Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Users must be told more about anti-depressants

According to reports, anti-depressant drug usage is up again. Prescription rates have gone up.

In fact, the reasons for people feeling low can be many and varied. People do experience problems and upsets in life that may result in mental troubles, sometimes very serious. But to represent that these troubles can only be alleviated with dangerous drugs is dishonest and harmful.

Informed consent does not get the attention it deserves. Regarding anti-depressants, being fully informed about the drugs and adverse reactions would very likely result in their usage declining.

Being fully informed about anti-depressants would include knowing the drugs have been linked to effects such as, but not limited to, higher heart disease, stroke risk, internal bleeding, birth defects, as well as alarming and paradoxical effects that include violence and aggression, suicidal thoughts and suicidal behaviour.

Being informed would also include knowing that a psychiatric theory for feeling low, a so-called 'chemical imbalance of the brain', is unproven - not scientific fact.

Psychiatrists have shrouded this idea in medical legitimacy, when there is no means of testing to see if a 'chemical imbalance' exists. Real medicine addresses actual physical disease, while psychiatric diagnoses and 'medicine' are devoted solely to the categorisation and 'treatment' of symptoms.

Make a New Year's resolution to be fully informed about the effects of psychiatric drugs.

BRIAN DANIELS

By e-mail