The Media and SSRI’s

Recently, the amazing Robert Whitaker (author of Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic) was featured on CBC Radio and CBC News about the dangers of psychiatric drugs. Now, you can listen and read so I won’t rehash the information because I more so want to talk about the media role in relaying this extremely valuable information.

The media has in the past written about the dangers of psychiatric drugs:

Adult antidepressants suspected in suicides of Canadian kids (2012)

Study casts doubt on antidepressant effectiveness (2008)

Antidepressants may not be worth the risk (2012)

What I am finding disturbing is that the media reports MORE on how mass shootings would decrease if more people were taking psychiatric drugs. This is again despite research that has linked psychiatric drugs to homicidal violence. Mental health is probably the only area of medicine that gives whiplash like this and not just within medicine but within our society as a whole.

It’s not like this research on psychiatric drugs (check out the The STAR”D Project) hasn’t been done or shared before! Aside from the work Whitaker has done, Dr. David Healy and Dr. Peter Breggin come to mind. Both of these psychiatrists have written, presented on the  risks of psychiatric drugs and advocated for better research, public education and holistic approaches to mental health.

Dr. David Healy Book List

Dr. Peter Breggin Book List

Their writing goes back into the 90’s so again, this is not a new idea. Psychiatric drugs have always been a problem for people.

I will never tell someone to go on psychiatric drugs. I will tell someone to come off of them if they are clearly not on the path to management or recovery. I will never deny that some people lead great lives because of the drugs they are taking. Oddly enough though people have no issue denying my experience and blaming my mental health status or brushing me off as someone who is experiencing something “rare”.

Psychiatric drugs should be one tool that we and professionals use to treat a person holisticeyally. This is not happening.

EDUCATION!!! Please educate yourself!




11 thoughts on “The Media and SSRI’s

  1. I am sure with you on this one! Here in the US I have always felt that they (the pharm industry) were using us (MI peep) as science experiments. None of the pharmaceuticals helped me at all and all had horrid side effects that we had to endure for 4 weeks to, “give it time to work”. In the meantime, I almost had heart failure and when I came off them, I wanted to die worse then ever.
    No thanks, they lost my trust in the medical mh community.
    I am glad you are off them now. Congratulations!

    • I remember saying to myself recently with the Effexor, “Do I keep waiting for it to get better, do I increase the dose or do I put myself at risk for harming myself?” There isn’t time to wait most times.

      We need more options! Thanks for your support and comment!

      • You are welcome, it is good to see people talking about mi, the more we talk, the more information we receive. It is important that we all speak out because it could save lives. I have no idea how to do a web site, so thank you for your service to us all.
        I think I have said here that I have been using cannabis for about 2 months now for my med (no other meds/drugs) and it is wonderful. I am off the migraine meds, anti-psychotics, and anti nausea pills! All had awful side effects. I could not be happier with it.
        Because there are so many different strains of pot, it takes some time to find the right one, but not 4 weeks! More like 15 minutes and a few visits to the pot store to peek and tweek.
        Cannabis is all natural and grow almost everywhere; it is the universes gift to us if we just utilize it. For me, it helps with internal communication, it helps calm when manic, it puts me to sleep and I wake refreshed, best of all, it takes my pain away both the mental and physical.
        Best of luck to you on your journey.

  2. Interesting post, I definitely need to look into these articles more closely. I’ve had a LOT of problems trying to take psychiatric drugs, which has been difficult to convey because it seems most people seem to have an alright time. In any case, thanks for sharing!

  3. Pills are cheap and the healthcare insurance companies and governments like them because they don’t have to work and spend money treating people with therapy and other alternatives, long term of course the pills cost more, but the powers that be only think short term.

    It would cheaper to pay for DBT for me and other forms of therapy in the long run then just putting me on pills that don’t work, but pills are the primary source of treatment which is very sad.

    I don’t feel better on the pills, they do nothing for me, and nobody around me see’s a difference either. I stay on them so the doctor wont drop me as a patient.

    I know some people need the meds, like my girlfriend who is bipolar, when not on meds she goes manic and is hospitalized often, but on meds she never goes manic, and doesn’t end up in hospital.

    For me I end up in hospital just as often when on medication as when off them, I am still depressed still anxious, and still the same, but for some reason the doctors don’t want to deal with me.

    When I told mental health my diagnoses, the intake nurse said ” we dont need to use a label for you, a label doesn’t mean anything.” but if someone said bipolar they would treat them as a bipolar and not just pretend I am just depressed, depression is but 1 symptom and is not even the one that disrupts my life…

    Sorry for the long reply.

    • Your long reply is much appreciated!

      I feel like this is all wrapped up in our society’s constant desire for instant gratification. I’m not saying the pills do that but it’s so much easier to make things other people’s problems, get answers fast and not put effort into things.

    • How would the doc know if you stopped taking the anti d’s or not? Do they test your blood for that drug each time? I suppose they could, I just never thought about it. I sure don’t think I’d take a drug if it did nothing for me.

      • They could potentially tell if your behaviour changes but they would probably be looking for the negative when you could get worse on the drugs and feel better off them.

      • I wont stop cold turkey because of the bad bad effects of coming off Effexor cold turkey, I tried once and its was too bad an experience, and the pills come in capsule form so can’t really easily taper off slowly from my dose since capsules can’t be cut. I suppose I could, but I don’t even see a doctor right now, I get refills at walk in clinic, currently where I live there are no available psychiatrists.

        No testing, just don’t have the ability to taper off and no doctor to prescribe a smaller dose.

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