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Episode Info: This week we interview Stevie who describes her experiences taking antidepressant drugs and her severe and protracted reaction to trying to withdraw. She also tells us about the help and support she received and what approaches she took to support herself during the most difficult times.  In this episode we discuss: How Stevie started to find that work stresses and strains were affecting her and leading to anxiety and intermittent insomnia, particularly when travelling with work That Stevie also struggled at times with PMS How, when consulting with a Doctor in December 1996, Stevie unexpectedly received a diagnosis of clinical depression and a prescription for Seroxat, an SSRI antidepressant That Stevie was shocked as she had just wanted something to help with intermittent insomnia but was told that she had a brain chemical imbalance That the Doctor said that if there was nothing wrong, the drug would have no effect and that it wasn't addictive Stevie was careful to ask about the drugs because was aware of issues with Benzodiazepines but was reassured by the doctor that the new classes of antidepressants did not have the same problems That Stevie was careful to read the Patient Information Leaflet and it clearly stated in two places that the drug did not lead to addiction That Stevie trusted her Doctor and started to take the drug, feeling numb for the initial period but finding that it did help with her sleep and that was welcome That, looking back, Stevie found that the sleep really was the only thing that Seroxat helped with That Stevie was clear in her own mind that the antidepressant was only going to be a short term thing That when Stevie stopped the Seroxat 6 months later she felt very unwell with nausea and extreme dizziness, leading to a diagnosis of labyrinthitis with no recognition by the doctor that it was antidepressant withdrawalRead more »

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