Last week a seminar on dependence on and withdrawal from antidepressants took place in the Welsh Senedd, overlooking Cardiff Bay.
It was the initiative of and organised by Aled Jones of Prescription Drug Awareness, Support and Treatment, under the auspices of Mark Drakeford – the First Minister. The Senedd building was a stunning setting for the event.
One of the key speakers was Stevie Lewis who has organised a petition to the Welsh Assembly on the issue of dependence on antidepressants, complementing a comparable petition organised by Marion Brown in Scotland. Both petitions are feeding into a review of prescription drug dependence being conducted by Public Health England.
The final speaker was James Moore who with his podcast Let’s Talk about Withdrawal has emerged as a leading figure globally on the question of antidepressant dependence. His central role in this debate may have something to do with having a keen eye for a political opportunity – he realised that if the proceedings were recorded they could be disseminated far and wide. If this truth about antidepressants gets around the globe with even a fraction of the speed the lies have circulated, a great deal of good may come from his and Aled Jones’ efforts.
The three talks, introduced by Aled are here:
A follow-up Q & A is here:
James will run a more detailed account of the day and its issues on his Mad in America slot.
The text of my talk is HERE and its accompanying slides HERE.
Those of us sitting on the sidelines, away from Cardiff, thought this an exceptional rallying call.
Three gifted speakers, nay four, nay five, nay six, with question time..
Why is it so difficult?
David has put it all in perspective, politically and expertwise, James, politically aware, who now shines out leading along with podcasts in his inimitable style, kind, compassionate and caring and Stevie, with lived experience, vocalising the perils of Seroxat, a booted lady who knows her stuff with a professionalism also to put it across.
Aled, did his survey, outside Boots, 17% read the leaflet.
A lady, read out a powerful published letter.
Paul, looked ill and sick, from antidepressant withdrawal.
There was not one doctor in the audience.
There was Professionalism in the Welsh Senedd Building from highly intelligent and articulate speakers and the Legs going Up and Down the Stairs, as the backdrop, pretty much sums up how much legwork needs to be done and how those ‘legs’ just walk on by …
BBC Video Shames Those Struggling With Psychiatric Drugs
The Jack-Boots, associated with totalitarianism, is a political concept of a mode of government which prohibits opposition parties, restricts individual opposition to the state and its claims, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is regarded as the most extreme and complete form of authoritarianism.
‘Make them Uncomfortable’ …
Many thanks David for all you have done.
An extra-ordinary day. The passion and commitment of all the speakers was obvious Thank you Annie for describing my letter as powerful Here it is below..
Published on: (8 December 2018)
Bad Medicine: Psychiatric medicine
Annie Cody, Former Teacher P/T Counsellor, ATL BACP
Thank you, Dr Spence, for yet again speaking out, when psychiatry remains silent, or takes to Twitter to maintain anti-depressants are ‘Safe and effective’. Or tries to persuade us pill shaming is worse than being dependent on a toxic substance that has many unpleasant side effects, and indeed causes many, many individuals to become dysfunctional when they try to withdraw or as the medical profession prefers discontinues their medication.
Current NICE guidelines, which maintains withdrawal symptoms cease within a couple of weeks certainly do not apply to myself or thousands of others I am in contact with online.
It is deeply worrying that many of us were told and are still told that we had/have a chemical imbalance. No wonder GPs issue repeat prescriptions, sometimes over decades. I certainly was told this back in 2009. Why would anyone discontinue a medication that did something as vital as correct this imbalance? Does a diabetic discontinue insulin? The awful withdrawal symptoms that occurred if one did not take ones meds for a week just confirmed this, plus magically the symptoms disappeared upon resumption of the pills, lending credence to the fairy story nay horror story that was ‘The myth of the chemical imbalance theory for depression’.
This time last year I finished a 2 year taper from a 32 year addiction/dependence on benzo diazepam. I am extremely wary of trying to taper anti-depressants.
It seems to me lessons that should have been learnt by the medical profession regarding benzodiazepines have been ignored, and again us patients find ourselves stuck on a toxic medication, which like benzodiazepines we have little choice but to remain on as there is no ‘safe and effective’ guidance and support for the long tortuous process of withdrawal.
Here is the link to the December 2018 BJGP article by Des Spence mentioned above – with tab to see the e-letters. Others can contribute too! https://bjgp.org/content/68/677/583
Hearty congratulations on your two year taper from 32 years addicted/dependent on benzo diazepam. I did a similar thing after 35 years, tapered too fast (and it wasn’t pretty), but am now psych. drug free and glad for it, living happily with my own unadulterated mind.
Thank you for your eloquent speech, that was well executed at the PAST Senedd Awareness Day, December 11, 2018.
