Prominent Psychiatrist tells CNN Why Antidepressants are So Dangerous

Alex Pietrowski, Staff Writer
Waking Times

When one of the world’s leading psychiatrist issues such a severe warning about antidepressants, we should probably listen. In 1994 Dr. Allen Francis chaired the committee that assembled the DSM-IV, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is sometimes referred to as the bible of mental health.

  • In a recent interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Dr. Francis addresses the very real problem with antidepressant addiction, which is something that is just now being understood by the public. He fust notes that it is a different type of addiction that what we would normally associate with substance abuse.

    “Well they’re not really addictive in the sense that benzodiazepines are addictive, or cocaine or alcohol. They don’t cause the same degree of functional impairment when you’re taking them, but they definitely do have a withdrawal syndrome, and that withdrawal syndrome traps people. It’s so easy to start an antidepressant and sometimes so very difficult to stop it.” ~Dr. Allen Francis

    It’s worth noting that in the DSM-IV from the early ’90’s, there is a reference that suggests that antidepressants are included among the psychiatric drugs which may lead to substance abuse issues, but it took nearly 25 years for this information to enter into the conversation about antidepressants.

    “Well, it’s a deeply held secret. There’s almost no research on the withdrawal syndrome. There’s absolutely no interest on the part of the pharmaceutical companies in advertising the fact that getting on an antidepressant may trap you for years and maybe for life. So they’ve discouraged research, they don’t report adverse findings. The pharmaceutical industry is only marginally less ruthless than the drug cartels, and it’s not in their interest to advertise this, so there’s been very little research, and we really don’t know how the long-term use of these medications may affect the brain. We’re doing a kind of public health experiment on hundreds of millions of people around the world without really understanding the long-term effects.”


    All of this is juxtaposed with the frightening fact that now 1 in 6 Americans are on antidepressants or other psychiatric medications, representing a three-fold increase in less than 20 years. When asked by Amanpour how difficult it is for a normal person to get a prescription for antidepressants, Allen replies:

    “There’s nothing easier in the world than starting an antidepressant. Primary care doctors are given far too little time with their patients, and the only way they can get a patient out of the office satisfied, after a seven minute visit is to write a prescription. Eighty percent of the antidepressants are prescribed by primary care doctors, usually after seven minutes, under heavy pressure from both the patient and from the drug company… On the other hand, stopping the medicine can take years.” ~ Dr. Francis Allen

    The full interview can be seen here.

    In essence, Dr. Francis is subtly acknowledging an ongoing coverup about the dangerous side effects of these medicines. As Philip Hickey, PhD notes in a recent article for Mad In America, since antidepressants were first developed in the 1950’s there has been “almost no research on the withdrawal syndrome,” but all the while they have been quietly telling us that antidepressants cause said symptoms. Hickey comments:

    Yet here’s Dr. Frances telling us that there’s “almost no research on the withdrawal syndrome.” And is he telling us this as an indictment of psychiatry? Is he acknowledging that routinely prescribing and promoting brain-impairing pills on which there is virtually no withdrawal research is a disgrace to the profession of psychiatry? No. Again, in the same shoulder-sloping fashion, he’s blaming pharma! Pharma have “no interest” in the addictive potential of these products. Pharma have “discouraged” research. Pharma doesn’t report adverse findings. Pharma are almost as ruthless as the drug cartels.


    So, what we’ve got here is a self-styled medical profession that has been prescribing and actively promoting a class of drugs for almost 60 years, with little or no information concerning their withdrawal characteristics. And Dr. Frances blames pharma for this state of affairs! Why couldn’t organized psychiatry (e.g. the APA and Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists) have pursued such research? Why couldn’t the psychiatry departments of various colleges have pursued such research, either singly or collaboratively? And how could psychiatry be so venal and corrupt as to promote and prescribe these drugs without even this basic level of knowledge concerning their addictive potential?


    And note the phrase:  “…we really don’t know how the long-term use of these drugs may affect the brain.” After 60 years and countless millions of prescriptions, psychiatry doesn’t know how the long-term use of these drugs may affect the brain!

  • Read more articles by Alex Pietrowski

    About the Author

    Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.

    This article (Prominent Psychiatrist tells CNN Why Antidepressants are So Dangerousoriginally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alex Pietrowski and

    Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of WakingTimes or its staff.

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