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Mind Survey Finds Antidepressants Prescribed too Quickly and for too long


Skyler
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I looked for the following article in The Times but you need to be subscribed to have access to the full article so I posted a copy of the writeup found in the Mind Blog.

.....................

Posted: Saturday 13 October 2012

A Mind survey of nearly 1,500 people suggests that antidepressants are being prescribed too quickly and for long periods without review.

 

The results are published in the Times newspaper today as part of an in-depth look at antidepressant use for mental health problems.

 

The survey found that:

 

More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of people say that their GP or psychiatrist prescribed antidepressants straight away, rather than waiting to see if symptoms improved. Four-fifths (81 per cent) of people said it was their GP or psychiatrist who suggested medication in the first place. Of those, half (51 per cent) agreed that it was the right course of action and more than two out of five (42 per cent) were not in agreement. Almost half (45 per cent) of respondents felt they weren’t given enough information about the medication they had been prescribed. More than a third (37 per cent) of people responding to our survey had been taking antidepressants for more than five years. One in five (20 per cent) had been taking them for more than 10 years. Six per cent of people never have their drugs monitored.

 

On a much more positive note:

 

Prescribing talking therapies alongside antidepressant use seems to be on the increase. Of those who were prescribed antidepressants more than two years ago, just 33 per cent were offered talking therapies as well. This compares to 50 per cent of people who have been prescribed antidepressants in the last two years. More than four-fifths (83 per cent) of respondents have tried talking therapy at some point, of which two-thirds (65 per cent) said they found it effective. Most (84 per cent) of people said they found antidepressants at least ‘fairly’ effective.

 

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, commented on the findings:

 

Antidepressant prescriptions have been rising consistently for several years, reaching its current peak of 46.7 million in England in 2011, up nine per cent on the year before. There has been an extraordinary rise over recent years but little clarity about why this is happening. It may be that more people are experiencing mental health problems and it may be that more people are seeking help. It may also be that GPs feel they have little option but to prescribe antidepressants.

 

Antidepressants are very effective in helping many people manage their mental health problems and many people are positive about their experiences of taking them. But we need also to remember that antidepressants are powerful drugs and as such should be prescribed with caution.

........... link

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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Can talk therapy get to root emotions and issues when medicated??

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Thanks for posting this, Schuyler.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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Can talk therapy get to root emotions and issues when medicated??

 

My experience says it can. Err.. I don't think being on a psychotropic means people who were first in talk therapy are then at a disadvantage? And for sure, when a person on ADs has a therapist they can be more easily monitored, and taken off after any crisis is past, in otherwords, suggest a reassessment when, for example, a severe depressive episode remits.. and warn about the hazards of long term use. (Now guys.. don't go and shoot the messenger here.)

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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Can talk therapy get to root emotions and issues when medicated??

 

My experience says it can. Err.. I don't think being on a psychotropic means people who were first in talk therapy are then at a disadvantage? And for sure, when a person on ADs has a therapist they can be more easily monitored, and taken off after any crisis is past, in otherwords, suggest a reassessment when, for example, a severe depressive episode remits.. and warn about the hazards of long term use. (Now guys.. don't go and shoot the messenger here.)

 

I should have clarified my query..

 

I'm thinking of the dulling / blunting effect of drugs on emotions and how that might interfere with talk therapy. An 'altered state' of sorts that masks the depth of sadness/grief/anger and positive emotions, as well.

 

This was discussed by a therapist on David Healy's old website. He found it more difficult to access or assess emotions (or intensity of) when medicated, not unlike marijuana. More challenging with serotonergics because there is not generally an appearance of being drugged.

 

Exploring why talk therapy should be used before introducing drugs (assuming not crisis situation). And, of course, drugs alone are not addressing core problem but are being used very often (most often?) without psychotherapy. I don't see talk therapy being used more often as stated in article. Certainly not continued as long as drug therapy.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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My experience has been that they definitely can interfere with talk therapy, though it's hard to know just how much and I'm sure it varies a lot from one person to the next. But definitely in my case I have greater access to emotions without the drugs. I expect it can also work the other way (and I've heard people speak from experience on this); if someone is very, very depressed and they respond to the drugs well it make it less overwhelming to think and talk about things in a constructive way. So surely it varies a lot, but my sense it that for most people, without very severe depression, they probably have a negative effect in this sense.

1994-2009 50-100 mg Zoloft (plus tried Effexor, Lexapro, Wellbutrin at times)
5/'09-7/'09 taper off Zoloft
7/'09-12/'09 no zoloft, rough times after ~ 2 mos.
1/'10-6/'10 50 mg zoloft
6/'10-1/'11 slow taper
2/'11-7/'11 off entirely, ok for 2-3 mos., then rough
7/'11-9/'11 50 mg
9/15/'11 - 11/15/'11 taper off
11/15/'11 - 2/'11 clean, doing well but with some PSSD
2/'11 - 6/'11 depression creeps back, fairly significant by May.

6/'14 (long time...!)  life is good, full recovery, at least in terms of SSRI addiction.  Still digging out from the social and professional hole that it all left me in, but despite the loss of far too many years to this business I'm basically doing pretty well.  Still some depression at times, even severe on occasion, but clearly related to past trauma and current circumstances, all things that I am continuing to work through and work on.  I'd say it took at least six months and perhaps a year to fully get back to normal (neuro-psychologically and sexually) after the last dose in 2011.

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