Original article no longer available
01 November 2006
Janice and John’s story
JANICE’S husband John, a lorry driver, and his first wife (who he does not wish to name) were having problems with their marriage in 1991 and went to the doctor to seek counselling.
Janice said: “Their GP said you will wait a year for that, and he put them both on Prozac. His wife went back within a week saying ‘I feel like a zombie’ but the doctor said it was just early days and she should keep on taking the tablets. She tried to kill herself twice in three weeks and she succeeded the third time.”
The couple’s two children were then aged 10 and 12.
After his wife’s suicide, John was prescribed Seroxat. He and Janice met six years later when she worked as a secretary for the company he drove for.
“He told me he was taking drugs. I said why. He said: ‘If I stop taking them, I feel ill but I’ve been told by my doctor, they are not addictive.’
“I said if you feel ill when you stop taking them, they must be addictive and I started looking into it – now I would not trust a doctor to prescribe me anything.”
She added: “It has now been recommended by the regulatory bodies, MHRA and NICE (The National Institute for Clinical Evidence) that anti-depressants should not be prescribed for natural grief or as a first-line treatment for mild depression.
“People are not offered counselling or therapy because it’s easier to prescribe drugs and doctors are under pressure to use them.
“The average GP has three months training in psychiatry and mental health, unless they specialise, so doctors are listening to the drug companies instead of looking into things themselves.”
She claimed: “Doctors don’t take into consideration that when people say that a drug makes them feel bad, people know their own body. What suits one person will not suit another.
“Anti-depressants have a similar chemical structure to LSD and Ecstasy. They work on the neuro transmitters of the brain. We don’t understand enough about the drugs or about the brain to be prescribing them at this level.