This Changes Everything! Mind-Blowing Report Dismantling the Holy Grail of Psychiatric Medication of Emotional Distress.

Posted on 18th April, 2020

“This Changes Everything. I am introducing you to, what I believe is a mind-blowing report challenging the foundation of psychiatric medication and even diagnosis. What's fascinating about the report that its authors are leading professionals in the UK and the therapy world including Dr. Lucy Johnson et al, NCS, BACP, and the British Psychology Society. They have under the umbrella ofThe (UK) All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence (APPG for PDD)  facilitated the creation of a guidance paper in the last parliament by bringing together key professional bodies and key academics representing psychological therapists in the UK and relevant subject matter experts. This report could not be much fresher, published in December 2019.”


"This blog will not read as a narrative. What I have done here is to pick out several major key-statements from the document offering my perspective of the key headlines. You can take your eye to just the underlined parts of the extracts for a quick read, read the extracts in full or follow the link to read the report in full. Read the report in full. My words following, as few as they are, are written in italics; the extracts speak for themselves.


There appears to be little doubt that the psychological, psychiatric, medical & therapy professions are on the cusp of a seismic revolution for the identification and treatment of issues of 'emotional-distress ('mental health)' but no doubt there will be much resistance from the pharmaceutical industry who earn billions of dollars from the global market of antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs.



“Around 1in 4, a quarter of the UK adult population was prescribed a psychiatric drug last year”



The Report:


Guidance for Psychological Therapists.

Enabling conversations with clients taking or withdrawing from prescribed psychological

Drugs; (Unedited Extracts)


'The Medical Model and the Emerging Crises' (section 1.3 page 9:)


My Note: I’m not sure why they use the term ‘Crises’ maybe the expediential increase in both symptoms in the population and prescriptions or maybe,the emerging rift with contemporary professionals and the pharmaceutical industry and established psychiatry.



The Report Extracts:   


 (Section 1.3 Page 10. Para 1.)

'The role of conflicts of interest between the pharmaceutical industry, prescribers and drug-researchers 22–24; the lack of biomarkers for ‘mental disorders’ or evidence for the chemical imbalance theory of mental distress 25,15; the evidence that antidepressants may yield no clinically significant benefits over placebos for most people despite ever-rising prescriptions 30–33; the expanding knowledge of withdrawal problems 34,4,5, and the growing understanding that long-term use of psychiatric drugs is often associated with poor outcomes and increased harms 3. These concerns, criticisms, and areas of debate have been articulated, advanced and engaged with not only by psychologists, academics and therapists, but also by many psychiatrists who have seen in the psychiatric perspectives and treatments once championed in the 1990s, many promises left unrealised.


(Section 1 page 9 para 4) 

'It has been argued that over-medicalisation has led, in turn, to the consequent over-prescribing of psycho-pharmaceuticals,12,13 rising mental health stigma,14 the proliferation of unnecessary and harmful long-term prescribing, and the crowding out of effective alternatives that people both need and want”.15,16


(Section 1.0 page 7 para 3.)

''Today, in the UK, it is now widely acknowledged that we previously underestimated the incidence, severity and duration of withdrawal effects and the extent to which those people affected needs support”


 (Section 1.3 Page 9. Para 1)

'Whatever an individual’s view regarding the best model with which to understand and respond to emotional and mental distress, it is clear that since the mid-2000s there has been growing professional and public criticism of the utility and validity of the

‘biomedical’ model and associated interventions – a model in which distress has been assumed by some to be rooted in an underlying disease mechanism or organic pathology. It is important to note, however, that such criticism has been advanced not only by non-medical professionals. Indeed, many of its proponents stem from the medical and psychiatric community itself, where today there is a diversity of views regarding the utility and validity of this model.                                                                     



My note: Biomedical model. ... The biomedical model of health focuses on purely biological factors such as disease, chemistry the so-called 'brain inbalance, 'chemical-inbalance' theory for which there is no evidence. It excludes psychological, environmental, and social influences that cause emotional distress.


(Section 1.1 Page 7. Para 3)


'In May 2019 the Royal College of Psychiatrists issued a new position statement on antidepressant withdrawal, following new research and campaigning by people who have been harmed by psychiatric drugs, (also known as the prescribed-harm community), the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry (CEP) and the APPG for PDD. The Royal College’s statement acknowledged that antidepressant withdrawal is more widespread than previously thought and can be more severe and protracted than our current clinical guidelines acknowledge.


 (Section 1. page 7 para 2)                                                                    

'Joining the campaigners, the Royal College also called for NICE to update its

guidelines to better reflect the evidence base. In October 2019, NICE heeded calls by CEP, the APPG for PDD and the RCPsych to remove its previous advice that antidepressant withdrawal is usually mild, self-limiting and resolving over 1-week, and acknowledge that, while many people may experience only mild withdrawal, there is ‘substantial variation’ in people’s experience ‘with symptoms lasting much longer (sometimes months or more) and being more severe for some patients’. While these changes largely relate to antidepressants and, in the case of PHE, benzodiazepines, Z-drugs, GABA-ergic medicines and opioid pain medications), they demonstrate that thinking around psychiatric drug withdrawal has shifted considerably since early 2018.


