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Antidepressant Risks Team

Katinka Blackford Newman

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 David Healy

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, a prescription drug safety website to help people weigh the benefits and side effects of any prescription drug.

David's website:

Sarah Culshaw

Sarah's brother Jon killed himself days after taking citalopram

Sarah Culshaw

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.

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