lot of capacity to respond to questions. If you need a quick answer pls tag or ask other moderators who may want to be tagged. 


Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week (off by 4/14/19- no tapering)

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785, 8/18/22 - 0.59, 12/15/2022 - 0.48, 2/15/22 - 0.43, 25/07/23 - 0.25 (mistake), 6/08/23 - 0.33mg


Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

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