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  1. Please can subscribers to this forum sign up to the email updates from the http://prescribeddrug.org/ site? I have started a social media campaign via various existing Facebook groups (closed support groups, mostly) to try to get more people subscribed. There are many thousands of people on this forum who will benefit from the work this organisation are doing. I do appreciate many people have their own struggles and are in countries far away from the UK, but I'm sure the results of their work will have an impact outside the UK in the medium to long term. Lets show them there's a lot of interest in what they are doing 🙌 Many thanks Caspur
  2. There has been a bit of a storm in the UK media over the last couple of weeks. There is an ongoing review of the effects of prescribed drug dependence by the UK government ( All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence) after a request from Public Health England last year. PHE is an executive agency of the UK government to monitor and improve health and social care delivery in England. The committee working on this project consists of many people, ranging from psychiatrists, doctors and psychologists through to people who have recovered from medication withdrawal and now campaign for change. The details of the review are here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/prescribed-medicines-an-evidence-review Last week a member of the review group was forced to resign due to his obvious connections to the pharma industry. Professor David Baldwin, a professor of psychiatry, has taken payments for his 'work' from at least 12 different pharma companies. He was put forward to participate on the review panel by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the main UK professional body for psychiatry. Not surprisingly, many people objected due to his industry connections and he received quite a lot of negative publicity, especially on social media, which he blamed for his resignation from the group. In fact a very reasoned and well worded complaint about Baldwins participation in the project was lodged with the Royal College of Psychiatrists by a group of 30 psychiatrists, doctors, psychologists and people in recovery from antidepressant withdrawal, which they chose to ignore. The complaint was then escalated to the Secretary of State for Health (the leading UK government health minister). Baldwins resignation made front page news in two national newspapers: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6203875/Government-drugs-advisor-QUITS-sustained-campaign-abuse.html https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/drugs-adviser-david-baldwin-quits-after-being-branded-worse-than-hitler-in-online-abuse-row-srtqltmfs https://www.madintheuk.com/2018/09/royal-college-of-psychiatry-representative-resigns-from-government-review-after-complaints-about-his-drug-company-involvement/ Today there has been coverage of research published by two other members of the Prescribed Drug Dependence Committee, James Davies and John Read. I haven't seen a copy of the paper published by these well respected authors (Dr James Davies wrote Cracked and Professor John Read is well know for his work on and support of non drug treatments for mental health). When I find a copy I will post it here. In the mean time these are the media articles that have been published today https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6228645/Now-doctors-wake-dangers-patients-hooked-depression-pills.html?ito=amp_twitter_share-top https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6229295/Millions-warned-severe-withdrawal-risk-coming-antidepressants.html Accompanying this, there has been quite a bit of coverage on social media: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1044581415686477/?multi_permalinks=1465564233588191&notif_id=1538434827319380&notif_t=group_activity https://fiddaman.blogspot.com/2018/10/breaking-antidepressants-cause-majority.html Most of the coverage has been positive for the cause and there are rumblings about the possibility this research will have a positive affect on the warnings regarding withdrawal from psychiatric drugs, given out by health agencies and organisations in the UK. It would be nice to think the coverage will go further than that, but we shall see. Thanks Caspur
  3. After speaking on the phone to the practice manager of the health centre of our town, she passed me her email (not available on website, by the way - it does not seem to encourage emails, surprise, surprise) and, apparently sympathetic and understanding, she agreed to circulate this link among our GPs. I have been using this health centre since 1978. Currently, and for the last couple of years, my GP is supporting my attempted tapering down of the beast that is Effexor. Our GPs are mostly very good to us, but, it is clear to me, that they are firefighting and do not have the resources available to get people like us, support from, say, nutritionists and other potentially useful therapists. Nor do they have the lived experience so many of us have acquired. Here's hoping actions like this can someday help other desperate, suffering folks. At almost 73 I am not at my peak, but if even I can do this, perhaps many others can, too - maybe we can help turn the tide? I have to confirm at this point that I am only doing this after gaining knowledge myself, through research, and that includes visiting the wonderful survivingantidepressants.org site, its admirable moderators, leader and fellow sufferers. http://cepuk.org/2018/03/01/royal-college-psychiatrists-challenged-burying-inconvenient-antidepressant-data/
