This week, we talk to Claire who shares her powerful story of being prescribed antidepressants at the age of 16 and her experiences of trying to withdraw. She describes how she tapered gradually over 2 years but went on to experience SSRI discontinuation syndrome.
In this episode we discuss:
- How Claire was prescribed an antidepressant at a very early age.
- How she was told lies about a chemical imbalance to justify treatment and that she would need the drugs for life.
- That there was nothing by way of follow up after the antidepressant was prescribed unless Claire initiated a conversation with her doctors.
- That several antidepressants stopped working, forcing Claire to change medications.
- That several attempts to withdraw ended in failure because she was advised to withdraw too quickly and that reinstating a full dose was the only solution.
- That Claire felt trapped and like a prisoner, thinking she was stuck on the drugs for life and was she ever going to be able to get off them.
- That a very slow taper over two years was the only way for Claire to be able to tolerate the significant, widespread and very unpleasant physical and psychological effects of withdrawal.
- That Claire had to fight with doctors to get a liquid version of her medication which was the only way she could taper slowly.
- Claire’s experience of SSRI discontinuation syndrome.
- That Facebook communities provided vital support to fill the gaping hole in mainstream medicines understanding and knowledge of prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal.
- Being told by doctors that Claire’s experiences were not real and that she should be “over it in a few weeks”
- That mainstream medicine makes incorrect and dangerous assumptions about the length and severity of antidepressant withdrawal.