If people were made aware of the TRUTH of these medicines, I wonder how many people would do a ‘double take’, before they ingest them?
Yes, David, you hit the nail on the head, when you mentioned that doctors (not only isolated to doctors), live in a ‘technocratic’ world, where the guidelines dictate what doctors do.
Where is the autonomy of ones profession?
If our health is based on this standard of care, it is like we are part of a ‘barcode’ system that dictates the ‘ one glove fits all’ standard of care. This is not personalised, individual health care.
No one should use ‘fear tactics’ to promote a level of care that diminishes a persons quality of life.
If you are not ingesting any medicines, there must be something wrong with you! There seems to be a medicine for everything today.
People are led to believe that if you ingest a ‘pill’, it is the answer to all your problems. Sadly, we are never warned of the long term side effects.
I know who I would want to have on my side, when these pills cause harm.
amat victoria curam ~David Healy, understands this motto well and applies it with conviction. Thank you for being our voice and I know TRUTH will be your victory!
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this excellent event.
And especially for making it available for onward sharing – and for reference.
Enormously important and valuable.
Here is reference to the published research featured an highlighted by Stevie Lewis in her talk – with the collation of 158 patient experiences submitted for our Scottish and Welsh petitions.
Our respective petitions continue to gather evidence as they proceed through respective Scottish and Welsh petition processes:
Welsh petition link:
Scottish petition link:
Thank you all for putting on such a wonderful event right in the ‘heart'(less) centre of government in Wales. Knowing there are people with a heart still fighting for those so many who have been and will be harmed is hopeful when so many have no voice . The videos are very touching and in ways heartbreaking. Thank you for putting them on the blog.
The “antidepressants” were paid for out of Public Money, they weren’t much good, and they created long term problems.
Maybe Politicians are too frightened to do anything about the problem, in case they offend vested interest, and get de selected.
Thanks to all who carefully prepared and contributed to this powerful, effective and genuinely evidence-based, further learning opportunity for all those so grievously inured, and suffering from ADRs/withdrawal syndromes, and permanent disability from deceiptfully prescribed SSRIs and SNRIs.
A vital learning opportunity for legislators, for all parliamentarians, some of whom must surely be taking these drugs themselves.
Such dangerous drugs – casually prescribed by physicians who have themselves been deceived by ghost written, manipulated “clinical trials” and conflicted “Key Opinion Leaders”:
Prescribers indoctrinated, via compulsory “Continuing Medical Education” (CME) aka “Continuous Marketing Exposure”??, to deceive their patients.
A betrayal of trust followed by denial of outcome.
“Chemical Imbalance”. “Safe and Effective”. “Not Addictive “.
“Your illness has come back”. “It’s out of your system”.
Such was the impact, I had to watch and listen twice yesterday.
What invaluable teaching material for EVERY final year medical student in the UK, and for ALL THOSE who will be completing post-graduate training for General Practice in 2019.
Perhaps an additional contributor, describing the devastating impact of SSRI/SNRI – induced akathisia, might be considered for inclusion, should a similar occasion arise?
Familicide is now a regular occurance in Ireland.
The behaviour was 1. Extreme 2. Completely Out of Character 3. Without Reason.
The mother was Diagnosed as “Insane”, (with “Depression”).
Almost unbearable to read Fiachra.
How can this tragedy be afforded justice and detailed understanding without the cost being provided with a meticulous prescription drug history prior to the death of the child and reported stabbing of self by the mother?
Was she taking an SSRI/SNRI?
If so, did anyone observe the overwhelming agitation and visible evidence of prescription drug induced akathisia that may have been the real cause of this catastrophe?
Was this another iatrogenic, misdiagnosed toxic psychosis?
Surely no case like this can be afforded justice with integrity unless an expert in prescription drug induced AKATHISIA is invited to provide authoritative opinion in all such cases?
Tim whenever a politician discloses a mental health problem they are described as ‘brave’. Perhaps one day some of them might disclose the effects the medication has had on them and their relationships and ability to work – and how clinicians reacted to their reporting it , There must have been some who had/are still having ADs – now that would be ‘brave’
Why don’t we ask them?
OK, will do Tim. I have written to some MPs AMs before but not specifically asking about their own experience or knowledge of others who developed adverse reactions. Sarah Wollaston is chair of the English health cttee as you know but she still pulled ‘you’re not my constituent’ therefore I don’t need to respond – usual cop out. She is one of those who has publicly disclosed a mental health problem and is a GP and married to the registrar of the coll of psychs – which may be one reason she won’t respond though between them they must have knowledge of adverse effects.
