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From the Townsend Letter
October 2006


Web Page Potpourri:
Antidepressant Web Resources
by Marjorie Roswell

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A column devoted to informative integrative health resources on the Internet

Safe Harbor:
Find an alternative mental health practitioner at Safe Harbor's web site. Their database includes fields such as Type of practitioner, Type of treatments, Prescribe or recommend psychiatric drugs, and, importantly, Help take patients off psychiatric drugs if they wish to do so. If you are an alternative mental health practitioner, be sure to get listed in this database via the sign-up page listed above.

International Coalition for Drug Awareness
This site includes a spot-on serious parody of an ad for Zoloft. Don't miss it—it's the ZoloftAd.pdf link, above. The Coalition has an associated listserv.
In Australia, it's Aropax; in the United Kingdom, it's Seroxat; and in the United States, we know it as Paxil. Withdrawal is difficult but can be achieved. I recommend this page, which features both excellent content and clean design. Some of what appears on the "Lighter Side" page is actually tragic, but the Paxilfighter image at the bottom of the page might draw a smile. The rich links page includes resources such as "My Paxil Nightmare," "A Diary for Quitting Paxil" [software], and a link to the official Paxil site.

Prozac Survivor
This site hasn't been updated for years, but it still has a terrific set of valuable links.

The Effexor Activist
The Effexor Activist shares information on the dangers of antidepressants, while also supporting people in their efforts to withdraw from them. At this site, you can sign petitions and download bumper stickers with messages such as
Antidepressant Withdrawal is HELL. The forum contains terrific content, mostly posted by the site founder.

Dr. Peter Breggin
Retired psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin has authored a number of important books.
Talking Back to Prozac: What Doctors Aren't Telling You About Today's Most Controversial Drug is essential reading for anyone who is prescribing antidepressants, taking antidepressants, or considering taking them. His web site is home-grown, but the critical content more than demands attention. You can read more on Peter Breggin at the Wikipedia site. I've included the link, as well, in which Dr. Breggin addresses head-on the industry's continued efforts to falsely associate him with the Church of Scientology.

Antidepressant-Induced Suicide and Violence: More About Deception Than Science
These are remarks by Dr. Peter Breggin at an event held by the Alliance for Human Research Protection (AHRP). Eli Lilly and Company hid Prozac-induced suicidal behavior by coding suicide attempts under misleading terms such as "no drug effect."

Antidepressants' Risk Of Suicide Now Called Low
antidepressants_risk_of_suicide_now_called_low (
Two lines, one link)
A large January 2006 study published in the
American Journal of Psychiatry determined that risk of suicide is reduced by patients taking antidepressants. Interestingly, the study authors also admit that antidepressants don't significantly help most people who have chronic depression.

The Link Between Psychiatry, Drugs, and Suicide
A sample entry on this long page of tragic stories says, "Jennifer O'Connor, 40, shot her 7-year-old daughter, Sara, while she was sleeping. O'Conner's psychiatrist had recently switched her medications." Another suicide entry notes: "Her autopsy revealed she had gallstones, the real cause for her original symptoms. Why was she put on antidepressants?"

Teen Screen Facts
Teen Screen Truth
TeenScreen: A Front Group for the Psycho-Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex
No Child Left Unmedicated
Columbia University TeenScreen Program
TeenScreen is a controversial suicide and mental health screening program developed by Columbia University's Child Psychiatry Research Department. Designed by well-meaning people, unfortunately, the program yields a high number of false-positives – too many kids being put on psychiatric drugs – and has the potential to create lifelong psychiatric patients. I encourage you to learn more about TeenScreen and the Bush Administration's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. By the way, I never thought I would find a place to agree with conservative Phyllis Schafley, but, behold, I appreciate her phrase "No Child Left Unmedicated" and find the piece to be well-written and informative.

Prescription: Suicide? (
9/21/06: Site unavailable)
Prescription: Suicide? is a film about the effects of the use of antidepressants by teenagers. Consider getting a public performance license via the ParticipateNow.netweb site to show the film in your community.

Side Effects
Side Effects is a satirical movie created by Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau, who worked for a decade as a pharmaceutical sales representative. In addition to producing Side Effects, she also created the more serious documentary, Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety.

