Are antidepressants safe?
Last updated: 12/1/2020
Are antidepressants safe?
Hmm… every person has a different opinion on the matter. We are born with an instinct, an intuition. Call it however you want, we all have it. But the majority of us go against that feeling.
Our body tells us when something is wrong. How we respond to it, definitely impacts our lives.
So, we have that gut feeling sending us messages and yet we fall into a trap of other people’s ideology of what is best for us, instead of listening to our own heart.
People trust strangers more than themselves, listen to their opinions rather than their own.
Why do people listen to a doctor telling them “take two of these and you are going to feel better”? He has only 10 minutes to assess you. Can he? I doubt that. He doesn’t even know you.
It begs two questions – Why do you trust him? Should you?
Just because he has a title before his name doesn’t make him an expert in you. He doesn’t know you, am I right?
Wait! Did I just say you shouldn’t trust your doctor?
No, I did not say that!
You should trust your doctor! But if you read between the lines, you’d notice what I am trying to say – it’s not about your doctor, it’s about what he thinks of the pills he offers you.
What you’re about to read in this article might surprise you and it will definitely cause a heated debate between our readers.
If you want to know more, keep reading!
You will find all the above answers below. This article is based on my wife’s story but also on the lives of other people and my research.
I helped my wife get out of depression. But even though without my support she probably wouldn’t have succeeded, it was actually M’s bravery and her will to fight that allowed her to get out of the darkness, whilst coming off the pills.
I repeat – my wife got out of depression, whilst coming of antidepressants!
So, why is it so important to underline the part “whilst coming off the pills”? Because the truth about antidepressants is a little bit shady.
I did a bit of research on the topic and I am going to reveal it in detail towards the middle of this article.
But first, you need to read the following section in order to understand the whole picture.
So, why do we fall into a trap of other people’s ideology of what is best for us?
Humans feel the need to believe in something and our belief system is vital to our faith. Trust matters and it turns out that humans are born with natural reasons to put their trust in others.
To trust feels good. When doing so, our brain releases oxytocin – a hormone responsible for pleasurable feelings. That triggers the natural instinct which prompts humans to connect with one another.
But lucky for us, we also have a sixth sense, which allows us to avoid the trap of being hurt. We can sense dishonesty and that may protect us. But not always.
My wife went to the doctor countless times. She experienced a lot of anxiety due to the fact that she was in constant pain, bled heavily during her periods, and had extreme acid reflux during her cycles.
She needed an explanation, but it was nowhere to be found. Everything was unbearable but M kept pushing herself, never giving up.
Each visit to the surgery ended up (as I saw it) with the lack of understanding by the physician. Doctors always kept saying that anxiety was to blame.
If you go a great number of times to the doctor in order to find answers to your physical symptoms, but your doctor cannot find them, you always seem to end up coming out with a mental health label.
In my opinion, doctors put that label for every problem they cannot resolve. This seems like a quick solution because it saves their time they don’t have.
I am not saying that every doctor is the same. I mentioned before, it is based on my life’s story, but I am pretty sure that many of you can relate to it.
Instead of listening to their patients and finding out the real cause behind the feelings in the first place, my wife’s doctors labeled her mentally ill.
How would you feel, if you went countless times and the doctor didn’t actually pay attention to what you were trying to tell him?
Naturally, if you are being fobbed off each time you go, you are left feeling neglected and with a feeling as if everything was in your head.
Because of the fact that we supposed to trust our physicians, many people begin to believe it’s really in their head and that is the first step on the road to depression.
Even though today we know the answers we didn’t have back then and it took various doctors 5 years to diagnose my wife with the real cause, it was extremely hard for her and definitely frustrating for me to see her suffer due to the lack of progress and proper diagnosis.
My wife suffers from endometriosis and the early symptoms she suffered for the first 5 years were in the mind of the doctor’s imagination.
M was labeled anxious, even though her severe anxiety was caused by the physical symptoms of endometriosis in the first place!
But how does one define mental illness?
There are no tests for mental illnesses. Mental health problems cannot be diagnosed by checking your blood, your body fluids, or even by a neurological test.
A person does not experience symptoms similar to those with a physical health condition such as heart disease or diabetes. You cannot touch, hear, or smell the illness.
So how one defines what mental illness is?
The short answer is, well… you can’t.
The diagnosis is usually made by a psychiatrist (not a GP) after a period of observation. A person’s medical history and recent life events will also be taken into consideration.