In parliament there is a Parliamentary Safety Health and Well Being Service which operates the mental health service for MPs which included in 2003
Charles Walker is/or was when it was set up, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary cttee for Mental Health – he disclosed his own mental health problems. Others include
Sarah as above
Kevan Jones MP for Durham was instrumental in developing the cttee – also disclosed his mental health problems
Andrea Leadsom ditto
Others have disclosed health info since then
St ~Thomas’ Hospital is involved in providing treatment and there is pastoral support from Rev. Rose Hudson Wilkins the speaker’s chaplain.
Have sent David H’s last blog as that the event held in the Senedd might, just might, encourage a response.
The link about the service/cttee is quite old there may be a more recent one somewhere.
Thank you for these valuable actions Susanne.
I have limited I-T access over the next 2-3 weeks and have just read your fantastic response.
Perhaps we should repeatedly “ask them”, and also invite those who have taken psychotropic drugs to complete a survey of adverse drug reactions which they themselves may have experienced, would likely not have been warned about, and may not relate to their “medication”?
Surely such an approach might be a powerful, even compelling, personal education tool in psychotropic drug toxicity?
Might we specifically ask them if they have heard of AKATHISIA?
Did Merck circumvent its duty to warn on ‘Fosamax fractures’?
By Suzanne Robotti
December 18, 2018
Quick Fix …
Atty’s Widow Asks High Court To Look At Case Against GSK
Law360 (December 20, 2018, 10:22 PM EST) — The widow of a Reed Smith LLP partner who had been taking a GlaxoSmithKline antidepressant when he killed himself asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to review the case against the drugmaker, which was initially held liable for the death until a Seventh Circuit appeals panel threw out the verdict.
Wendy Dolin, the widow of the late Reed Smith partner Stewart Dolin, who began taking a generic version of GSK’s Paxil antidepressant just days before he jumped in front of a Chicago subway train in 2010, said she didn’t get a fair hearing in the Seventh Circuit.
The appeals court “never once stated that it was duty bound to view the evidence and all reasonable inferences in a light most favorable to Mrs. Dolin, and instead, appears to have viewed the evidence and drawn all inferences in a manner most favorable to GSK,” Dolin said in her petition asking the high court to review the case.
Dolin filed suit in 2012 seeking to hold GSK accountable for her husband’s suicide, which occurred a few days after he began taking a generic form of Paxil made by Mylan NV. The suit hinged on the allegation that GSK had known for decades that Paxil could put adult users at an increased risk of suicide but never modified its label to reflect that risk.
After a groundbreaking 2014 district court ruling that drugmakers have a duty to warn patients taking generic versions of their drugs, in April 2017, an Illinois jury found GSK liable and awarded Dolin $3 million.
GSK appealed, arguing that Dolin’s claims were preempted because beginning in 2006 the company repeatedly asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be allowed to include the adult suicide warning on the label but was turned down.
In August, the Seventh Circuit agreed with GSK. The panel found that the evidence showed the FDA rejected GSK’s proposal four times and that after 2007 GSK had no new information that would have supported another change to the label. Dolin’s claims were thus preempted under the standard laid down by the Supreme Court in Wyeth v. Levine , they said.
Dolin asked the full Seventh Circuit for a rehearing, saying the FDA never rejected GSK’s proposed Paxil suicide warning, but rather, it had merely told the drugmaker in 2007 to submit a new request, and that this exchange did not meet the Wyeth standard.
However, the court declined to rehear the case, saying Dolin’s state law claims were preempted because there was no way for the company to add the suicide risk warning she claimed belonged on Paxil’s label.
Representatives for Dolin and GSK did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.
Dolin is represented by Bijan Esfandiari, Michale L. Baum and R. Brent Wisner of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, and David E. Rapoport and Mathew S. Soims of Rapoport Law Offices PC.
GSK is represented by Lisa Blatt, Stephen Wirth, William Perdue and Elisabeth Theodore of Arnold & Porter.
The case is Wendy B. Dolin v. GlaxoSmithKline LLC, case number 17-3030, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
–Additional reporting by Rick Archer, Diana Novak Jones and Ryan Boysen. Editing by Kelly Duncan.
December 24, 2018 truthman30 seroxat
Widow asks SCOTUS to toss GSK’s win in lawsuit over Paxil labeling, lawyer’s suicide
“There is no evidence the FDA ever rejected a paroxetine-specific adult suicide warning,” Dolin’s lawyers claimed. “The FDA’s invitation to GSK to use the CBE (which GSK could use unilaterally without the FDA’s invitation) to issue a paroxetine-specific adult suicidality warning in a place within the label that is outside the class labeling section can hardly be considered or interpreted as a rejection of a paroxetine-specific adult suicide warning.
“…It is akin to being invited to dance but construing that invitation as clear evidence of rejection.”
