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Side effects a serious issue; Views of the North.

ONE of the major problems associated with antidepressant drugs are the side effects.

Psychiatric spin doctors work overtime in an attempt to play them down, but when one of the side effects is suicidal ideation, you need to be really good to dress them up and convince members of the public to keep taking the pills.

A common psychiatric statement that attempts to ameliorate the public perception is the idea that benefits of the drugs outweigh the risks.

If, however, one of the side effects or risks relates to suicidal thoughts, it is hard to see how benefits could outweigh someone taking their own life.

Furthermore, calling suicidal thoughts a "side effect" is not entirely correct: they are an "effect" of antidepressants.

Time after time, we read about individuals who have taken their own lives where, via media reports, the antidepressant link is in full view.

When film director Tony Scott jumped to his death off a bridge, the autopsy found he had taken antidepressants and sleeping pills. Another case involved Grandfather Brian Palmer.

An inquest in Chichester last year concluded he took his own life following the prescription of antidepressants.

The psychiatric spin doctors or psychiatrists themselves try their utmost to exonerate the drug in question, but there are now so many deaths linked to antidepressant usage that it is difficult to miss the fact.

A report from the Office of National Statistics gave the number of deaths where antidepressants were mentioned on death certificates.

There were 2031 deaths in England and Wales between 2008 and 2012.

Over the five-year period, that's more than one death per day.

It is of paramount importance that anyone who is prescribed this classification of drug is allowed to make a fully informed decision before taking them.

Over 27 million prescription items for antidepressants were dispensed in England in 2012.

One can only surmise what the figure would be if the person really knew the consequences of taking them.

The safety of antidepressants has been questioned for years now, but with so many deaths, it is not a subject that can be swept under the carpet any more.

Public safety is being compromised.

It's time for change.

BRIAN DANIELS, via email
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 25, 2013
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