Sylvia

Hole Ousia

This film is based on a person that I never knew, as our time-spans did not overlap.

I have read ‘The Bell Jar’by Sylvia Plath and much of Ted Hughes work.

Like Sylvia Plath I have experience of ECT (in my case as a result of withdrawal from paroxetine). As a trainee doctor I have also administered ECT.

The account that Sylvia Plath gives of ECT in ‘The Bell Jar’is that of it administered without anaesthetic and without muscle relaxant. This is no longer the basis of any ECT treatment. It is important to make this absolutely clear.

I received ECT as a direct consequence of withdrawing from paroxetine (Seroxat). I was initially prescribed this medication for social anxiety disorder. In my case, ECT was unhelpful in relieving my iatrogenic suffering, and ultimately I had to return to Seroxat, a medication that I despise.

My experience of…

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Professor Stephen Lawrie

Hole Ousia

This is my latest post as part of a series reporting the available information on competing financial interests in ‘key opinion leaders’ in British psychiatry.

Professor Stephen Lawrie’s “Disclosure UK” declarations can be read here. Other sources of declarations for Professor Stephen Lawrie include, the Lancet, SIGN Guidelines and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The following is a recent sponsored educational meeting chaired by Professor Stephen Lawrie:


On the 17 August 2018 I received (again) invites to two promotional meetings “developed, organised and funded by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Europe Ltd”. Professor Stephen Lawrie, The University of Edinburgh, is chairing both days:

I have written a number of times about the marketing of Latuda (Lurasidone) in the UK. These posts can be read here

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“The Great, Tall, Little, Small, and Insignificant”

Hole Ousia

I first came across Albert Ernest Pickard (1874-1964) after visiting Bannockburn House: a house with an ancient history, that not so long ago, was owned by him.

When I first visited Bannockburn house it was most dilapidated, and without electricity and running water: it had two caretakers, Mick and Terry who had lived there since Pickard’s time. Mick and Terry were very kind to me and let me explore the house. Sadly, not long after my visit, Mick died.

Bannockburn house has since been purchased by the local Community who have wonderful plans for the house and gardens.  Had it not been for Mick and Terry and their dogs, the house would not have survived.

Albert Ernest Pickard, the last Scottish-based owner of Bannockburn House, owned over 30 other Scottish homes, including magnificent Formakin. No record survives to confirm if Pickard stayed even a night at Bannockburn, unlike Bonnie Prince…

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The Psychopharmacology Committee

Hole Ousia

Professor David Baldwin took chairmanship of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Psychopharmacology Committee when Professor Allan Young had completed his tenure as chair.

Based on available evidence, and this is limited, it seems that Professor David Baldwin has worked for the pharmaceutical industry through most of his career as a psychiatrist, academic, and educator.

On the 8th October 1998, paroxetine was licensed in the UK for “Social anxiety disorder”. I was commenced on it for anxiety just weeks later. Nearly twenty years on and I am still taking it. I was never told that I might be taking it life-long. Had I been told of this I would not have consented to take it. Professor David Baldwin was the lead co-ordinator of the European trial on paroxetine for “Social anxiety disorder”.

After several months on paroxetine I stopped taking it. I thought nothing of this until 36 hours after stopping…

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‘Rethinking rebranding’

Hole Ousia

After reading the Editorial “Shrink rethink: rebranding psychiatry” published in the British Journal of Psychiatry I expressed my concerns with this proposal:

“My view is that is wrong for psychiatry, which seeks to nurture well being, to follow business models. Rather than trying to promote ourselves we should return to Aesculpian listening, learning and reflecting. This is surely the science that matters to us all. It has absolutely nothing to do with branding or rebranding.”

Since then, two letters have been published in the British Journal of Psychiatry which provide far more insightful critiques than I managed:

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