Good for Wendy Dolin for persuing her case to the Supreme Court. Here’s hoping they hear it.
Wow great stuff from David, Stevie, and James.
I know that the number of people on these drugs is increasing every year but when i listened to the video above (part 2) and heard Stevie say in parts of Wales its 1 in 3 people are on them i just about fell off my chair and had to replay it several times to check i heard her correctly …that ratio is beyond frightening!!
Also i want to say that collation by Stevie Lewis of 158 submissions report is outstanding work. Please read it if you havent it is full of ‘Truth news’ rather than the ‘fake news ‘ you get from your doctor. Every speech bubble i could relate to and totally agreed with.
Thanks David, Stevie and James for all the tremendous work you are doing.
Thanks MUST also go to Aled and PAST Wales for arranging the whole day and putting it in action. It was a day where the atmosphere was remarkably relaxed ( considering the tense topic!) and homely, mainly, I feel, because we were all in the same boat together. Many of us already ‘knew’ each other in the ‘online’ sense and it was good to meet in person.We didn’t need to prove anything to anybody – Stevie’s words covered it all.
The fact that it was aired in real time added an extra dimension and the videos of the whole session that have appeared here and there ever since just continue the ball rolling.
I have emailed our AM and a neighbouring one urging them to view the videos. No replies received of course but I do hope that maybe, just maybe, over their Christmas break they might just take a peep. If so, let’s hope they’ll be gripped from the word go and be unable to let go until they’ve viewed the lot, including the Q&A session!
Aled – we now await your next brilliant move and are ready and willing to do anything that we can to support your efforts. We acknowledge the hard work that went into the day and would share the burden in any way possible. Being a North Walian,perhaps you’d like to arrange a North Wales venue next time – after all, there is a NW Senedd buiding up here too! Thank you Aled, on behalf of all of us present on December 11th.
Antidepressant Dependence Discussed at the Seat of Welsh Government – Video
December 20, 2018
James Moore Retweeted
At Welsh Assembly, Stevie Lewis neatly captured medicine’s double-standard: If an antidepressant helped you: What a wonderful drug IT must be! If it did not help (or made you worse): What a uniquely troubled (and troublesome) patient YOU must be.
James Moore Retweeted
Patients in Wales are testifying at their Nat’l Assembly (watch the videos!) Scotland too. In England, MPs commission a report on Rx Drug Dependence. When will this be OK to talk about in the (ahem) Land of the Free?
*“If you don’t classify you can’t be a doctor…”*
“NICE Guidelines are very good…”
Simon Wessely Retweeted
Royal College of Psychiatrists
to hear our former President
tackle the thorny subject about whether we’re over medicalizing childhood. Expect thought provoking discussion around 0840
*This is True.*
This is why UK Doctors are Dishing out the Meds, uncontrollably, and the US figures are a warning, not an excuse ,,,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave
Is there an epidemic of mental disorders? If so,what? Is it better diagnosis,misdiagnosis,or mislabeling. In association with a pandemic of deaths from overdosing,deliberate or accidental! These drugs are obviously dangerous,what do you suggest instead?
Difficult to say. One option is that politics has been privatised. Rather than discontent being out there with out there needing fixing, it has been devolved to each of us and there are service industries in place to cater to the requirement on each of us to be autonomous
As a psychiatric drug survivor, it takes a lot to bring tears of joy to my eyes, but watching this conference did just that. I can’t thank Dr. David Healy for advocating on our behalf after we were silenced by the very industry that was suppose to help us – your a very well loved man.
I want to thank all the speakers from the bottom of my heart, although this is not happening here in America where the thorough drugging of our society is firmly in place: men, women, teens, children, toddlers & babies.
I agree with everything you have highlighted.
To take out revenge on people who have been harmed, is not only futile but dehumanizing.
What good does it achieve?
If patients who have been harmed by a drug and are ‘maltreated’, what HOPE do we have?
Why don’t some professionals understand the damage these drugs have caused?
Please look at the lives many had before they were maimed and unjustly died, as a result of ingesting these ‘so called’ safe meds.
Take it out on some of the drugs that harm and the systems that allow this treachery to infest.
Please don’t target people who have been cheated by a system that does not care!
David Healy, is indeed, a well loved and respected man, as you say.
Who else has defended us, through trying/challenging and difficult times?
He gave us RXISK so that we can speak up where silence prevails.
He paid the ultimate price for speaking up however, I know that in the end:
vincit omnia veritas-truth conquers all
To those who maltreat us:
condemnant quod non intellegunt – They condemn what they do not understand
Meliorare legem meliorare vitam est-To improve the law is to improve life
Heartfelt gratitude goes to each and every person in the universe, who ignite that awareness that is crucial and critical during these challenging times of change.