  4. Hello everyone, thank you for creating and building such a fantastic resource. It’s so helpful to read about the journeys of others here. I was advised by my GP to speak with a psychiatrist in April 2016. The GP suspected I had depression & anxiety. I met with a psychiatrist for an assessment. I’d been through a lot of stressful experiences in life. Life had dealt me a tough hand, and I was already quite vulnerable when I arrived in his office. At the end of the assessment, the psychiatrist diagnosed me with depression and anxiety and prescribed me Bupropion 300mg and clonazepam 2 mg+ per day. I was never keen on the idea of taking medication, but the Dr said I needed it as I had “disorders” caused by chemical imbalances, and that I was lucky to have made it this far without it. I don’t believe that for one moment and now feel I was misinformed. If I had been warned about the side effects, I would never have put them in my body. I’ve been through some hard times, but the medication has served me with the hardest and most agonising four months of my life. To make things worse, after a couple of months seeing him every few weeks the psychiatrist offered me a job. It was a slightly unusual series of events, but I felt lucky to have been given the opportunity. I worked hard, was often praised for it and I was given reassurance my role was pretty much permanent. I loved my job. It gave me purpose and a role in the world. My self-esteem rocketed as I felt I’d been specially selected for showing signs of promise, it changed everything. However, the different roles called for different protocols, and the roles of “therapist” and “boss” required disparate and often conflicting styles of relating. The Doctor providing me with a job and treating me outside of the clinic caused the boundaries between Psychiatrist and employer to become extremely blurred. Even though it was unorthodox, I pinned a lot of faith on the Psychiatrist, his advice and the job he gave me. He gave me hope and faith for the future. August 2016: Prescribed Sertraline 100mg due to depression remaining and increasing number of bad moods. October 2016: While at work the Psychiatrist commented he suspected I had ADHD. Despite not suffering from day to day symptoms I completed the DIVA ( ADHD assessment ) with him, He prescribed methylphenidate 10mg 2-3 times a day. Over time I didn’t feel any improvement in mood, so the dose was increased to 20mg x5 (up to 100mg+ per day). I asked the Psychiatrist about alternative ADHD treatments as I was apprehensive about taking more medication. The Psychiatrist informed me that there were no ADHD treatments in my area and even if there were he would not be prepared to enter into a shared care agreement. I believed treatment with him was my only option. I was told there were no services or specialists other than him and the only treatment available was medication. March 2017: The symptoms started with a lump sensation in my throat like there's some thing stuck, maybe it’s my thyroid. I went to the GP who said it was globus or anxiety and it was nothing to worry about, but I know it’s not anxiety as it’s there even when I’m not anxious. Next came tremors, dizziness and chronic fatigue. I was struggling to think, speak and walk. I felt as though a part of my brain had shut down. I had strong pains in my chest, dull aches that moved around my back and occasional shooting stabbing pains in my back and leg that stopped me in my tracks when I did walk. April 2017: The relationship seemed to work well initially but became very confusing until eventually I was dropped not only occupationally but therapeutically. My false sense of security was pulled from beneath my feet. I'm sorry to say last time the Psychiatrist, and I spoke he was abrupt, abrasive, insensitive and rude. I’ve been left in shock, fear, trepidation and with more health problems than before I met the Psychiatrist. At the time I thought the stress of losing my job caused me to become unwell, but after discovering James Moores Mad in America podcast, listing to peoples stories and reading a little, I think I’d reached a tolerance point with the medication and started to have terrible side effects. By this point, I’d lost faith in the Doctor so felt I couldn’t ask him for help. I think part of me knew it was the medication as I went to my GP, firstly to find the Psychiatrist hadn’t been keeping my records up to date. I told the GP what I had been prescribed, and I was told it would be impossible to identify what was causing the problems. I naively agreed with my GP that the best option would be to stop taking all medication, however stopping without tapering has left me with a long list of withdrawal symptoms. I stopped taking sertraline, clonazepam & methylphenidate that day and cut my dose of bupropion in half for one week then stopped the following week completely. Every symptom I already