 (Section 1.1 Page 8 para 1)

'These drugs will produce effects that may or may not be experienced as positive by the individual in question. These drugs can also produce adverse effects, while many clients will struggle to reduce or withdraw from them.



(Section 1 page 9.) Dr. James Davies, Professor Rosemary Rizq & Dr. Anne Guy 

'The Report Recommendations"

This comprehensive review has now been published and has called for the following:


■ A 24-hour national helpline and associated website to provide advice and support for those adversely affected by prescribed drug dependency and withdrawal.

■ Updated clinical guidance and improved doctor training.

■ Provision for better patient-information about drug risks and benefits, as well as alternatives such as therapy and social prescribing.

■ Further research into the nature and severity of withdrawal and its successful treatment.

■ Appropriate support from the NHS for patients, including dedicated support services.


(Section 1.1 page 8 para 4)


 “This guidance (The Report) agrees that it is not the role of the therapist to tell a client either to take, continue to take or withdraw from psychiatric drugs, nor to decide when, if or what drugs need to be withdrawn, this guidance actively encourages therapists to support clients in whatever decisions they reach with their prescribers. It also encourages them to engage with the views and perspectives of other professionals whilst at the same time honoring the distinctive and important contributions therapists can make in supporting a client through withdrawal.



My Not: In light of the above my objective here is to bring to the attention of the reader these guidelines and the current debate, to make an informed choice in consultation with their doctor. I am not a medical practitioner and advice on prescribing or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs is outside of my professional competency.


 Section 1.1 page 8 para 4)

 “Finally, it is also important to note that this guidance does not aim to disrupt or comment on the NICE guidelines as used by medical doctors, which, for example, recommend drugs for many conditions in addition to psychological therapies.

However, it is also important to note that NICE’s recommendations are continually being updated in the light of new debates, disputes, interests and evidence. For example, at the time of writing the guideline on depression (CG90) is undergoing an additional period of consultation in response to criticisms from a coalition of stakeholders, which

includes many therapy organisations.



My Note: It can take several years to get anything passed through ‘NICE all the time a therapist is also ethically bound not to oversee harm to their clients. A Disparity that holds me in conflict. Whilst it is argued by many that there is still a place for antidepressants we urgently need NICE to direct the NHS and private practices.’


The All-Party Parliamentary group publication is not a legislative publication of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in the report are those of the esteemed editors and writing team who are cited at the end of the blog.


It is important to say as I have stated previously; I am not a doctor but many of the report authors are.  I am not qualified to advise on medication. Medication is complex; sometimes antidepressants target anxiety as well as the  'symptoms' underlying the depression. It is well known in the clinical and therapeutic professions that one benefit of antidepressants is due to its placebo effect. However it is important to point out no pill, no drug will deal with the cause of depression, and often that cause is still present at the time drugs are prescribed. Those being prescribed 'psychiatric drugs' need to way-up the pros and cons of the side-effects and ease or otherwise of withdrawal. Some people can take antidepressants with little side-effects or withdrawal symptoms, and for some the effects can be severe even life-threatening as they may increase the ideation of suicide.  however, please note the warning ;

Do not withdraw from psychiatric drugs without the monitoring of a doctor - it may be very dangerous!!


Psychiatric Myths and a Struggle for Survival with Antidepressants and Diagnosis; My Story.  If you have not already read it you are invited to do so.


Follow me on Facebook


Authors of the Report; The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), The British Psychological Society (BPS), and United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) have collectively funded and steered the creation of the guidance in conjunction with members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence and et al.


Core steering group

Dr. Anne Guy Chair & Project Manager, Secretariat APPG for PDD

Dr. James Davies Deputy Chair, Secretariat APPG for PDD

Luke Montagu Secretariat APPG for PDD

Fiona Ballantine Dykes Chief Professional Standards Officer, BACP

Dr. Naomi Moller Joint Head of Research, BACP

Suzie O’Neill Head of Communications, BACP

Professor Sarah Niblock Chief Executive, UKCP

Jo Watson UKCP member

Adam Jones Policy & Advocacy Officer, UKCP

Dr. Che Rosebert Division Clinical Psychology, BPS

Professor Peter Kinderman Former President, BPS

Dr. Lewis Blair Division of Counselling Psychology, BPS

Dr. Esther Cohen-Tovee Division of Clinical Psychology, BPS

Dr. Yetunde Ade-Serrano Division of Counselling Psychology, BPS

Rachel Dufton Director of Communication and Engagement, BPS

Stephanie Taylor-King Communications Co-ordinator, NSUN



Dr. Anne Guy (UKCP, BACP, CEP) Integrative Psychotherapist, APPG for PDD Secretariat Co-ordinator

Dr. James Davies (CEP) Reader in social anthropology and mental health, University of Roehampton, Psychotherapist, APPG for PDD Secretariat

Professor Rosemary Rizq (UKCP, BPS) Professor of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy,

University of Roehampton


Lead authors (section/s)

Professor Joanna Moncrieff (CEP) Consultant psychiatrist, Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry, University College London Sections 2,4 Professor Rosemary Rizq

Section 3

Professor John Read (BPS, CEP) Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of East London

Dr. Anne Guy, Dr. James Davies




Make A Comment

Characters left: 2000

Comments (0)