Episode 3 Giovanna talks about her SSRI antidepressant treatment over 23 years and her attempts to withdraw

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This week, we talk to Giovanna from Australia. Giovanna was prescribed an antidepressant aged 17 and tried many times to withdraw over the next 23 years. She shares her experiences with us including the advice and support that she received and her hopes for the future.

In this episode we discuss:
  • How Giovanna trusted her doctors when she was told she had a chemical imbalance and she needed her antidepressant like a diabetic needs insulin.
  • That, at 17, she had no idea about adverse effects or withdrawal and she was not told about this by her prescriber.
  • That even by missing a single tablet she suffered withdrawal symptoms but assumed that it was because she needed the drugs.
  • The doctors reinforced several time s the need to stay on the drugs for life.
  • That liquid versions are not available for all antidepressant medications, making withdrawal even more difficult.
  • How Giovanna fears the impact that withdrawal effects will have on her life, her career and her family.
  • How a Psychiatrist tried to take her off her medications after 23 years in a single week, leading to a stay in hospital.
  • How Giovanna can use a compounding pharmacy to prepare solution for her but that it is very expensive.
  • That sometimes all someone wants is to have their withdrawal issues taken seriously by doctors.
  • That every other option for easing mental health difficulties including nutrition, exercise, socialising etc should be examined before resorting to antidepressants.

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