The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) has recently issued information about stopping the taking of prescribed antidepressants. It covers the following topics:
- What are antidepressants?
- What symptoms might you experience when stopping antidepressants and how severe can they be?
- What causes antidepressant withdrawal symptoms?
- Who is affected by antidepressant withdrawal symptoms?
- How can I tell if it is withdrawal symptoms, or my depression/anxiety coming back?
- Does this mean that antidepressants are addictive or can cause dependence?
- When and how to stop antidepressants
- Examples of tapering plans
- Appendix 1: Risk of withdrawal symptoms with individual antidepressants
- Appendix 2: Potential types of withdrawal symptoms
The provision of this information is a welcome step – one that the RCP’s counterparts in the USA (the American Psychiatric Association) and elsewhere should follow – regardless of questions that include:
- Are antidepressants massively over-prescribed?
- Is the theory behind them based on valid science?
- How effective are they (compared to placebo, for example)?
- For how long should they be prescribed?
- Do the benefits of antidepressants outweigh the side-effects for most people?
You can read the RCP’s information here.