Fiction that captures reality: Malcharist

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May 17, 2021 | 10 Comments


  1. Helping people understand the risks of taking antidepressants
    While antidepressants provide support to many people, there is now evidence that millions are being harmed.
    The aims of this site are:-
    to share stories of people who have been harmed by antidepressants and other depression medications. See Stolen Lives.
    to make people aware of the side effects of antidepressants and the difficulty of withdrawal.
    to explain that adverse reactions to antidepressants can cause suicide, violence and homicide.
    to draw attention to the potentially life threatening conditions of serotonin syndrome and akathisia.
    We are a team of people with experience of these drugs and with access to experts. We have come together to share our knowledge and experience to help people understand the risks of taking antidepressants.

  2. Sorry forgot to add the link run by Katinka Newman and colleagues

    • I thought at first that you were leaving us with a puzzle Susanne – “Guess the website” or similar! It’s a very attractive site and easy reading with the information easily found.
      My (usual!) worry is that we, who know these stories so well, are probably the only ones attracted by its title. We need to attract the rest of our communities to take a look – how to do so remains a puzzle. We need to catch people BEFORE they accept a prescription for these drugs and that is the most difficult part of the problem. Noone believes that they will personally suffer by taking them and reading the cases on the website, for anyone who looks that far, will, I’m afraid, just give them the idea that the suffering is extremely rare. Katinka’s idea of having the photos plus stories is brilliant but unless she can persuade many more to have their photos and stories included by her then she may well find that her hard work gives the wrong impression.
      and that from the very first pill taken, life as we knew it WILL CHANGE to some degree.

      • Hi Mary – see what you mean – my efforts to raise awareness have had dismal results but You have had some success with your group? I think Katinka can access more avenues maybe using her contacts and knowledge of publishing and advertising will help . I guess K would have researched before setting up another group and has a respected reputation outside as well as inside the mental health the more activism the better? I am stuck for ideas now but think for those of us who don’t realistically have clout with prescribers or regulators except by sharing info and supporting those with ‘higher’ status or more influence and more access..Maybe the message should be more highlighting the more hidden adverse effects of drugs. eg the likely loss of employment or difficulty in hiding stretches of unemployment ot that the desired kind of employment will be closed for many when mental health staus is declared. Lets be honest about that. And that the benefits system will mean living on the bread line and can result in being surveilled and humiliated That access to education may be influenced .That an identity can be defined almost totally by mental health status.That personal freedom if relying on the state for income or prescriptions will be massively curtailed . And that the medical file will influence subsequent opinions of any medics in future even should anybody want treatment for an ingowing toenail or – even more worrying – for their children. These are part of the ‘stories’ being collected already sadly after the harm has ocurred as you say They will never be put on information leaflets – so how to put out an alternative information leaflett before taking drugs – can’t imagine medics could handle it so back to the -how.

        • Everything that you say is so true Susanne, problems trying to lead a “normal” life once you’re in the grip of these drugs are many. Having to accept that the rest of your life is going to be spent feeling severe exhaustion if you attempt even the lightest of “normal daily routines” is tough. Having accepted your situation, you then have to adjust your “new normal” so that you have time to take the many ‘rest periods’ that your situation demands. Shane recently explained that this is frustrating but manageable now that he’s accepted his situation. The part that he finds most annoying is that I, at nearly twice his age, can do so much more than he can before I need to take a break.
          I class Shane’s present problems as being light in comparison to so many other cases that we read about. If only we could get the reality of the chance of these changes happening to any person who accepts that first prescription. Unfortunately, those in power over us make sure that our wishes remain just that – wishful thinking.

  3. Absolutely endorse Gary Schwitzer’s above review and commendation of this brilliant book. It was indeed impossible to stop reading, even to pause was resented.
    Malcharist is magnificent, immensely powerful, and utterly compelling.
    I can’t wait to read Malcharist again; just as soon as I finish reading Jim Gottstein’s ‘Zyprexa Papers’ for the second time.

    Samizdat is producing an Aladdin’s Cave of one literary treasure after another.

    Recommended reading for all those about to enter Medical School later this year.
    Would be invaluable for doctors undertaking Vocational Training For General Practice, and, in fact for all prescribers; and all those prescribed psychotropic drugs.

  4. Sadly, some of our healthcare places are becoming an unsafe place for people.
    What happened to poor Aishwarya, is sadly happening to so many other unfortunate people.

    The health care systems are in crisis.
    Where are the regulators when healthcare workers are mistreating patients?
    It can either be a nightmare of:
    1. ‘overkill with medicines and unnecessary procedures’ or
    2. lack of qualified medical assistance and incorrect diagnosis

    I am mortified that this poor girl was left to die under terrible circumstances and that her poor parents had to be ‘fobbed off ‘ when they were only crying out for help!
    We put so much trust and faith in our healthcare system however, when people neglect their ‘duty to care’, I have to wonder why some healthcare professionals are there in the first place?
    If you can not take the poor child’s vital signs when she entered the hospital, how can one possibly understand or appreciate the condition the poor child was in?
    This is beyond crazy and the professionals who were attending to Aishwarya’s health care, were indeed, apathetic and nonchalant.
    This is the ugly side of our healthcare systems that is totally ignored.
    Some of the hospitals have third world standards of care and are sadly becoming negligent in their duty to care.
    This kind of negligence should not be happening however, it takes so many stories to see that one death is one too many.
    It is happening all the time and sadly not everyone’s unfortunate experience makes the front headlines.
    Some Healthcare professionals need help because if they are not qualified to make sound judgments or their mental health is suffering, someone who has many years of experience can make a world of difference.
    Our healthcare system is in a MAJOR CRISIS and we have leaders in positions of power who dismiss these concerns and are ignoring the pleas of loved ones who are hurting.
    Over prescribing, many unnecessary tests/ procedures that pose risks and poor standards of quality of care are sadly killing many innocent people.
    My heartfelt sympathy go to Aishwarya’s parents who had no say over what happened to their beautiful daughter. I am stricken with so much grief knowing what these poor parents and her daughter had to sadly endure. It should of never happened in the first place!
    The stories are increasing in numbers.
    How many voices go unheard especially poor patients who have no say in what is being done to them!

  5. Indeed, Mary hit the head on the nail.
    Mental health labels are wrongly used on some individuals and are a convenient strategy that boxes people into a false illusion of who they really are.
    Some of these labels may help people access their entitlements or may disadvantage them because people like to have a label for every quirky behaviour. Labels are used: To divert people from knowing or accessing the truth about some people and the world around them.
    Professionals like to use them on some people so that people have a false tattoo on their forehead for life. It is damaging to one’s dignity and integrity. When professional don’t want to take any accountability or responsibility for their downfalls or incompetencies, it is misleading to just label ‘truth tellers’ with useless, futile and distorted labels.
    It makes professionals and people feel comfortable when people who think outside the box, are labelled.
    Therefore, anyone with a different opinion or someone who can see ahead of time, is certainly labelled because the certainly do not fit the ‘norm’ whatever, this may be?
    It makes me wonder how many geniuses have been labelled crazy?
    Sorry if we crazy people make you feel uncomfortable at times. Anyway, my intentions are genuine and sincere.

  6. I Wonder if samizdat could sell it as a script, for it to become a movie, amazing if netflix could help expose the issues.

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