But who is a psychiatrist?
According to psychiatry.com, a psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in mental health, including substance use disorders.
Wait, a medical doctor who specializes in mental health?
How is that possible? Physical health is purely medical, mental health relates to emotions, which you cannot measure.
The statement that “mental illness is like any other medical illness” implies, that mental illness has a biological basis. It implies that like any medical illnesses, mental health problems should be treated in a similar manner.
This is why psychiatrists came up with the idea of pills after Klaus Schmiegel, who’s work in organic chemistry, was the reason which led to the invention of Prozac, today’s widely used antidepressant.
That was in the 50’s. Nearly 70 years past and we haven’t seen so far any medical updates in regard to antidepressants.
The purpose of this article is not to present an argument but discuss it. I’m sure it’s going to open a heated debate, which I am actually looking forward to. We need to talk about this!
In my opinion, since there is no test for mental illness, psychiatrists are simply observers who decide on giving mediation, that have more side effects and risk than benefits.
They do that because it benefits their pocket.
When it comes to the observation, I am the expert in my wife, not the psychiatrist. Does he know her? No. Do I know her? Yes.
My wife is the first person, who notices any changes in her behaviour, the second-best person is me. A psychiatrist wouldn’t know my wife long enough to say if things changed for her.
Even if the psychiatrists had three months’ worth of sessions with M, having one hour per week, they would not be able to decide anything based on that. I know my wife for 13 years; they’d know her 12 hours.
Observation is the best way to determine if the person has changed. But few sessions are not enough!
Sure, family and friends can play an important role by discussing changes they have noticed in their loved one’s behaviors but it’s very rare to see and you cannot rely on that.
A psychiatrist would need to check the person’s physical health to rule out any symptoms that could be contributed to a physical condition. Can he do that in 12 weeks? I hardly doubt that.
If a general practitioner struggled to solve my wife’s endometriosis, how could a psychiatrist do that in few weeks? He’s not even a specialist in that field.
The process of obtaining a physical diagnosis is not easy, and it is not uncommon to have difficulties in either getting an accurate diagnosis or getting access to the appropriate treatment and care.
This is why it takes on average 7 to 8 years to diagnose endometriosis and even though my wife was diagnosed earlier, it took her 5 long years.
A period of time for careful assessment is necessary to ensure a correct and accurate diagnosis is made.
If a psychiatrist needs a long time to diagnose someone, how could I trust a general doctor? He makes an only 10-minute assessment and decides to give me something that will greatly impact my life? Why would I choose untested for 70 years of medication?
The depressing truth about antidepressants!
As far as I remember, I was always telling my wife never to come back on them since she succeeds in getting rid of Prozac.
M was on them for 18 years. Being on both sides of the pills, my wife described to me the difference in how she felt on them and without them.
Long story short, taking Prozac made her feel numb. She could give up on her job, and she did, without any hesitation. She simply couldn’t care less. Her emotions were numb.
I remember being by myself quite often because the antidepressant made her feel drowsy and tired all the time. M didn’t feel like doing much and had naps after work on a daily basis.
The lack of motivation cost her a loss of a lot of fun in life. She simply didn’t feel like doing much. How could that pill help my depressed wife who has lost a will to fight this? How does it differ from suffering from depression without taking Prozac?
I remember the very first time we got together, she apologized to me for being on Prozac. She felt ashamed due to the stigma attached to antidepressants.
Luckily for her, it didn’t bother me. She was my M and always will be.
The second time we had a conversation about the pill, M told me on our wedding night that she decided to come off it.
Knowing how dangerous it can be I felt so much love towards her because she was willing to go through the risky unknown for me. She has been on Prozac since her teenage years and it was a huge step for her.
M had done it for me, for her freshly baked hubby and that motivated her to go all the way. She came off them without any supervision of her doctor.
Yes, she mentioned to him about it but for some reason, he didn’t keep any records of it, and my wife wasn’t looked after at all, she was the one who kept a watchful eye on herself.
Coming off antidepressants gave my wife a lot of trouble. Her mood became extremely low and she was thinking of ending it all. My wife tried to commit suicide on a few occasions. And that’s how dangerous these pills can be!
Antidepressants mess up your hormone’s imbalance, instead of balancing them. They can be very dangerous. Before taking them, you should really educate yourself about them instead of putting your trust entirely into a doctor, who has never been on them himself.
