Katinka lost a year of her life to antidepressants and other depression medications
Katinka Blackford Newman
Katinka is a BBC trained documentary film-maker who lives in London. Her interest in this subject began in 2012 when she nearly lost her life because of an adverse reaction to an antidepressant. She was hospitalised and prescribed more drugs which made her extremely ill.
After a year she was lucky to be taken off all the drugs and made a full recovery.
She researched the side effects of antidepressants and interviewed some of the world’s leading experts. Her best-selling book ‘The Pill That Steals Lives’ has been featured on Radio 5 Live, BBC London, Good Morning Britain, the Victoria Derbyshire Show and in The Times, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail and The British Journal of Psychiatry.
In 2017 her research was made into a BBC Panorama programme 'A Prescription for Murder' which investigated whether an antidepressant could be the cause of one of the worst mass killings of this century.
She has written articles highlighting the risks of antidepressants including:
She has also made an 8-minute film about her story: A Family's Journey to Discover the Side Effects of Antidepressants
Professor Healy has written over 150 peer reviewed articles and 20 books on antidepressants
Professor David Healy
David Healy is a psychopharmacologist, psychiatrist, scientist and author. He is currently Professor of Psychiatry at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. He was previously a Professor at Cardiff and Bangor Universities in the UK. His main areas of research are the contribution of antidepressants to suicide, the conflict of interest between pharmaceutical companies and academic medicine, and the history of pharmacology.
Healy has written more than 150 peer-reviewed articles, 200 other articles, and 20 books, including 'The Antidepressant Era', 'The Creation of Psychopharmacology', 'The Psychopharmacologists Volumes 1–3', 'Let Them Eat Prozac' and 'Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder'.
Healy has been involved as an expert witness in homicide and suicide trials involving psychotropic drugs, and has brought concerns about some medications to the attention of drug regulators. He has also said that pharmaceutical companies sell drugs by marketing diseases and co-opting academic opinion-leaders.
Linked to this, he set up RxISK.org, a prescription drug safety website to help people weigh the benefits and side effects of any prescription drug.
David's website: davidhealy.org
Sarah's brother Jon killed himself days after taking citalopram
Sarah writes about her brother Jon’s passing in 2018 on the home page (see here) and it is for him and his memory that she wants to affect change and raise awareness about the dangers of antidepressants.
Jon was a highly regarded lawyer running the Asian office of a global law firm - he had just been promoted to Global Managing Partner and was due to return to the UK with this new position.
Sarah was 30 minutes away from landing in Hong Kong to see Jon when she received the news that he had taken his own life a few days after starting the antidepressant citalopram.
After two and a half years of healing, and grief and trauma therapy, Sarah is determined to help bring attention to the terrible potential dangers of antidepressants and how quickly tragedy can strike. She feels strongly that GPs need to have a far better understanding of what ‘akathisia’ (an adverse reaction to antidepressants) is and how it manifests. She also feels that GPs and psychiatrists have a duty to warn all patients when prescribing antidepressants about the potential risks. Sarah also feels that those who took their own life following an adverse drug reaction, ADR, should have their cause of death recorded as ADR and not suicide. How can it be suicide when one is not in their own mind?
Sarah runs her own company in the West End and lives in North London with her partner, two boys, dog and cat. She and Jon grew up in Lancashire with their loving parents and she studied psychology at Newcastle University.
Dr. Ed White runs an antidepressant withdrawal support group
Dr. Ed White
Ed is a 56 year old IT Solutions Architect from Wiltshire in the UK, where he lives with his wife and two teenage sons. He has a biological background, having studied Biological Sciences and a PhD in a similar subject area.
In 2017 he tried to stop an antidepressant he’d been taking for six years with disastrous consequences. This led to an unwanted journey through psychiatric services, an extended period off work and additional, unneeded psychiatric medications. He eventually recovered from this episode and started to read and research about what had happened to him. To his surprise, reality differed greatly from the story told by doctors and psychiatrists. This led him to join a Facebook withdrawal support group where he became an administrator and now helps support others to safely withdraw from their drugs where health services often fail. He is still tapering from an antidepressant and anticipates it will take over two years to complete safely.
Ed's story can be found here.
He has written and published a paper on the Facebook withdrawal support communities and continues to work with academics to gather data on how to taper off antidepressants safely.
He has also published a number of articles including:
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