At the age of 15, I was started on Prozac for anxiety and panic attacks. Two weeks later, I attempted suicide. I have never shared this story with anyone.
Before starting Prozac, I had never in my life had a suicidal thought. Luckily, I survived that attempt. But many other people haven’t been so lucky.
We have known for many years that SSRIs like Prozac cause suicidal thoughts and increase the risk for suicide. It’s important to understand that these drugs CAUSE the suicidal thoughts. Clinicians will often say that the thoughts were caused by the “underlying disorder” and that the drugs just “uncovered it.” But this is an absolute falsehood. We know that these drugs can cause suicidal thoughts and suicide in people with NO history of any mental illness.
I know that the drug caused my suicidal thoughts and attempt and this has happened to thousands of people. We are facing an epidemic of suicide and psychiatric drugs are a major cause.
Psychiatric drugs can increase the risk for suicide at any point, but there are 3 times when the risk is the highest:
- When someone is first started on a psychiatric drug.
- When a psychiatric drug is increased, decreased or changed.
- During the process of psychiatric drug withdrawal.
Recently, multiple celebrities who were taking psychiatric drugs like Naomi Judd have died by suicide and it’s likely that the drugs played a huge role. Imagine how many non-celebrities are dying every day due to these drugs.
Millions of people are at risk right now. When are we going to admit to this problem and stop prescribing these dangerous drugs to at risk children, adolescents and adults?