had, got worse, tremors, dizziness, feeling unsteady, feeling like I might pass out, loss of coordination, back pain. The fatigue was so bad, I couldn’t walk for more than a minute or so which lead to me not being able to leave the house. My partner was having real trouble getting me out of bed in the morning, and after a few hours of being up, I’d need to go back to bed due to feeling exhausted. I think I was putting it down to severe depression, but I didn’t feel depressed, I just felt numb. After a couple of days of stopping I started to get really bad night sweats, I’d wake up stinky, drenched with my mouth tasting how I smelt, it was horrible. The chest & back pain continued to get worse and progressed to tingling and numbness in my arm. I’ve been to the hospital three times in the past four months in various states of feeling close to death but sent home every time. I’ve been to the GP many times as the side effects have left me with so many physical symptoms and feeling so ill. I had numerous blood tests and even though I felt like I’d been poisoned every test came back clear. August 2017: The fatigue has lifted slightly, the part of my brain that felt as though it had broken is slowly coming back, and I’m smelling much better :). I continue to have flu like symptoms and intense joint and muscle pain, mainly in my back, shoulder and arm and I’m not entirely sure if the pain will ever go away. I feel like a very rickety eighty-year-old. My GP finally acknowledged some of these side effects last week. They haven’t been able to give me much support due to stopping taking so many different medications at the same time and stopping cold turkey. The GP did frustratingly say some of what I’m going through maybe down to the return of depression and anxiety. I’m only depressed as I’m in so much pain and have anxiety as my nerves are messed up. I’m a little worried that the medication has caused permanent damage. I accept a return in my depression and anxiety, but I have so many physical difficulties that began following and since stopping taking the medication. I trusted the Psychiatrist and put my life in his hands. Looking back, I feel like I was led astray, betrayed and like I’ve been chemically assaulted. Before everything went wrong, I recommended the Psychiatrist to some friends who also became patients of his. They were given a similar diagnosis to the one I’d been given, told they also had chemical imbalances and they too prescribed a similar cocktail of medication including methylphenidate and told to contact him when they needed a repeat prescription. After a couple of months, they both began asking me why he wasn’t returning their calls or emails. When I spoke with him about this, he said they had contacted him last minute, and for that, he wasn’t going to reply right away as he didn’t do last minute. Eventually one of my friends requested to have her care transferred as she lost faith in him. The other works at one of his clinics, and is still having problems with him returning her emails and calls and providing her with prescriptions when needed. She has told me there'd been many occasions recently that other patients of his have called his clinic in tears as they are unable to get hold of him. I also know a woman who was under his care at the inpatient unit long before I met him. She said he had given her a combination of medications. She told me it made her feel like a zombie. For one reason or another, she was transferred to a different psychiatrist who questioned why she was on so much medication and immediately began to reduce her dose. No one was warned about side effects and withdrawals, supported, monitored or made aware they’d have to request prescriptions on the Psychiatrists personal terms. It was hugely irresponsible of him to tell people they need medication due to a medical condition and chemical imbalance and to encourage dependence on medication and not provide support, information, monitoring and often fail to provide the advised medication to patients dependant on it. I’m so happy to have found this incredible community and source of information, it's allowing me to start making sense of what I’ve been and am going through. It’s such a relief to learn I’m not the only one feeling this way. The support and compassion I’ve seen on this forum is incredible and a brilliant way of making good of what everyone here has been through. Trusting I’m going to get better and connecting with others isn’t easy at the moment, but I’m hoping it’s going to get easier. My heart goes out to everyone that has been through or who is going through withdrawal. x
  5. Hi Guys, I posted this in the media section but realized it needs to go in this section. We are seeing some major changes here in the UK, at the moment we are on the cusp of fighting for a national helpline for Tapering etc, this petition is about putting the onus on the pharma companies to provide information for Tapering etc, please sign its by my friend and someone who has been affected by ADS, https://www.change.org/p/secretary-of-state-for-health-jeremy-hunt-make-pharmaceutical-firms-help-users-who-want-to-stop-taking-anxiety-depression-drugs?recruiter=58757463&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_term=mob-xs-comment_share-no_msg thanks Guys!
