21 Comments

This is an excellent article which exposes a part of the long history of Big Pharma target marketing women for very dangerous psychiatric drugs which generally at best are active placebos with terrible iatrogenic side effects including many of the same problems the drugs are advertised to treat such as depression and anxiety and suicidal ideation, etc.. Also, a significant percentage of people prescribed these iatrogenic drugs suffer terrible withdrawal symptoms when trying to get off these iatrogenic drugs which are then falsely diagnosed as proof the drug was needed in the first place and which drives an increasing tendency to keep patients on these drugs for longer and longer periods of time and even to add additional iatrogenic psychiatric drugs to try to treat the side effects of the currently prescribed drugs. Again, this is much needed and excellent article.

Thomas Steven Roth, MBA, MD

Christian Minister for Biblical Medical Ethics

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Jun 10, 2023Liked by Freya India

I don't know whether the author had this covered with 'complete sexual dysfunction' but, for those who don't know, you can get permanent sexual dysfunction from SSRIs. Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD) is untreatable and some people get it after only a couple of tablets. Besides genital numbness and sexual anhedonia, sufferers get emotional blunting too. Drs are not warning people of this possibility, despite it having been first reported in 1991, in the medical literature since 2006 and recognised by the European Medicines Agency in 2019. Noone knows the prevalence; Drs who claim it's vanishingly rare are guessing.

The scientific literature about this condition can be found here:

https://www.pssdnetwork.org/literature

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Yes. They also claim that withdrawal symptoms are extremely rare, which is obviously not the case.

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Jun 9, 2023Liked by Freya India

You might be interested in this:

https://amidwesterndoctor.substack.com/p/the-decades-of-evidence-that-antidepressants

Aside from the question if SSRIs are beneficial, there's real concerns about whether they might even be *harmful*.

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Nov 18, 2023·edited Nov 18, 2023

they harmed me. Sexual desire disappeared whilst taking prozac - emotional bandwidth reduced by 2/3 creating a laissez faire attitude to life situations that required real attrntion. My creativity simply disappeared. When withdrawing - took me many attempts at titrating because the withrawal symptoms were unbearable,- my sexual desire, full emotional range, and creativity returned like magic. However my ability to think deeply still hasn't returned. It returns momentarily but I'm unable to sustain it. I finally succeeded in coming off the drug by using a combination of minerals and vitamins during very slow titration over a year. I was on the lowest dose and yet still experienced this difficulty. At each incremental reduction of the dose I'd face new withrawal symptoms. I took prozac for bereavement initilly but stayed on it as it incidentally relieved the chronic rhinitis I suffered from. The rhinitis has not returned. When withdrawing I became quite dependent on the online forums of people discussing SSRIs and how to kick them. The advice I recieved on mineral and vitamin supplements was invaluable. They were an expensive investment but my attempts to withdraw without these supplements were a failure.

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Do you mind sharing which vitamins and minerals? I’ve heard magnesium and omega-3 are widely recommended. Magnesium helps with relaxation and omega-3 with neuron health. I’m curious what else is particularly impactful for someone titrating from SSRI’s.

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selenium - high dose vitimin C - magnesium - vit B omplex and B12

Niacin - the flush sort rather than the non flush. Check out all the online forums where people discuss SSRI dependency. It was quite some time ago since I was coming off it so some of the stuff I can't remember. I heard recently that tea made from dried lion's mane muchroom is great

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Jun 10, 2023Liked by Freya India

Your article does a great job of emphasizing the pharmaceutical industry’s vested interest in excessively pathologising a great deal of (common) human experience. Linking this to cultural trends on social media is really valuable. However I’m concerned about your apparent delegitimization of PMDD: what distinguishes this disorder from PMS (which the majority of women experience) is precisely the abnormality of the intensity of symptoms. Whether you take a constructivist or bio-medical ontology to the disorder (and mental disorders in general), for up to 5% of women the experience of extreme emotional disruption premenstrually is very, very real. Whether there’s a pharmacological solution for this is a totally different question (and you’re very right to question that), but the lived experience of women with PMDD doesn’t need to be deligitamzised to make this point. PMDD has been ignored and dismissed for so long in male-centric models of health, let’s not do it within our own discourse!

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Jun 16, 2023·edited Jun 16, 2023Liked by Freya India

Yep, PMDD is very real (and scary) but also very complicated - because it involves hormones, which are intertwined with everything, nailing down the right treatment for each patient is not really all that straight-forward -- sometimes treating it like other mental illnesses work, sometimes it doesn't. And our current medical landscape already cares very little about researching women's particular hormonally-complicated bodies, and the proper interplay between mental health and the menstrual cycle. (Screw all the doctors who have mindlessly messed up women's bodies with prescribing hormonal contraceptives like candy.)

