Updated: Apr 1
Unable to receive proper guidance on stopping antidepressant medication, people suffering from psychiatric medication withdrawal and side effects have turned to one another for help, not their prescribers.
Did you know, according to Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, Facebook has numerous peer-led antidepressant support groups with nearly six figures in total enrollment? This number does not include the thousands enrolled in online forums, like www.survivingantidepressants.org, or those turning to personal blogs like mine, www.lifewithantidepressants.com, sharing experiences and information.
Stopping antidepressants means withdrawal for a little over half of all who try. Documentation shows that psychiatrists often misdiagnose withdrawal for a returning or new illness out of lack of awareness that can inadvertently increase suffering.
The truth is thousands of people prescribed antidepressants feel misled, even "gaslighted," by their doctors. And it is understandable because prescribers of psychiatric medications seem stubbornly ill-informed about withdrawal and side effects.
Successful peer groups provide education, safe guidance, and emotional support. They have helped thousands upon thousands of people worldwide to stop psychiatric medication safely when their doctors could not or would not.
But Here's the Thing.
Laypeople can find the information to support one another safely through tapering, withdrawal, and side effects of some of the most powerful and misunderstood drugs! Why aren't our highly compensated psychiatrists or doctors who prescribe?
I Believe They Can.
Prescribers can and should be knowledgeable about the drugs they prescribe and be honest with patients about the dangers of psychiatric medications. How they do, that is up to them.
Every day should be Ask Your Psychiatrist Day. Today I am taking the vow to stand up to authority. How about you? Go to your appointments armed with information and ask your psychiatrist. Speak truth to power.
Why let our highly trained and well-compensated psychiatrists dodge our pain and suffering?