previous post) that I signed a complaint to the Royal College of Psychiatrists about a statement made by Wendy Burns, the President, and David Baldwin, the Chair of the Psychopharmacology Committee, that discontinuation problems on stopping antidepressants resolve within two weeks for the vast majority of patients. I do not think this statement is evidenced-based. The complaint has been dismissed by the College as unfounded (listen to MIA Radio podcast)
Minimising the significance of antidepressant discontinuation problems doesn’t seem to matter to the College. I’m not convinced the College membership fully agrees with this unwillingness to engage with the evidence and I am ashamed as a member of the College about this apparent lack of concern. As I said in my previous post, there is a history of antidepressant discontinuation problems being minimised, even denied, and this situation just seems to be being perpetuated by the College.
On the other hand, I guess we shouldn't be too surprised that the College is unconcerned about the truth of a matter of this sort. It finds it difficult to acknowledge the political and ethical implications of psychiatric practice. However neutral and objective the College may like to think it is, it exists, actually, as an institutional structure to justify psychiatric treatment, such as antidepressant medication. So, it would want to minimise problems caused by medication, wouldn't it? More generally, the validity of what it promotes as science does need to be challenged (eg. see previous post). We should not assume that the College has full and absolute legitimacy in truth over psychiatric matters and this has been demonstrated by the way this complaint has been handled.
Let's hope Wendy Burns and David Baldwin are prepared to discuss these matters further now that the complaints procedure is over.