Mar 6, 2017
This week we talk to
Professor John Read from the University of East
London about the overuse of psychiatric medications and the
alarming growth in the prescribing of antidepressants,
benzodiazepines and other psychiatric medications.
Professor Read worked for nearly
20 years as a Clinical Psychologist and manager of mental health
services in the UK and the USA, before joining the University of
Auckland, New Zealand, in 1994, where he worked until 2013. He has
served as Director of the Clinical Psychology professional graduate
programmes at both Auckland and, more recently, the University of
Liverpool. He has published over 120 papers in research journals,
primarily on the relationship between adverse life events and
In this episode we
- The fact that the medical
profession are not that interested in what has happened to someone,
preferring to label with a diagnosis and then medicate.
- That we overmedicate, we
medicate too quickly and we medicate with no idea of how to help
people withdraw at the end of treatment.
- The black hole in research on
withdrawal and a lack of any real support options for people trying
to withdraw from their psychiatric medications.
- The Gothenburg conference on
psychiatric drug withdrawal and Professor Read's
- That the largest study of its
kind found that only 1% of those taking antidepressants were told
about potential withdrawal by their GPs or
- The setting up of withdrawal
training programmes for doctors, medication users and their
- How pharmaceutical marketing and
lobbying has convinced the public, MPs and the medical profession
that mental health issues and emotional distress are medical
problems when they are not.
- The myth of the chemical
- The fact that psychiatry has
sold its soul to the pharmaceutical companies.
- The worrying increase in
antidepressant prescribing (in the UK, a doubling within a decade
to 63 million items in a single year).
- How we can improve the safety of
- That we need to remember the
ethical principle of informed choice where the prescribing of these
powerful medications is concerned.
- Polypharmacy is rife in
prescribing, of all the people who are on antidepressants, 60% are
on at least one other drug and 40% are on two other
That we should move to a social
model of emotional distress rather than a diagnostic and
- The groundbreaking 'Hearing
For more information see my
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© James Moore 2017