Hype and hot air – the myth of the ‘chemical imbalance’

The myth of the ‘chemical imbalance’ was discussed in a recent exchange with experts from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and it was quite revealing. The question that was put to the experts concerned the use of antidepressants to resolve the mythical ‘chemical imbalance’ in the brain. For years, people have been prescribed antidepressants with […]

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Antidepressants and the ever-increasing links to senseless violence

The cause of violent behaviour was put under the spotlight again following a BBC Panorama documentary broadcast in July 2017. The documentary centred on the killer James Holmes and the ‘treatment’ he received prior to the killings at a theatre in Aurora, Colorado in 2012. While there is never one simple explanation for what drives […]

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Antidepressants and the accountability of prescribers

Whenever a young person dies by suicide, the first thing that anyone should check is whether he or she had been prescribed psychiatric drugs. The latest tragic and unnecessary death concerns 15-year-old Ceri Sheehan. An inquest in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, heard how Ceri’s electronic devices had been confiscated the night before his death. The focus was […]

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Is there a common denominator to suicides in universities?

When suicides occur in a given area or environment, in this instance in universities, attention goes on to meeting the needs of students who may be suffering with mental troubles that are sometimes very serious. Giving them the attention and help they need is vital, if only from a purely humanitarian perspective. The problem that […]

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RIP Jake McGill Lynch

On 20 March 2013, Stephanie and John‘s lives changed in a way they could never have imagined. This is the true story of their son who was prescribed the antidepressant drug Prozac. Four years ago today, fourteen-year-old Jake McGill Lynch from Clondalkin, Co Dublin died at Tallaght Hospital of a self-inflicted gunshot wound forty-six days […]

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Another fatality linked to the antidepressant licensed for under-18s

Fluoxetine currently has a license to be prescribed to under-18s labelled with moderate to severe depression. Sadly, it’s been reported this week that another young life has been lost where the antidepressant was involved. An inquest at Oxford Coroner’s Court this week heard that 16-year-old Ela Ozbayraktar was found hanging in her bedroom on 28 November […]

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‘Off label’ use of antidepressants – be fully informed

Antidepressants have been shrouded in controversy for decades due to the effects that have been reported when people take them, effects that include aggression, violence and suicidal thoughts. If that wasn’t bad enough, a recent study found that antidepressants are being prescribed ‘off-label.’ This means the drugs are being prescribed for uses other than what […]

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When do risks outweigh so-called benefits?

There is only one antidepressant, also known as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI), that is still recommended in the UK for use in children and adolescents diagnosed with moderate to severe depression. The premise upon which these psychiatric drugs are given a license rests on the idea that benefits outweigh the risks. With that […]

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