Psychiatric Medication Awareness Group: psychiatric medications, addiction, recovery, withdrawl, risks & side-effects

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This site is dedicated to providing accurate information about psychiatric medications including their addictive nature and how to get help.

These pages are a good starting place:

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Recent News

June 18/22 — Stop dishing out antidepressants, doctors told.

Doctors should prescribe fewer antidepressants and for a shorter time, experts said, after a review found no strong evidence that the drugs were effective.

May 29/22 — Fish off the coast of Florida test positive for pharmaceutical drugs, says study.

May 13/22 — The Challenge of going off psychiatric drugs.

By necessity, clinical studies cannot capture fluctuations in mood that may be meaningful to the patient but do not fit into the study's categories. This methodology has led to a far more reliable body of evidence, but it also subtly changed our conception of mental health, which has become synonymous with the absence of symptoms, rather than with a return to a patient’s baseline of functioning, her mood or personality before and between episodes of illness.

May 3/22 — Important drug interactions for NSAIDs (subscription-based).

Patients taking any of the widely used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be aware that they all have clinically important interactions with many other medications.

April 26/22 — Antidepressants and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) for patients with depression.

Despite the empirical literature demonstrating the efficacy of antidepressant medications for treatment of depression disorder, these medications' effect on patients' overall well-being and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) remains controversial. This study investigates the effect of antidepressant medication use on patient-reported HRQoL for patients who have depression.

April 8/22 — What People Need to Know About Psychiatric Drugs has been completely revised in 2022 by Dr. Janet C. Currie, M.S.W., PhD.

booklet cover

This booklet provides information to consumers about the use and safety of the most commonly prescribed sleeping pills and drugs for mental health conditions in Canada. It discusses why it is important to know about psychiatric drugs, the reasons why someone might be prescribed a psychiatric drug and the potential adverse effects of six classes of drugs used to treat mental health symptoms. These include medications for depression, anxiety, psychoses, bipolar disease, ADHD and insomnia.

The booklet also discusses non-psychiatric medications that can cause mental health symptoms, the risks of a prescribing cascade, how to discuss prescription drugs with your doctor and guidelines for safe tapering and withdrawal, where this is possible.

COVID Increased Use

The COVID pandemic has led to an increased use of sleeping pills and drugs for depression and anxiety. However, in Canada and elsewhere, much of the information available to consumers on prescription drugs comes directly or indirectly from the companies that manufacture them. Even the package insert that is included with some medications lists only a few potential side effects.

Our belief is that all Canadians have the right to have independent, objective and accurate information about prescription drugs so that they can have informed discussions with their healthcare providers and make the best decisions about their health.

Psychiatric Medication Awareness Group (PMAG)
April 2022

April 1/22 — Breaking off my chemical romance. We deserve a fuller picture of both the benefits and dangers of antidepressants.

March 26/22 — Cardiologist discusses her personal experience with benzodiazepine withdrawal.

February 23/22 — Doctors' Notes: Antidepressants could be affecting your COPD.

November 24/21 — NHS to give therapy for depression before medication under new guidelines.

November 17/21 — Did you know that psychiatric drugs can cause eye and vision problems? See The Mind's Eye: Ocular Complications of Psychotropic Medications.

Although the literature indicates that newer antipsychotics have safer toxicology profiles compared with typical antipsychotics, newer medications may still cause metabolic syndrome. Specifically, impaired glucose metabolism, exacerbation of existing Type 1 and 2 diabetes, induction of Type 2 diabetes and diabetic ketoacidosis have all been linked to treatment with antipsychotic medications.

October 22/21 — We have a new logo — developed by Annie Webb at Art Science Design for PMAG.

PMAG logo.

October 19/21 — Three books were added to our resources section:

  • The Woman Who Cracked the Anxiety Code: the extraordinary life of Dr Claire Weekes by Judith Hoare
  • Self-Help for Your Nerves: Learn to relax and enjoy life again by overcoming stress and fear by Dr. Claire Weekes.
  • Hope and Help for Your Nerves: End Anxiety Now by Dr. Claire Weekes.

October 19/21 — 9 ways to know if health info is actually junk science.

August 9/21 — Rates of psychiatric drug and sleeping pill use rise during COVID for seniors in care.

[T]he emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with significant increases in the use of antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and opioids and no meaningful changes in the use of antibiotics or selected cardiovascular medications.

Archived News

Older stories are archived on the Older Stories page.


Our Disclaimer

PMAG does not provide individual advice or respond to individual requests for assistance. We encourage you to seek qualified medical support. More…


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Dr. Ashton

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Dr. Heather Ashton on YouTube

Marcia Angell Series

The New York Review of Books:

  1. The Epidemic of Mental Illness: Why?
  2. The Illusions of Psychiatry

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Updated: June 18, 2022