Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

This perspective was published in the BMJ in 2004. It was written by:

The authors began:

The authors concluded:

15 years on and both these academics remain firmly at the top of the list of those who have most influence in the UK on the narrative of SSRIs. In Scotland, we now have nearly 1 in 5 of our population taking antidepressants and many of them far longer than current scientific evidence can support. It is also clear that prescribed dependence and withdrawal is a major issue and one that the pharmaceutical industry, supported by my profession, continues to downplay. Unfortunately there has also been unhelpful labelling (by professionals) of those who have experienced less than positive experiences of antidepressants using words such as “shamers”, “demonisers” and “villains”.

For science to be ethical and realistic we all need to be able to share experience of interventions: whether they be good, bad, or in-between without being labelled and divided.

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