Hi James, I signed your petition, and have listened to some of the podcasts you've put together. I really admire the campaign and your drive with it.
But I can't ever see the drug companies doing this. Maybe the NHS, but with the current state of that, it's probably not likely, more likely is them starting a helpline for people addicted to prescription drugs. Hopefully manned by more helpful staff than the bloke who answered the phone at Samaritans and told me I should go for a jog.
I'm fast losing the hope that it's even possible to come off these drugs and recover anywhere near your 'normal' level of being, pre-drug. I was hopeful when I started out (hence the username) but after seeing people suffering even after long tapers, people years and years out from their last dose and still struggling, what good, ultimately, will taper kits do? It needs to be known how harmful they are, that the drug companies are literally poisoning us with chemical lobotomies. That you're more likely to kill someone (yourself or others) when either starting or going off these drugs. That they damage lives in an indescribable way.
I want to burn whatever monstrous lab these drugs come from to the ground. I'm so angry at what an SSRI has done to me, at the people I've hurt and am still hurting and the time I've wasted not caring about anything at all. Maybe we all get to this point somewhere in our withdrawal. I feel deceived and like I should have 'mug' stamped on my forehead, that I didn't in my wildest dreams think that people who take an oath to help other people could dole out such harm instead.
I'm so sorry to be so negative on a really great thing that you are doing, but when doctors won't even admit that withdrawal exists past a couple of weeks, and even the dutch trial tapering advice is only a max of 5 months (admittedly a lot better than the 5 weeks my GP gave me to come off a drug I'd been on for 13 years) people will still be crashing a few weeks or months after the last dose, and doctors will still be saying it's their symptoms coming back, because they know nothing about withdrawal, because the drug companies lie and cover up, and the drug companies know full well what these drugs do. I don't want to believe that GPs are 'in on it' but how can they not be after seeing patient after patient coming in and saying they need to go back on their tablets again? Anecdotal evidence is sometimes the strongest of all, but it's not seen as evidence at all by 'science'. Even 'scientific' evidence like that put forward by Robert Whittaker and the few psychiatrists or CEP UK speaking out against this nightmare is whitewashed, stonewalled, like they're all talking in a void. Don't doctors read?! Or are they brainwashed/paid into acquiescence by the drug companies, or is the government in on it too? There must be a lot of very powerful, influential people with money invested in drug companies.
I'm just so angry at it all. I truly hope (I must still have some left!) that your petition gets the attention it deserves and things start to change, I really do.
2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.