Yesterday one of the BBC’s top stories was of a report from the University of Hull researchers the popular brands of Anti-depressents (Prozac and Seroxat, among the four studied) are no better then “dummy pills” or placebos.
Now in the past (until November 2007) I was taken an anti depressents for an associated condition (panic attacks). When I first went to my doctor I was but on Seroxat, which I personally hated. It allows feel nothing normally, and when you do feel something its extremes. I can often remember going for walks and going from extasticlly happy to crying, in the space of two minutes.
The listed side effects are as follows:
Common side effects of Seroxat may include suicidal thoughts, headaches, decreased sex drive, agitation, anxiety, nervousness, difficulty with ejaculation, dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, upset stomach, appetite loss, insomnia, rash, sleepiness, and vomiting.
I suffered from the following side-effects:
*decreased sex drive
*difficulty with ejaculation
Out of 16 side effects I got 10! I know not everyone gets the side effects but as someone who did they are not fun. Thankfully I have a good doctor and I went back to him after two weeks, and he changed my perscription to another SSRI. At the same time as this I was receiving (eventually) help from the HSE in the from of a Consultant Psychiatrist, with whom I have one more appointment with when I return to Ireland, and a Psychotherapist which was an excellent resource for me and helped a great deal. I also had peer support from friends, family and Schizophrenia Ireland’s Basement Resource Centre in Cork. This to me was properly more important then the drug I was taking which the drug I was taking (which had similar side effects but which didnt affect me!)
There needs to be more education about depression and mental illness in Ireland. Nobody talks about it. Its taboo, hence this post. Unlike say in the US people think its normal that you got to a “shrink” or whatever, but here in Ireland its a common view that only ‘wackos’ etc need to go to one. The talking therapies can help everyone get through difficulties. Some days after my therapy I would feel as if a load was taken from my shoulders and I learned effective ways of controilling my anxiety.
In my expeirence of working in a Pharmacy, (April 07 – Dec 07) Irish doctors need to be better educated on SSRI’s and other Anti-depressants. Some Docters perscribe without referral and I think that is wrong. If you a prescribed an anti-depressent you should be reffered for talking therapy also as this is the only way you can over come your problems.
The report, which led to me posting this, is avaible on Open Access from the PLOS Medicine wesbite. Initial Severity and Antidepressant Benefits: A Meta-Analysis of Data Submitted to the Food and Drug Administration
Kirsch1, Deacon, Huedo-Medina, Scoboria, Moore and Johnson