The SSRI trap – 40% of the population on anti-depressants in West Belfast

Up to 40 per cent of adults in some parts of West Belfast are popping ‘happy’ pills to cope with depression.
Areas like Ballymurphy and the lower Falls are the worst hit, with many now addicted to strong medicines.

News of the frightening addiction levels came on the same day a study found that anti-depressants have little clinical effect on patients. The University of Hull study tested popular drugs like Prozac and Seroxat.

Thousands of West Belfast residents are prescribed these drugs to combat depression. Although they are packaged as being ‘non-addictive’, many users find it impossible to get through the day without popping at least one pill.

Under new health reforms based on the University of Hull findings, anti-depressant users could be stripped off their drugs and made to undergo therapy treatment instead. This would present doctors with a nightmare scenario, as many of their patients would find it impossible to get through the day without a Prozac or Seroxat fix.

Leading West Belfast pharmacist Terry Maguire said the study would have huge implications in West Belfast.
However, he cautioned against taking its findings as verbatim, insisting more tests need to be done.
Terry said: “Every healthcare professional needs to look closely at the details of the study. More consideration needs to be given because it could have huge implications.”

A senior medical source expanded on this, revealing that up to 40 per cent of people in the poorest parts of West Belfast are on anti-depressants.

“It would create huge difficulties if doctors all of a sudden stopped prescribing these pills,” said one healthcare professional. “Patients who are on them, many of whom are addicted to them, would not know what to do. They just wouldn’t be able to get their day in. Look at Ballymurphy and the lower Falls, I’d say 40 per cent of adults are taking some type of anti-depressant.”

The medical source explained that doctors prefer prescribing Prozac and Seroxat because they are not classed as addictive drugs.

“It’s easier for a doctor to give someone Prozac than Diazepam because it’s not classed as addictive,” he added.
“But there are thousands of people who aren’t really depressed taking the drug. They’ve been prescribed it because of a fear in doctors that the patient might do something drastic if they don’t get what they are asking for. Then when the patient comes off Prozac they start to feel low so the doctor has no choice but to prescribe it again. It’s a vicious circle that needs to be examined quite urgently.”

But it’s NOT depression returning – it’s merely a reaction to stopping an addictive drug.


3 Responses to “The SSRI trap – 40% of the population on anti-depressants in West Belfast”

  1. Lynn Says:

    People who don’t believe that last sentence have to read The Antidepressant Solution by Dr. Joseph Glenmullen.

  2. delwin17 Says:

    After having acute pancreatitis and my gall bladder removed by a civilian hospital in an emergency situation while all the time believing I was getting early onset altheimers the US Veterans Administration not only doubled my dosage of prozac to help but told me it would probably help my sex life. I was growing breasts and developed a lower level of testosterone than women have and so was then given testosterone- which means my body will never make it again, and i get whatever kind of side effects that will come from taking fake hormones and there’s nothing I can do about it. Prozac withdrawal takes at least a year. patients need to be advised of this by other patients, as no professional psychiatrist can ever be trusted to be anything but a med. Dr. with a fear of blood and a love of money. I started my own blog and war on Prozac when I found that 13% of the soldiers in Iraq and 17% of the soldiers in Afghanistan are being dosed with it so they can handle battle fatigue after multiple tours. I can think of no torture worse than being sent to do a tour in a combat zone- allowed to decompress for 8-12 months at home, and being sent back. The suicide rate is much higher than reported a family member and high ranking officer reports. I told an Attorney that handles hurt peoples cases and I know is an honest man that the VA was giving me Prozac and he got very upset realising there were so many things I could no longer remember. he exclaimed,”You’d better stop taking that shit before you kill yourself!” The feeling among many of the Vietnam veterans that are still living is that the VA will give a man enough medicine to kill him, thereby cutting the cost of veteran care. I tend to agree with the dead vet that told me that.

  3. delwin17 Says:

    These are other side effects of prozac and why I mentioned my pancreas and gall bladder- also the heart murmer I developed after taking prozac has gone away since stopping it. the sebhorreah is still there. I have hypertension- oh hell just read the list. Good stuff for Col. Richards (June Issue of Time magazine) to give our troops.

