Further evidence of the adverse effects of antidepressants, and why these have taken so long to be confirmed.

Joanna Moncrieff

When the idea that selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) might make people feel suicidal first started to be discussed by people like David Healy, I admit I was sceptical. It didn’t seem to me the drugs had much effect at all, and I couldn’t understand how a chemical substance could produce a specific thought. Since that time, however, the evidence has accumulated, and moreover, it is clear that the suicidal thoughts and behaviours usually occur in the context of a state of intense tension and agitation that the drugs seem to precipitate in some individuals, especially the young. It seems this state can be so unpleasant as to make people impulsively harm themselves, and some evidence suggests it may lead to aggressive behaviour as well.

Because these effects did not show up in randomised controlled trials, however, they were dismissed and few efforts were made to study them properly. Then…

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