Antidepressants can cause a healthy person who never had any negative thoughts and no history of suicide a sudden change in behaviour. It can happen literally in a matter of days!
Please think before you reach for them!
You can do your own research and please – look at the label. So many people ignore this and put their whole trust in the doctor.
Use logic before emotions. I know it must be hard, but it will be much harder if you don’t read the label and reach for the pill without educating yourself.
The doctor will not read the label for you, but you must do it yourself! It’s important.
Antidepressants are everything but anti. It’s just a name. They actually cause you to feel worse, before supposedly they make you feel better.
My wife’s doctor said, that before she begins to see any benefits at all, she needed to take them for two or three months.
Now, let’s take a look at the label…
- suicidal thoughts
All the above are only the few side effects amongst many.
Why would you take something that makes you feel worse when you feel terrible in the first place? It doesn’t matter you might feel better after a few months, I repeat – you might! There’s no guarantee and the first months, weeks, or even only days can break your life apart.
No matter what drug – Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Seroxat, Lexapro, Cipramil, Calexa, Effexor (the list goes on), they are all the same.
Patients suffering severe symptoms when they come off antidepressants too quickly need more help and support, but there are so many people wanting to come off them and yet, like in my wife’s case, are not being supervised by a clinician, how can they do it without risk?
Current guidance suggests that most people should be able to withdraw from drugs over four weeks. This is a lie! It took my wife for 8 months.
“Experts” will disagree, but the truth behind these pills is that they are turning people into zombies. My wife definitely felt like one.
What psychiatrists don’t tell you is the fact that it’s a huge business for them. The record number of pills being handed out for depression is a cause of concern. But what concerns me more is the fact that the pill business grew into more areas.
Depression used to be seen as a really bad time of stress, but along with the appearance of the internet, people began to talk widely and the idea of it evolved.
Even though it has always been with us, under different names, such as melancholia or nervous breakdown, for a long time, doctors could do little to help.
But like I mentioned before, by the 1950’s, the first medicines emerged. They were less than ideal, causing side effects such as weight gain and drowsiness.
But in the year 1988, Prozac appeared, and my wife was one of the first ones put on this drug as a teenage girl. Prozac supposed to be safer than its predecessors and had to be taken just once a day.
My wife will strongly disagree with the fact, that is supposed to be safer but what she agrees on is the fact, that Prozac’s sales quickly took off. In 1990, this little green and white capsule made the cover of Newsweek.
What happened next was, that psychiatrists saw a big opportunity for making money out of it. They began to prescribe antidepressants in greater numbers.
With Prozac’s success, other firms saw the same benefits and began to develop more SSRI’s, as well as SNRIs. The number of conditions they were used for grew to anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more.
The business flourished despite a big number of people committing suicide, killing other family members, or random people on a massive scale. It was due to the side effects, causing patients to experience hallucinations and psychosis.
If we look at the numbers. According to guardian.com, in England alone, almost 71m antidepressants were given out last year and that did not include drugs dispensed in hospitals outside the NHS.
This is a huge number of pills. Twice more than antibiotics. In a decade, the number of antidepressants has doubled and has even risen by 3 million in a year. It’s a huge business for those who benefit from it financially.
My wife came out of depression and also got rid of her anxiety without antidepressants. They made her feel numb and not motivated to even think of healing her mind.
How did she do it then – with Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy and so if you haven’t tried yet, take our 10-day stress-busting challenge! Give us just 10 days and we will minimize your anxiety!
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We present you with the truth, even if it hurts a little bit because our priority is for you to always know exactly what to expect from us.
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As a husband of a woman who went through extreme anxiety and panic attacks, I wanted to break the pattern of waiting in a long cue for Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy.
My wife waited for 9 long months! I want you to avoid the same problem. This is why I decided to create these lessons.
Is your antidepressant really working for you?
People who take antidepressants don’t always get the full benefits, just partial. Some may experience full benefits, but others don’t experience them at all.
Antidepressants supposed to work better when used with psychotherapy. The combination is thought to be slightly more effective than the pill alone.
Most people on antidepressants report improvements in symptoms such as sadness, loss of interest, or hopelessness. But not everyone does.
NHS England revealed, that according to The Guardian, “Prozac used by 40 million people does not work, say, scientists”. Studies showed that Prozac and similar antidepressants with inactive “dummy pills” found, that placebo was just as effective as the drugs.
It supposed to be more effective amongst severely depressed patients. However, The Times newspaper revealed a study, that could be due to “a reduction in the effect of placebo rather than because the drugs worked better”.
