Welcome to Surviving SSRIs
“Surviving SSRIs” tracks my intimate struggles over two years during three attempts to discontinue antidepressant drugs known as SSRIs. Against the backdrop of my story, this site, primarily through its blog feature, further examines the casual over-prescribing and thus over-use of antidepressants and how this adversely affects and in some cases ruins the lives of unsuspecting patients, a significant percentage of whom do not exhibit symptoms of clinical depression. Because of the chemical structure of SSRIs, patients find their depressive symptoms worsened over time by the drugs themselves. Moreover, upon deciding to get off of the drugs, many patients find they are unable to withdraw without a dire and sometimes life-threatening struggle.
For those who have been prescribed antidepressants to help navigate a “rough patch,” as I was, but then who have tried to get off of them, as I have, the process can be agonizing and brutal. There is no shortage of medical and anecdotal documentation attesting to it.
It has been three decades since the FDA approved Prozac (in 1987) and the data is only now beginning to register meaningfully about how dangerous antidepressant drugs can be. After the surge of prescriptions that to date leaves approximately 32,000,000 Americans dependent upon these drugs, only now are the long-term injurious effects being recognized. This can be noted increased prevalence of “black box” warnings attached (and frequently revised) to the literature accompanying these medications. Moreover, the medical community has been slow to redress these hazards and the pharmaceutical companies have been found to be complicit in skewing the data.
I write as one who has faced this beast. It is my contention that the over-prescribing of antidepressants, their debilitating effects, and the trauma associated with getting off of them is a major health crisis in this country that is vastly under-reported. Yet the case can be made (and has been) that these drugs play a significant role in social pathologies such as the rise in rampage shootings, bizarre homicides and suicides. This site taps into a topic that encompasses an area of great need that is little understood and widely neglected.
Ultimately, it is my desire that this site can serve as portent of hope for the countless, hidden, hurting and desperate people who have found themselves in the same predicament I confronted, having been broadsided by the damaging effects of the drugs themselves coupled with the harrowing struggle to be free of them. My account testifies that discontinuation of these drugs can be realized and wholeness restored. But the patient needs to work very hard over a long time, organizing one’s life and physical health before undertaking the what can sometimes become a harrowing journey, such as that which I recount in these posts.
Please return regularly as the site is still in-process and new features will be added day-by-day.