    Cardiovascular System — Frequent: hemorrhage, hypertension, palpitation; Infrequent: angina pectoris, arrhythmia, congestive heart failure, hypotension, migraine, myocardial infarct, postural hypotension, syncope, tachycardia, vascular headache; Rare: atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, cerebral embolism, cerebral ischemia, cerebrovascular accident, extrasystoles, heart arrest, heart block, pallor, peripheral vascular disorder, phlebitis, shock, thrombophlebitis, thrombosis, vasospasm, ventricular arrhythmia, ventricular extrasystoles, ventricular fibrillation.
    Digestive System — Frequent: increased appetite, nausea and vomiting; Infrequent: aphthous stomatitis, cholelithiasis, colitis, dysphagia, eructation, esophagitis, gastritis, gastroenteritis, glossitis, gum hemorrhage, hyperchlorhydria, increased salivation, liver function tests abnormal, melena, mouth ulceration, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, stomach ulcer, stomatitis, thirst; Rare: biliary pain, bloody diarrhea, cholecystitis, duodenal ulcer, enteritis, esophageal ulcer, fecal incontinence, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, hematemesis, hemorrhage of colon, hepatitis, intestinal obstruction, liver fatty deposit, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer, rectal hemorrhage, salivary gland enlargement, stomach ulcer hemorrhage, tongue edema.
    Endocrine System — Infrequent: hypothyroidism; Rare: diabetic acidosis, diabetes mellitus.
    Hemic and Lymphatic System — Infrequent: anemia, ecchymosis; Rare: blood dyscrasia, hypochromic anemia, leukopenia, lymphedema, lymphocytosis, petechia, purpura, thrombocythemia, thrombocytopenia.
    Metabolic and Nutritional — Frequent: weight gain; Infrequent: dehydration, generalized edema, gout, hypercholesteremia, hyperlipemia, hypokalemia, peripheral edema; Rare: alcohol intolerance, alkaline phosphatase increased, BUN increased, creatine phosphokinase increased, hyperkalemia, hyperuricemia, hypocalcemia, iron deficiency anemia, SGPT increased.
    Musculoskeletal System — Infrequent: arthritis, bone pain, bursitis, leg cramps, tenosynovitis; Rare: arthrosis, chondrodystrophy, myasthenia, myopathy, myositis, osteomyelitis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis.
    Nervous System — Frequent: agitation, amnesia, confusion, emotional lability, sleep disorder; Infrequent: abnormal gait, acute brain syndrome, akathisia, apathy, ataxia, buccoglossal syndrome, CNS depression, CNS stimulation, depersonalization, euphoria, hallucinations, hostility, hyperkinesia, hypertonia, hypesthesia, incoordination, libido increased, myoclonus, neuralgia, neuropathy, neurosis, paranoid reaction, personality disorder2, psychosis, vertigo; Rare: abnormal electroencephalogram, antisocial reaction, circumoral paresthesia, coma, delusions, dysarthria, dystonia, extrapyramidal syndrome, foot drop, hyperesthesia, neuritis, paralysis, reflexes decreased, reflexes increased, stupor.
    Respiratory System — Infrequent: asthma, epistaxis, hiccup, hyperventilation; Rare: apnea, atelectasis, cough decreased, emphysema, hemoptysis, hypoventilation, hypoxia, larynx edema, lung edema, pneumothorax, stridor.
    Skin and Appendages — Infrequent: acne, alopecia, contact dermatitis, eczema, maculopapular rash, skin discoloration, skin ulcer, vesiculobullous rash; Rare: furunculosis, herpes zoster, hirsutism, petechial rash, psoriasis, purpuric rash, pustular rash, seborrhea.
    Special Senses — Frequent: ear pain, taste perversion, tinnitus; Infrequent: conjunctivitis, dry eyes, mydriasis, photophobia; Rare: blepharitis, deafness, diplopia, exophthalmos, eye hemorrhage, glaucoma, hyperacusis, iritis, parosmia, scleritis, strabismus, taste loss, visual field defect.

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