For psychotherapists and doctors

Warning for health professionals:

Your clients’ or patients’ symptoms may be effects of legally prescribed drugs that are or have been used to ‘treat’ them.

Recent decades have seen an enormous rise in the number of people treated with psychopharmaceutical medications - all of which have a direct effect on brain functioning. Such medications include:

Anxiolytics (for treating anxiety, sleep problems and panic attacks – in particular the benzodiazepines )
Antidepressants (in particular so-called SSRI’s which raise serotonin levels in the brain)
Neuroleptics (for treating so-called psychotic symptoms)
Stimulants (used on an increasing scale to treat children and adults with so-called behaviour disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder)
Anti-convulsants (usually prescribed for epilepsy, fibromyalgia and neuralgias but some of which, for example pregabalin, are also prescribed for anxiety disorders)

What is not so well known is that many of the psychological and somatic symptoms treated by counsellors and psychotherapists, physicians and psychiatrists are a direct result of taking or having taken medications of these sorts. Symptoms such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances panic attacks, phobias, compulsions, mania, poor concentration, loss of affect and psychotic episodes are all recognised by pharmaceutical themselves companies themselves as potential effects of the very medications designed to treat them. Indeed it is recognised that anti-depressants can be a rapid and direct cause of suicide. And it has been estimated that up to 50% of all patients attending mental health services may be presenting with anxiety disorders resulting from the use of anxiety-treating drugs or ‘anxiolytics’ – specifically the benzodiazepines. This is due the development of dependency and acute or chronic withdrawal symptoms – such as increased anxiety or panic attacks - even whilst taking prescribed doses, whose efficacy declines as neuro-physiological habituation to the drugs or ‘tolerance’ setting in. Therefore make it rule to always check if any patients or clients you see have ever been prescribed the types of medication listed above.

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