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Author Tim Lott on antidepressants


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I recently decided to subscribe to the Idler magazine, and got my first issue in the post last week. Was a bit surprised to come across an article by Tim Lott discussing, among other things, his experiences with antidepressants. Made me raise my eyebrows a bit - I'm guessing he's never heard of withdrawal, and it seems he's also a believer of the chemical imbalance myth! And another article in a UK newspaper says he's recently been diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 61 and prescribed Ritalin for his forgetfulness. I've copied the relevant bits from the Idler piece below for anyone interested in reading them: 



Struggling as I have been for most of my life with depression, I have relied on drug treatments to deal with my mood disorders… I still take antidepressants (the depression has only hit when I have unwisely tried to wean myself off them), and I know they represent an important barrier to the onset of my illness… 

So, after discovering anti-depressants, I decided I was still "normal" in the way that people who have diabetes are "normal". They function just like everyone else, as long as they take their medicine carefully. 


It wasn't until early 2016 that I finally decided to take therapy seriously, after I sank into a depression that lasted close on a year after a radio interview about the suicide of my mother that distressed me intensely (I had earlier in that year come off my medication). So unpleasant and prolonged was this experience that I was determined to take all and any action necessary to stop it happening again. 


My recovery was not as simple as just re-starting the medication I had been on before. Cycling on and off drugs is hazardous for people with depression. Every time you try and get back on them, the drugs tend to be less effective and can sometimes cease to work at all… nine months later, I found a dosage and a drug that brought me back to stability. 





2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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