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Wow, you nail it every time, it's better to actually talk about depression rather than just giving kids pills.

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Jun 17, 2023·edited Jun 17, 2023Liked by Freya India

Two things about SSRIs that aren’t really talked about enough. First, is that they suppress the libido, as you touch on and Sarah describes. Second, once you are on them, it’s extremely hard to get off.

Libido is sexual drive, but it’s about more than just sex. It’s one of our fundamental psychological drives. It’s a type of energy. It’s concerning that people who are still very much in the midst of identify formation, like teen girls, are suppressing such a vital aspect of their selves. Anecdotally, I have noticed with my friends who are on them that their personalities kind of dampen.

I have two friends who are on SSRIs, male and female, who have tried to taper off. They couldn’t do it. They experienced excruciating symptoms. (Both, btw, are in largely sexless long-term relationships).

There is a very good New Yorker article that delves into both of these aspects—

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/04/08/the-challenge-of-going-off-psychiatric-drugs

It profiles a woman who’d been on SSRIs since she was a teen, and her efforts to get into touch with her sexuality after suppressing it for all of her twenties. It also talks about the online community of people trying to taper off, how difficult it is, and how little guidance from the official medical establishment there is for it. Many people take these drugs when they are in a temporary rut, and then are unable to get off of them.

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About 25 years ago I took zoloft for a while, and it helped even things out while I did therapy to get to the root of things (I had tried another one, which didn't help).

But in general, I think a big part of what is happening is that people are not being taught how to cope with the normal range of emotions (and the fact that they *are* normal). It's like anything other than "happy" is unacceptable and must be fixed immediately. Home sapiens appeared a couple hundred thousand years ago and generally muddled along - now a large number of us require medication to get through the day.

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The paradigm: diagnose and treat individuals so we can ignore/enable the environmental causes of most of their suffering (especially women and girls). Very modern American capitalism!

A very well written article Freya! 👏

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Freya,

Great post and the comments are excellent.

My question to you and all here (men included) - Since these abysmal side effects could not have been had, if people (women for the purposes of this article) had not taken them - When are we going to intentionally and diligently undue the generational self indoctrination, we've wallowed in for the better part of a century - "have the sniffles an ache or mood, here take this pill, liquid, test or injection"?

Indeed, we have been been sold the notion that ANY discomfort is to be avoided and most recently - is a harbinger of death - a cough/sneeze/headache or any malaise equates to covid, which equates to death - for many today.

Will we start to diligently teach our children that pharma and the medical community, are not their saviors, but their destroyers and enslavers?

In this case, will we change the paradigm of reaching for a pill bottle when we feel down, to going for a walk, hike, workout, meditation or other constructive active self care?

Yes, there are very real and overwhelming conditions that benefit from pharmacological intervention, but what I am talking about is the mindset that ANY discomfort is to be avoided and has a corresponding, "healing" chemical we must take. To understand this manufactured mindset, just stand at the end of the medication aisle in your local grocery store. How many ways can they formulate and package the snake oil? As many ways, as the people will buy.

Thanks for another informative post.

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SSRI's are not terrible drugs, they do not do as much harm as people believe (mild harms are obvious--nausea and a little bit of slowing and sexual dysfunction while on the drug, moderate harms are hypothetical--like decreased motivation or persistent sexual dysfunction, and severe harms are quite rare - they prevent more suicide than they contribute to), but as a shrink- the reason I often avoid prescribing them is to bring the locus of control internal. Conflict and anxiety in your life is not always something to medicate, it is often something to resolve.

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Let's just say that they do harm people. Maybe some of the millions are harmed in ways that are unrecoverable. Like committing suicide. Let's just say that 1/2 of 1% of all the people on SSRI's commit suicide because of the altered chemistry that messes with their minds. Do you know what 1/2 of 1% of a million is? That is FIVE THOUSAND. Read: https://www.courageouslion.us/p/the-ssri-connection-to-suicides-spontaneous-2c0

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Those harms are not hypothetical.

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Why are so many mass murderers on SSRI's?? The SSRI Connection to Suicides, Spontaneous Murder and Mass Shootings https://www.courageouslion.us/p/the-ssri-connection-to-suicides-spontaneous-2c0 And when you read about some mother killing her infants because she thought they were possessed by the devil...now you can understand why. Check out https://rxisk.org/ if you want to see where this all leads.

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The last time I researched this, I found that a lot of the Mass shooters had been on SSRI's and then stopped them. Depression returning after SSRI discontinuation could have driven these acts of violent suicide.

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I found that they were ON the SSRI meds when they committed these atrocities.

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