18 withdrawal symptoms from prescribed antidepressants

New research reveals SEVERE withdrawal symptoms in over 50% of those who stop using antidepressant drugs. Some even include permanent damage.

The Journal of Addictive behavior conducted a study and reviewed the incidence, severity and duration of antidepressant withdrawal after discontinuing the drugs. It revealed that antidepressants are far more addictive and harmful than have been previously asserted. This goes against long time activists Kelly Brogan, MD and Peter Brogan MD both psychiatrists.

Here is what was found:

  1. More than half (56%) of people who attempt to come off antidepressants experience withdrawal effects.
  2. 46% of people encountering withdrawal describe the effects as severe.
  3. Withdrawal effects can last for several weeks or months.
  4. Current guidelines in the U.S. and U.K. underestimate how severe and how long this withdrawal occurs.
    New research reveals severe withdrawal symptoms in over half of those who discontinue antidepressant drugs, including lasting and even permanent damage.

This study was trying to figure out the veracity of the U.K.’s current National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the American Psychiatric Association’s depression guidelines which state that withdrawal reactions from antidepressants are ‘self-limiting’ (i.e. typically resolving between 1 and 2 weeks).

They reviewed documents in 23 studies with diverse methodologies and sample sizes.

They found that side effects were wide-ranging, lasting several months or longer (including permanent dysfunction), such as:

  1. Increased anxiety
  2. Flu-like symptoms
  3. Insomnia
  4. Nausea
  5. Imbalance
  6. Sensory disturbances
  7. Hyperarousal
  8. Dizziness
  9. Electric shock-like sensations or “brain zaps”
  10. Diarrhoea
  11. Headaches
  12. Muscle spasms and tremors
  13. Agitation
  14. Hallucinations
  15. Confusion
  16. Malaise
  17. Sweating
  18. Irritability

These are the most common symptoms but they also found that there can be mania and hypomania, inability to cry and general emotional numbness.

After another study found similar results they recommended that the U.K. and U.S. be updated to show such results because they feel it leads to misdiagnosing of withdrawal and leading to longer antidepressant use and higher rates of prescriptions written for antidepressants. They also wanted prescribers to tell patients about such withdrawal effects.

The researchers also noted that the rising numbers of antidepressant prescriptions used throughout the world may be fueled by the antidepressant drug withdrawal side effects themselves:

“As the lengthening duration of Antidepressants use has fueled rising rates of such prescriptions over the same time period, we must understand the drivers of such lengthening use. The evidence set out suggests that lengthening use may be partly rooted in the underestimation of the incidence, severity and duration of AD withdrawal reactions, leading to many withdrawal reactions being misdiagnosed, for example, as relapse (with drugs being reinstated as a consequence) or as failure to respond to treatment (with either new drugs being tried and/or dosages increased). This issue is pressing as long-term AD use is associated with increased severe side-effects, increased risk of weight gain, the impairment of patients’ autonomy and resilience (increasing their dependence on medical help), worsening outcomes for some patients, greater relapse rates, increased mortality and the development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia.”

The concerning implications of this study to millions around the world who are on antidepressants were immediately recognized by the media, as evidenced by mainstream reporting on the topic with the following headlines:

The news is out there, just find the right station

BBC News: Antidepressant withdrawal ‘hits millions’
The Guardian: Antidepressant withdrawal symptoms severe, says new report
The Times: Painful price of coming off drugs for depression
Independent: Antidepressants cause withdrawal symptoms in over half of patients who try to quit them, review shows
Thanks to a small but courageous group of professionals who have been raising awareness of the profound, unintended adverse effects of psychiatric drugs and the abject absence of objective criteria for determining “mental disease,” not only are there already resources available to the public today to better understand the dangers of psychiatric drugs, but there are also programs and protocols in place to help those who are on them to come off of them safely and with the support of others who have done the same already. For instance, the program put together by Dr. Kelly Brogan — Vital Mind Reset — has produced powerful outcomes. Take a look at the testimony wall here to learn from the first hand experiences of those who underwent the program and came out drug-free, often with their psychiatric symptoms and comorbid conditions reduced or completely put into remission.

This is a huge problem that many patients are not informed of. Make sure when you are taking any prescribed drug or treatment, that you are aware of what they do to your body. There are alternatives out there such as chiropractic, amino neuro frequency therapy, herbs, supplements and foods that can have wonderful effects on mood and well being.

Dr. Gregory, DC, CCEP ANF Pain Instructor

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