Please, please, PLEASE if you or a loved one is considering going off of a psychiatric medication, do it ONLY under the care, advice and watchful eye of a health care professional. This site, like others that include the word "paxil" in their title, have the potential to cause serious damage to you or your loved one.
Apparently the newest headline catchers on the Internet are that antidepressants and anxiety medication (even in some cases, medication for other psychiatric conditions) are "given out like candy" by stupid, irrational or evil psych docs and are ruining us as a species. They give out the prescriptions willy-nilly because of the influence of "Big Pharma." They cannot be trusted.
Well here are some facts before you get your medical advice from a message board NOT run by medical professionals:
Most antidepressants are NOT prescribed by psychiatriss, but by your GP, your GYN, your internist. Over 70% in fact. These are professionals who--in evaluating YOUR condition--prescribed a medication.
IF the lure of "Big Pharma" were so compelling, your Dr would have you on some very costly but unneeded meds to treat everything else. Does he or she push heart meds or such? Not if you don't have heart issues. But did he or she prescribe an antidepressant or anti-anxiety med for you? Then remember what you told him or her BEFORE that prescription pad came out. You may not remember (or want to remember) the pit you were in.
THAT is why you were offered (not co-erced, OFFERED) the relief of prozac or xanax or pristique. You had a need the physician thought he/she had the help for.
Sites like surviving antidepressants are not run by MD's. They are message boards full of anecdotes and pseudo science that insist that in NO cases are medicines for the brain necessary, indicated, or helpful.
Many, many people who stumbled upon surviving antidepressants or the like are scared, worried, and have read so much "information" about their particular drug that they are willing to let strangers on the Internet make medical desicions for them. And these members and moderators call psychiatrists "reckless"?
Sadly, one of the consequences of removing yourself from antidepressants may be re-bound depression. Sites like surviving antidepressants will tell you that your depression is only withdrawal, 100 % of the time. You will be urged to continue your taper and use self-care, supplements, or calming practices.
You may be so depressed that a qualified, board certified doctor would admit you to a hospital, but these people with no qualifications will urge you to simply let yourself "heal" sans medication.
You will be banned if you question the moderators. Banned. Imagine a doctor telling you you can no longer be his patient because you questioned his diagnosis? The people at surviving antidepressants would call that proof of his "arrogance." But paradoxically, you may NOT question the moderators, defend psychiatry in any way, or mention that your meds were/are helpful.
Some sites "helping" people wean off meds (all run by lay people) have had long term members commit suicide. Their posts are quickly deleted. Because the truth is not ok. And the truth is that whether over-prescribed to sad teenagers or adults coping with grief, SSRI's WORK. They have saved lives, marriages, careers. For many people they are the difference between life & death.
Some Americans once proposed that all of our bad behavior and failings were the result of alcohol. So they worked to pass an ammendment banning all sales and consumption of alcohol. The distilleries and breweries, it was said, were making huge profits but ruining us.
This backlash against prescribed mind medications--I hope--will end the way Prohibition did.
Every day hundreds of people develop physical and mental disorders, beat their wives, wreck their cars, commit crimes and get into fights because of alcohol. Yet we are too smart & sophisicated to want to bring back Prohibition. Why? Because the majority of us make a choice to know ourselves and our tolerance. We do not need the anti-alcohol proponents to make choices for us that we can make for ourselves. And guess what? There are some who do quit drinking because their doctors recommend it for THEIR health. Not all of their patients, but the ones with alcohol-related health issues.
You must study the information put out by doctors and scientists, not ones put out by anti-psychiatrist religions, laypeople and fear mongerers.
For the love of God, IF you or someone you care about mentions surviving antidepressants dot org, or paxil progress, or any "friendly site" with "great, knowledgable people" who "care about antidepressant damage" BEG them to turn off the computer and make an appointment with a medical professional. IF he or she is "arrogant" or "doesn't KNOW about these drugs" find another.
If the 2nd or 3rd dr or nurse practitioner suggests they NEED their meds, ask them to listen. IF the professional says they are ready to come off of their med, he or she will supervise that discontinuation, be available if a crisis occurs. Be in the SAME city, a phone call away, will professional resources.
There is a ton of information on-line that can cause sheer terror in one who takes one of many types of medication. PLEASE seek information from a trusted health care professional.
These sites use the disclaimer that they are NOT giving out medical advice to try to ward off the inevitable lawsuits. Sadly one day a young woman with postpartum depression, or a young man with psychosis, or a woman in depression and anxiety hell will end their lives, and then his or her posts on sites like surviving antidepressants will be evidence in court. But by then, of course, it wil be too late.
Yes many people take SSRI's who probably don't need them. But thousands and thousands do. Who should make that choice? You and a licensed professional. NOT a message board full of opinions and pseudo-science.
PLEASE do not let strangers on the Internet have access to your health decisions, any more than you would let them have access to your financial information. Find a good doctor even if it means driving a couple hours. If you have no insurance (the reason many people want to go off their meds) find a clinic that has a sliding scale, contact your med company directly and ask about programs to receive the meds at a special cost, call on every resource staffed by professionals who deal with individuals making health choices due to finances and get help.
But stay away from sites that are set-up, moderated by anyone with a keyboard. Sites like that are fine if you want to discuss music or politics or dog breeds. You want advice on your physical and mental health? Go to a professional. In person. You are not a screenname, you are a human being. Free to NOT be co-erced into anything by people who don't know you, don't care, and have no business dispensing medical advice on the Internet.