Following on from yesterday's blog post, Antidepressants: The Apathy and Ignorance, I have another issue that needs addressing.
There's many people who add comments to Twitter, Facebook and media article threads regarding the dangers of antidepressants. I've seen comments that suggest the authors of the said pieces are scaremongering or are irresponsible for making claims that antidepressants can induce psychosis that can, in turn, lead to acts of suicide and homicide.
The best is the comment used by many, "Antidepressants saved my life."
The issue I have with this is that, to date, there is no scientific evidence of this claim yet when you ask those who write about their lives being saved by antidepressants if they can back up their claims the only evidence they will use is along the lines of, "Yeh, take me as an example - I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Prozac, Seroxat, Zoloft etc".
That's the science behind their claim?
It's no more convincing than claiming that Jesus saved your life. It's a personal belief and not backed by any study by the pharmaceutical industry.
Here's the rub...
There are, however, studies that show antidepressants increase suicidal thinking yet these are, in the main, brushed aside by those who make claims that their lives were saved. Even the warning leaflets that accompany these pills warn of an increase in suicidal thinking - but guess what? There are no claims on these leaflets that the medication will 'save lives.'
Powerful marketing and an ignorant and apathetic public will claim that all medications have side effects but they are missing the point.
FACT: Antidepressants do not save lives, to suggest that they do is irresponsible.
Next time you see these claims, feel free to add the picture (below) - I designed it myself using a Google image I grabbed.
No doubt those who make these wild claims will take umbrage and may even suggest you are scaremongering and stopping people from taking their medication - almost every article, if not all, in the media usually carry some sort of disclaimer after running stories about antidepressant induced suicide/homicide. Do not abruptly stop your medication, they tell us, followed by, "Talk to your doctor."
Your doctor will no doubt tell you to ignore the conspiracy theorists - Just ask him for the proof that antidepressants save lives, the actual studies and not patient claims.
Watch him/her squirm and fob you off with silliness. Then ask him/her for the studies that show that antidepressants increase suicidal thinking.
You'll probably be escorted out of the building.