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Doctor Joanna Moncrieff on drug mechanisms of action/withdrawal.,

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An interview with  Doctor Joanna Moncrieff.




Issues discussed in the interview:

  • How Dr. Moncrieff became interested in Psychiatry
  • That, while working as a junior Psychiatrist, Dr. Moncrieff came to realise the dominance of drugs as a psychiatric treatment
  • Why Dr. Moncrieff founded the Critical Psychiatry Network
  • That it is often difficult to challenge the status quo in Psychiatry
  • Dr. Moncrieff’s work to formulate a drug centred model as an explanation of how drugs work in the body and the comparison to a disease centred model
  • How the chemical imbalance theory of depression is not supported by evidence
  • That psychiatric drugs are mind altering substances in themselves, in other words they alter normal thinking, emotion and behaviour  
  • That much of the research over the decades has ignored the fact that these drugs alter the way that people feel and behave
  • That these drug-induced effects in themselves mean that placebo controlled trials cannot demonstrate that drugs target an underlying biological problem
  • Psychiatric drugs are not sophisticated or targeted treatments for mental illnesses, their effects are general in natureHow patients tend to stay on the drugs because withdrawal is difficult or they feel they may struggle without the effect of the drug
  • As a general principle, people should take the minimum dosage of these drugs for the shortest possible time
  • How case studies of people who have struggled with withdrawal are very important to demonstrate the difficulties and to help with guidance and support
  • How psychiatric drugs cause adaptations in the brain as the brain moves to compensate for the effects of the drug and that this compensation is often responsible for withdrawal effects when the drug is stopped
  • The RADAR study (Research into Antipsychotic Discontinuation and Reduction) which looks at long term use of antipsychotic drugs and provides support to gradually withdraw users from their drugs
  • How this study will both help patients withdraw and also build up experience and knowledge to help others in future
  • The concerns around long term use of antipsychotics and possible harm to the brain

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Really good podcast, thank you Petunia. 

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