  6. Hi, Just seen this post on the CEP website at http://cepuk.org/2016/10/27/new-york-times-reporter-wants-meet-talk-uk-sufferers-antidepressant-withdrawal/ Namaste, DC.
  7. HollyHope

    HollyHope

    Hi all, Firstly, I am so grateful to have come across this site and I hope that by sharing my experience I might be able to help others and also gain some help and support in return . So, my story - I have suffered on and off with depression since my late teens, I have now just turned 30. I was first prescribed the antidepressant citalopram when I was 18, I took a low dose of this (can't remember how much exactly). I took this for about 6 months and then stopped as felt a lot more in control of my life and generally happier. I unfortunately relapsed about 5 years later and was prescribed citalopram again which I took for about two years. After a while I felt that it was not having much of an effect on me and my mood so my GP switched me to sertraline which I have been on since, about 4 years roughly at 50mg a day. Sertraline has worked very well me and I have been lucky that I have not suffered too many side effects while being on it. Over the years I have tried many therapies, CBT, counselling, human givens and acupuncture to help combat my depression. In all honesty I am not sure how much of an effect any of these things have had on my well being but I do find that having a safe place to talk things through in a non judgmental environment has been a blessing at times. I am currently trying Human Givens therapy with a lovely lady who I feel very secure to talk things through with. I made the decision about 2 years ago that I wanted to be, or at least try to be, medication free to give my body and mind a chance to cope alone. I first tried to taper off sertraline in March 2014, I did pretty well and got down to taking 25mg just three times a week (however, since then I have read that it is not generally a good idea to alternate the days that you take the medication as the levels of the drug are then not consistent in your body.... or something along those lines). Anyway, after splitting up with my then boyfriend in June, I had a major relapse and went back up to 50mg daily. In the summer of 2015 having been consistently on 50mg since June 2014 I decided that I wanted to give it another go and try and come off the sertraline. I have slowly tapered to 25mg over several months and I have been taking 25mg a day for the last week and a half. I am going to stay on this dose for at least one month to allow my body and mind time to adjust before making the next reduction. It has however not been smooth sailing to get to this point and I am now left feeling very anxious, agitated, unmotivated and generally quite dull (I have no sparkle!). If I had the choice I would probably chose to stay in bed all day and just sleep. Of course in realityt this is not possible as I have a full time job and bills to pay. I used to be a gym addictt and would exercise atleast 3 times a week which I found to be very good at helping to stabilise my mood. However, over the last two months I have no motivation or energy to go to the gym and feel anxious at the thought of going (I have never really suffered with anxiety before!) I know that if I start going it will probbaly help me on the road to recovery but I just feel so unmotivated. Also, over the last two months I have completly lost my libido and feel so sorry for my boyfriend who probably feels very rejected... I just have no desire at the moment and feel out of touch from my friends, family and boyfriend who have all had to put up with me being negative and agitated recently. Finally since making the reduction to 25mg I am suffering my bouts of diarrhoea almost every day . I can only assume that this is part of the withdrawal process as I did not feel like this before I began to taper. My only hope is that it will pass eventually. My symptoms are manageable currently but I know that I am not living life to the full which makes me feel pretty rubbish. I am also worried that as I further decrease the amount of sertraline I take, these things that I am feeling now will become more intense and I may not be able to cope. It is hard to discuss with my GP as she will say that I am relapsing and advise me to go back up to 50mg, I know that this is not a relapse. I have seen some people mention that it is easier to taper using liquid serttaline? I feel this may be helpful as I am unsure when the time comes how I will make the next reduction as I already half the 50mg tablet to give me 25mg and I think it would be impossible to half that tablet again without it crumbling to pieces. Does anyone know if liquid sertraline is a thing? and if so is it availabel in the UK? I would love to hear from anyone who is currently tapering or maybe you have successful got off sertraline? Is it possible? Will I ever feel okay again? This is me and this where I am currently at. Thank you so much for you time. R
  8. May be this petition can help. https://www.change.org/p/house-of-commons-to-disband-the-medicines-and-healthcare-products-regulatory-agency-mhra-a-corrupt-government-body-charged-with-protecting-patients-from-avoidable-harm-in-the-national-health-service-and-in-public-health?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=promoted If you feel strongly then please sign. Namaste, DC.
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