With some UK surveys reporting a doubling in reported rates of depression, it is likely many more people will start taking antidepressants as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But what happens when they are ready to come off them?
Until recently, the withdrawal symptoms some people experience after stopping an antidepressant were not recognised as a serious problem. However, they can be extremely debilitating and distressing for some, and so patients have been forced to set up their own online support groups to share information how best to taper antidepressant doses.
In this episode of The PJ Pod, executive editor Nigel Praities talks with Adele Framer, founder of SurvivingAntidepressants.Org, one of the largest peer-support groups, about her and many other patients’ experiences.
Wendy Burn, former chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, describes what has led to a remarkable turnaround in attitudes among specialist doctors to antidepressant withdrawal in the UK, and David Taylor, professor of psychopharmacology at King’s College London, explains the latest evidence on how to prevent serious symptoms from occurring.
Specialist mental health pharmacist Chris Johnson also speaks about his work with GP practices in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, to review the antidepressants taken by more than 10,000 patients.
This episode was produced by Geoff Marsh and additional research was carried out by Abigail James. We are grateful to Peter Groot from Utrecht University, Netherlands, for his help with this episode.
Guidance: Stopping Antidepressants, Royal College of Psychiatrists
Opinion: Antidepressant withdrawal can be a horrible experience — are tapering strips a potential solution?
News: Successful tapering of antipsychotics could take ‘years’, say researchers
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