Some people call it the "War On Antidepressants" and others call it the "War Over Antidepressants." Either way, antidepressants are in the news a lot, most recently related to the topic of withdrawal. Many doctors and stakeholders believe that antidepressant withdrawal ( symptoms that occur when you stop taking the drug) lasts, on average, up to 2 weeks. Others say that isn't true, and that symptoms can last much longer. Some say antidepressants are very effective for clinical depression. Others say that just isn't true. Strong opinions are at the heart of the debate over antidepressants, which has escalated to a heated social media exchange and what some call a "Twitter War."
Today's guest is Dr. Michael Hengartner, a highly published senior researcher and lecturer at Zurich University of Applied Sciences whose area of expertise includes psychiatric epidemiology, public mental health, psychosomatics, health services research, social psychiatry and psychopathology. In this episode, he presents evidence that challenges the notion that antidepressant withdrawal lasts, on average, only two weeks and also presents evidence that challenges the notion that antidepressants are effective drugs for clinical depression.