Nov 1, 2020
dele Framer, also known by her online handle Altostrata, is the founder of SurvivingAntidepressants.org, a critical and comprehensive peer-support website that features several thousand case histories of psychiatric drug withdrawal. The site is a hub of information on the topic, highlighting methods of safe drug tapering and recovery and underscoring the humanity of those in the grips of withdrawal.
Framer arrived at her expertise through personal experience. In 2004, after three years on 10 mg of paroxetine, she went off under medical supervision and suffered symptoms of withdrawal that her doctor discounted as relapse. She then went on to visit more than 50 psychiatrists, trying and failing to find someone knowledgeable in antidepressant withdrawal. Her own research into the topic, including close readings of journals and FDA recommendations, led her to the creation of SurvivingAntidepressants.org in 2011.
Registered members now stand at roughly 14,000, with around 56,000 visitors per month. The site features 6,000 case histories and contains more than 60 topics covering tips on the gradual tapering off of specific drugs. All of the site’s information is pulled from scientific papers, governmental advisories, and package inserts, and much of it has been shared across Facebook and other platforms on the web. The site has received mentions in scientific journals and mainstream outlets such as Psychiatric Times and Psychology Today.
Framer, who grew up in New York, has lived in San Francisco for more than 40 years. She’s now retired from a career in software user design.