• Report: #1015295
Complaint Review:

Surviving Antidepressants

  • Submitted: Sat, February 16, 2013
  • Updated: Sun, March 03, 2013

  • Reported By: Thomas G. — Gainesville Florida United States of America
Surviving Antidepressants
Internet United States of America

Surviving Antidepressants advice given out like candy Internet

*General Comment:  I have personal experience of antidepressant use.

*Consumer Comment: Practicing medicine without a license

*Consumer Suggestion: I regularly refer people to surviving antidepressants because....

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: We try to send people to doctors who can help

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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.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/16/2013 09:40 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/surviving-antidepressants/internet/surviving-antidepressants-advice-given-out-like-candy-internet-1015295. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 General Comment

 I have personal experience of antidepressant use.

AUTHOR: Lettu - (Finland)

 I have personal experience of antidepressant use. They are powerfull drugs which create physical dependency, they are very hard to get off. The withdrawal is so agonizing you may want to kill yourself, I have experienced it and nearly succeeded in taking my own life. It wasn't the return of depression which made me suicidal, it was the sheer physical pain, the inability to control my racing thoughts, the feeling that my brain is frying and melting and months of insomnia which no sleeping pills couldn't cure that made me want to end my life. I know what depression is like and it's not like that believe me. Depression doesn't create vision and hearing problems, depression doesn't remove your ability to walk and it doesn't create urinary incontince issues. I'm in far worse state mentally and physically now after the medication, than what I was when I started it 10 years ago. During these years of antidepressant use I have suffered migraines, insomnia, apathy, demotivation, agoraphobia, poor stress tolerance and anxiety. It never dawned on me that maybe the medication is the problem, not me. Psychiatrist told me that these meds are safe and I should propably take them for the rest of my life because I have "brain that doesn't create enough serotonin". If that assumption would have been right I propably would have been cured with medication, right? Well I wasn't. Thanks to Surviving Antidepressants I have realised what my symptoms are. Most of psychiatrist have no clue how to withdraw safely from ad's. When my withdrawal hit it's peak I went to see my doctor and she had no clue what to do with me, I think she had a hunch that I'm suffering from withdrawal but had nothing to offer me for help. I surely had no idea what is wrong with me and she should have told me what I'm suffering from, instead she watched me deteriorate more and more. This is my experience with psychiatry and psychiatric drugs. I hope majority of people on psych drugs have a different kind of experience. But I do think that as these drugs are marketed safe and healing, even the destroyment of one life is too much.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Practicing medicine without a license


 Playing with the lives and mental health of people they know nothing about. Is a tale true? Or has another Scientologist registered to spread falsehoods? Most importantly will it take a suicide for a lawsuit to shut this site down? I don't care what "great people" are posting. They are playing with fire and misinforming vulnerable people. SHAME!

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#3 Consumer Suggestion

I regularly refer people to surviving antidepressants because....

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (USA)

The Ripoff Report regarding Surviving Antidepressants states that it is run by people who are not doctors. This is true, and no one who is on the site ever makes false claim to be an MD. The people who are there have knowledge of the drugs because they have had first-hand experience taking the drugs. They have felt the effects of the drugs in their bodies. They have also felt the effects of coming off the drugs. Doctors who prescribe psychiatric medications, for the most part, do not take these drugs. They've never felt akathesia nor have they ever felt driven to commit violence from these brain-altering chemicals. Even the drug companies verify that these are common and very disturbing effects of these drugs.

Yes, I agree many are helped. I was, too. At first. But down the line I found I was spending my entire therapy sessions discussing side effects, such as how I felt about having my entire face covered with pimples, how to deal with shaky hands or what sunscreen was the best. My kidneys are now operating at half mast, because of my own personal choice to stay on drugs because I was not properly informed of the dangers.

A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting some of the people who run these groups in person. I was immensely impressed with what they were doing. They have a network of support, they pool together their knowledge, and they share their real-life experiences which is more honest data than you will get from any MD who gives you a pill and has never himself taken that pill.

People are given these drugs based on an evaluation and diagnosis and having been many shrinks myself (have you?) I can tell you these diagnoses are given willy-nilly. Often a diagnosis is given in ten minutes or less, or when a patient is physically compromised (dehydrated, drunk, in malnutritioned state, or having just been raped or ended a pregancy). One doc will give you one diagnosis, another will give you another, because each has his own agenda, his own specialty, his own pet diagnoses and Pill of the Day. I've seen entire wards on Risperdal, yep, all the patients taking that stuff regardless of age or situation. I've seen every single patient on PRN Haldol on more than one ward, standard fare. In 2011 I complained of a toothache, they handed me Haldol.

Unfortunately, antidepressants in particular are tough to get off of and doctors don't get enough training in how to take people off, only how to titrate up and keep people on. When you ask to get off, many docs will hesitate to say yes simply because they are scared for their own liability reasons. This is the reason they use scare tactics which in fact has a ripple effect in the media.

I personally used to be on a huge cocktail and I'm very happy to be completely away from all mental health care now. I feel like a new person, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to start life over. When people ask me how to find help, I would not hesitate to recommend this group. In fact, I'd recommend these folks with Real Lived Experience over most MD's any day.

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#4 REBUTTAL Owner of company

We try to send people to doctors who can help

AUTHOR: SurvivingADs - (United States of America)

At SurvivingAntidepressants.org, we try to send people to doctors to help them with tapering and withdrawal syndrome whenever possible.

I spend a great deal of time and effort to find knowledgeable doctors to refer people to. I have compiled a public list here http://tinyurl.com/7cp8l8v , to my knowledge the only one available anywhere. If I could, I would send each and every person visiting SurvivingAntidepressants.org to a medical doctor who knows about tapering and withdrawal symptoms.

If you read people's stories in the Intro conference http://tinyurl.com/3o4k3j5 , you will see many have gotten terrible advice from doctors and nurses. That is why they're searching the Internet for answers. Believe me, if people could get the advice they need from their doctors, I would be happy to close this site tomorrow.

Thomas G. may note that, whatever his issues with peer support on the Web, he posted a request on SurvivingAntidepressants.org for a referral to a knowledgeable doctor in Florida. I'm sorry we were not able to assist him.

The existence of dozens of peer support sites for tapering off psychiatric drugs is a reflection of the scarcity of such knowledgeable doctors and the need of millions of people for tapering help.

(If anyone reading this can recommend a doctor who know how to taper people gradually off psychiatric medications, please send the doctor's contact information to me through the Contact the Forums Administrator link at http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/members/ After verification, I will add the doctor to the referral list so even more people can get appropriate medical assistance.)

Please note SurvivingAntidepressants.org is entirely volunteer, free to anyone on the Web, and we do not hold ourselves out as medical authorities. Like all forum sites, we have guidelines for behavior and will ban anyone who does not follow those guidelines.
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