The scientists told another paper, The Independent, that “given these results, there seems to be little reason to prescribe antidepressant medication to any but the most severely depressed patients unless alternative treatments have failed”.
The antidepressants produced an overall reduction in depression symptoms compared with placebo, but the authors of this research suggest, that “these improvements are not clinically meaningful, except in patients with the most severe depression”.
Doctors supposed to take into account the lack of evidence proving, that antidepressants definitely work, and they should try non-drug treatments for depression before prescribing them.
However, for people with very severe symptoms that do not respond to other treatments, it is difficult to make any decisions, and antidepressants seem like they are the only option.
But as my wife’s story proves, having a loved one who stands by you and support you through this difficult time, is the best medicine. I’ve given my wife zero side effects, just the benefits.
But I was strong, willing, and patient. Before I started the Worry Head blog, based on my experiences, I wrote my first book “No amount of anxiety will push me away”.
More than half the people who take antidepressants for depression never got any relief. The reason, according to research, is that the cause of depression has been oversimplified.
So again, not enough studies were done in 70 years since the existence of antidepressants. How can we trust something that is unknown to us?
Originally, antidepressants were designed to treat stress, not depression.
Besides, most animals that are used by scientists to test antidepressants are based on the hypothesis. They stress poor animals and look at their behaviour. I will always be against that. It’s so cruel.
They manipulate the animal’s behaviour with drugs and say that it is okay for a human to take it. After such studies, the scientists claimed, that these were going to be good anti-depressants. But again – they were designed to treat stress, not depression.
So, there are not enough studies to confirm if they work or not. They can be so dangerous and work against the person who takes it.
SSRI drugs (short for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are the most widely prescribed class of antidepressants. They supposed to work by increasing levels of a brain chemical called serotonin.
But whilst this boost in serotonin occurs within minutes to hours after an SSRI is taken, patients usually have to take the medication for about 2 months before experiencing any relief of symptoms. So, what happens before that?
During this delay, the drug may actually aggravate the way you feel and, in most cases when it comes to depression, even increase the risk of suicide.
After my wife came off Prozac, 7 years past. After that time, she experienced trauma, which caused her to feel down again. For some reason, she fell under the spell if another doctor, who offered her to go back on the pill.
Antidepressants felt again as if it was the solution to her problem. But it wasn’t.
After taking just one pill, my wife experienced severe anxiety, fear, panic, hot flushes, and most of all, she felt unsettled, couldn’t stop moving as if she needed to do something but didn’t know what.
She was extremely scared and tearful and after taking just one pill of SSRI, her side effects grew and began to haunt her for the next 10 days to come, before subsiding.
It just confirmed our suspicion and M realized; she would never go back on them again.
Antidepressants are still a big unknown. Scary, full of dangerous risks and side effects. My wife is better off without them.
My wife tried to grasp as much support as she could, all in search of a solution, to help herself and to answer questions she had. She began by reading a lot of books.
I have to agree, these books are very helpful in helping you understand your anxiety and even depression, and helping you get out of the cycle. You can access them by clicking on each one below. Allow me to list them for you:
You may access these books by clicking either on the links above or the book covers below…
My wife have read this book in a jiffy! It helped her during her dark times to find compassion and love for herself. For somebody like M, who suffered from severe depression, I noticed that the harshest critic of her was herself. It is never helpful to be told to pull ourselves together by others but saying it to ourselves leads us in only one direction – into a terrible despair.
I listed this book because M also suffered from anxiety at that time, it helped her mindset and depression. AN obsessing, ruminating and dwelling on things may or may not happen, but this book makes it simple to understand, how to manage your fear. Your brain is a very powerful tool, and the more you work to change your mindset, the better you’re going to feel.
This is another book which my wife reached for during her depression, because it offered my wife a self-help programme, written by one of the leading authorities in CBT. M also suffered at the time with OCD. A whole range of anxieties and fears are explained, from panic attacks and phobias to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and generalised anxiety. That really helped her!
I wonder, how many of you can relate to that. Do you have a similar experience? We would love to hear your story! Tell us, let’s have a chat!
We are looking forward to knowing your story. Wishing you all a speedy recovery and all the very best!
Who am I?
Hi, I’m Lucjan! The reason why I decided to create this blog was my beautiful wife, who experienced a lot of pain in life, but also the lack of information for those who support their partners… [read more]
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