Important New York Times Survey on Antidepressant Withdrawal
Antidepressants are the drugs of choice to replace opiods as those drugs are being pulled from the market due to their potential for addiction & withdrawal.Yet ironically antidepressants have long proven more difficult to withdraw from than the opiods & because of that many patients have remained on these drugs for many years due to not knowing how to withdraw safely and successfully from them. This should help all understand just how critical the information gleaned from this survey can prove to be! We would highly encourage everyone who has gone through antidepressant withdrawal to go to the link to the original article below and give the New York Times a glimpse of reality when it comes to antidepressant withdrawal from the pit of Hell all of you have been through!!!
Comments From ICFDA On Several Points In The Article…
Hats off to Benedict Carey and Robert Gebeloff for addressing this long ignored, yet in desperate need of being discussed, subject of antidepressant withdrawal!!! I have been helping guide people through their withdrawal from these drugs to make it easier to go through since the early 1990’s. and almost two decades ago now put out my hour & a half long CD on safe withdrawal and rebuilding from antidepressants and other serotonergic medications right after the Columbine massacre in 1999, which continues to astound me due to the massive amount of information I was able to include. It is called, “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant/Atypical Antipsychotic!” (It can be found & downloaded here: https://store.drugawareness.org/?wpsc-product=help-i-cant-get-off-my-antidepressant-mp3-download) So when one realizes how long that information has been available, it becomes more than obvious how very long this very important subject has been ignored.
And while I do appreciate this article discussing the obvious lack of awareness, or just outright refusal, to acknowledge such by medical professionals there is more to this article that I would definitely disagree with…
For instance the idea that Prozac, or any of the drugs in this newer family of serotonergic antidepressants, (SSRIs & SNRIs) or the serotonergic atypical antipsychotics flush from the system in only weeks. There is absolutely no way that statement is true! All anyone needs to do to learn that is to go to the section in my book, Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare!, and read my 1994 interview with Dr. Craig Karson. At that time Dr. Karson was doing research for Eli Lilly (seven years after Prozac was already on the market!) to determine a safe therapeutic level of the drug. His findings in that research was that Prozac was accumulating in brain tissue at a rate 100 times the rate found in the blood and stated that checking the blood would do them no good in determining toxicity! And he felt that was why patients would have the delayed withdrawal we were seeing along with them continuing to have adverse drug reactions long after coming off the medication.
He even mentioned his concern about one patient he worked with who had been on Prozac for one year before discontinuing the medication. Whe the patient passed away two years later Dr. Karson was able to test brain tissue for levels of the drug and even with his research showing 100 times higher level of accumulation in the brain, he was shocked to see how high this woman’s brain levels of the drug were in spite of her being off the drug for two years.
I would also take issue with the comments by Dr. Peter Kramer, with whom I have done TV news interviews. What a joke his comments in this article are!
I quote: “There is a cultural question here, which is how much depression should people have to live with when we have these treatments that give so many a better quality of life”…. a better quality of life?!! Seriously?! He wrote the book, Listening to Prozac, to promote these drugs while he was working for Brown University where the head of the university sat on the Board of Directors for Eli Lilly, makers of Prozac. I am sure Kramer earned a lot of “job insurance” by writing a book that skyrocketed his boss’s stock in Eli Lilly. But how does he make such a statement about antidepressants giving “so many a better quality of life”? How can he call this “a better quality of life” when on the cover of his book he has a picture of a patient ripping his head off his body & he clearly states in the book that Prozac “robs you of your soul”? He also goes on to say Prozac takes molehills in your life and turns them into mountains! What?! Now to me that sounds like the last thing anyone would want in their lives, especially someone who is already depressed, doesn’t it?!
He then goes on to explain that the drug was designed to create hypomania. Hypomania could be best described as the happy drunk state. Yet you cannot chemically induce hypomania with one of these drugs without causing full-blown Mania as you continue taking the chemical that induced the hypomania to begin with! Just like someone in the happy drunk state does not stay in that state if they continue to drink. This is why we have had skyrockting numbers of diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder (manic-depression) over the past three decades. (See me report that to the FDA in my December 13, 2006 testimony before their Advisory Committee below.) I believe Dr. Kramer’s conflicting statements make it clear that surgery is in order to detach his lips from Pharma’s derriere!
…Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director, International Coalition for Drug Awareness, (www.drugawareness.org)