Katrina Survivors Need Homes, Jobs — Not Psychiatric Drugs
Two lines, one link)
When hard times hit, the mental health system is more likely to offer you drugs than real help. The president of the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights, Jim Gottstein, Esq. says, "Let's not compound the Katrina tragedy by lining the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies at the expense of people's long-term mental health. These people need homes, money, jobs and support, not drugs."

International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (
9/21/06: Link does not work.)
This organization is having a conference in early October 2006. If you see this article before October 7, consider attending. In any case, consider joining the ICSPP to help break the pharmaceutical industry's stranglehold on the mental health professions.

Mind Freedom International
This is a key web site for the psychiatric survivors' movement. The site has a super set of links, oral histories, and downloadable posters. This year, the MindFreedom News Hour launched a free weekly internet radio show in the Progressive Radio Network. Tune in every Tuesday, 1 PM EST, or go to the Progressive Radio Network and download the archives. Mind Freedom's "hot news" is quite old (perhaps because the original web developer died tragically from a routine allergy injection). But the related Mad Market site is a current shopping spot where you can order books such as
Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs; The History of Shock Treatment; and The Wildest Colts Make the Best Horses. Proceeds support MindFreedom human rights campaigns.

Antidepressant Facts
This is a rich, helpful site if you spend some time figuring out the navigation. Note the fly-out menu in the upper left hand side of the screen.

Worst Pills
The content on this site is worth the $15 per year subscription fee. Developed by the nonprofit organization, Public Citizen, the site can be searched by drug name, family of drugs, disease or condition, or by drug-induced disease. Search results include both technical information (such as drug side effects) and political information (such as Senate testimony.) The site includes access to the
Best Drugs, Worst Drugs Newsletter archives. The web site and newsletter have a companion book, Best Drugs, Worst Drugs.

Wikipedia, the best encyclopedia on the web, is a good source for antidepressant information. For most Wikipedia entries, if you get an account, you can also add content. One caution, however: information added by Wikipedia subscribers is not checked for accuracy and should be not be treated as fact without further verification.

Listservs and Discussion Forums
Withdrawal and Recovery
SSRI Crusaders
SSRI Withdrawal Support Discussion Forum

Quantitative Analysis of Sponsorship Bias in Economic Studies of Antidepressants
The conclusion of this 2003 paper will not surprise
Townsend Letter readers: "Pharmacoeconomic studies of antidepressants reveal clear associations of study sponsorship with quantitative outcome." In other words: "Follow the money."

I am especially interested in learning about mental health and substance abuse treatment programs that integrate nutrition and exercise into their practice. Please send me examples of practices and related research.

Marjorie Roswell
3443 Guilford Terrace
Baltimore, Maryland 21218

I wrote these words to the tune of "My Favorite Things." Feel free to add your own verses, or edit to your heart's content. Please do send me your results!

My Least Favorite Drugs

There's Prozac and Zoloft, Effexor and Serzone
Luvox, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Remeron
Paxil, and Seroxat, Aropax too,
There's one just for you!

Adapin, Sinequan, Doxepin, (Warning...)
Lexapro, Elavil (Not in the morning)
Isocarboxazid, Marplan, Oh my!
And Zimelidine (That's an SSRI).

Seratonin has you moanin'
Here is what they say:
Inhibit the uptake with drugs in your brain
Your blues will just melt away.

Monoamine oxidase we'll inhibit,
But Lord knows what side effects you will exhibit
Norepinephrine reuptake, we'll halt
You might not feel better, but worse: "Oy, Gevalt!"

When the blues bite,
When the heart stings
When you're feeling sad
Psychiatrists tell you to take little pills
And then you won't feel so bad!

'Cept for suicide, impotence, nausea, violence
Vision that's blurred, hypertension in silence
Hyperactivity, sweating and more
Seizure and headache, ah, symptoms galore!

Weight loss, or weight gain and stomach dispeptic
Fatigue and psychosis, a bit anorectic
Mania, twitching, and vomiting, yup
A loss of libido, he can't get it up

Constipation, with sedation
Or you just can't sleep
See the list of the adverse events that occur
Take the stuff and you'll start to weep!

[Repeat tune for last two lines.]
Oh, sunshine, massage, a long walk, and a hug
With good food: will trump any drug!

Consult your doctor before using any of the treatments found within this site.

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