Antidepressants and Hypnotherapy

Like some recreational drugs, many antidepressants create dependency. In the US, the FDA has avoided using the word ‘addictive’ under intense pressure from pharmaceutical manufacturers – and so we see the word ‘dependency’ creeping in as a ‘word play’ excuse not to call a spade a spade. One way or another – many people needlessly become addicted to antidepressants. As with other addictions hypnotherapy has a role to play in the reduction and elimination of antidepressant use. This has to be done in a careful and managed way.


When it was first suggested you use antidepressants you should have been given an exit plan. In reality few doctors do this. How many treatments do you know of that are arbitrarily proposed with no goal defined? The answer is, very few. When exiting antidepressant use, the client has to battle withdrawal symptoms that look remarkably like the pre existing condition the antidepressants were prescribed for. Figuring out which is a withdrawal symptom and which is an undelying condition is not easy. However, if unaddressed you might as well resign yourself to being medicated for the rest of your life.


Your doctor should be made aware of your plan to get off antidepressants. For one reason or another, many doctors are reluctant to help with this. While most medical professionals operate in their patients best interest, it has to be remembered that pharmaceutical companies reward doctors for prescribing their particular drugs – so there is a very real conflict of interest here. While most will deny this is a factor – it exists, therefore it most certainly is a factor. It will remain a factor until doctors no longer receive incentives from pharmaceutical companies to prescribe more of their products.


As a patient in Canada it is your right to insist on a second opinion about whether you need to be on antidepressants. Furthermore it is your responsibility to educate yourself on the subject. It’s what that world wide web thing is for, remember?

If you’re looking for a book on the subject you should start with The Antidepressant Solution by Dr. Joseph Glenmullen. In Britain most SSRI antipressants (Effexor, Paxil, etc.) have been banned for several years, with the exception of Prozac. They were banned as the Washington Post (By Lawrence Diller Wednesday, March 24, 2004; Page A21) put it, “because studies from the United States did not show they were effective in treating children with depression, but did show that they were twice as likely as placebos to lead to suicide.” In short – antidepressants are not candy, even though some doctors hand them out as though they were.


Health Canada (with its mandate to look after the pharmaceutical companies first, and patient interests last) has done a predictably appalling job in safeguarding those of us who pay for that erstwhile institution. Had Health Canada acted in the interests of the patient, the widespread use of antidepressants would not be the time bomb it is today. Many of the people that were rushed on to antidepressants over the last 15 years, now have to be carefully tapered off these drugs. Sadly there is little research in this field.


No pharmaceutical company wants to pay for research into showing the true nature of the addiction damage their drug actually does, and frankly no one else can afford to. If you are being urged to take antidepressants you should insist on knowing what the exit strategy is. A doctor who proscribes a drug without giving you a clear idea of what the objectives are, can hardly be said to be acting in your best interests. Remember – you are the client.

Should you need help shedding this addiction, contact me and we can create a managed withdrawal.


Did you know: Anti depressants can cause abnormal eye movements during sleep, that persist up to a year after the antidepressant is stopped? Abrupt stoppage of antidepressants can bring about a relapse to the condition hey were taken for.


Some antidpressant withdrawal symtoms you may not be aware of:


* disabling dizziness,
* nausea,
* vomiting,
* aches and pains,
* sweating,
* headaches,
* tremors,
* burning sensations.


* depressed mood,
* crying uncontrollably,
* low energy,
* irritability,
* agitation,
* impulsivity
* suicidal urges.


If you are interested in using hypnotherapy to taper off an antidepressant, email me and let me know if you would like some help. I have worked with many clients in this regard with successful outcomes. This is an area in which you will require good medical advice – if you would like referral to a medical specialist let me know.


Getting off antidepressants is a serious business. There are some clients who genuinely do require antidressants. Your doctor should be made aware of your plans and you should understand the side effects you can expect to experience. When a viable plan is in place, it can be done safely and securely using hypnotherapy to assist a tapered withdrawal.