The Pill That Steals Lives is a bestselling book by documentary film maker Katinka Blackford Newman. This campaigning website arose out of it to publicise the dangerous side effects of SSRI antidepressants. Whilst antidepressants can save lives, for some (between 1 and 4 % of users), they can be lethal and can steal lives permanently. No one knows why, but all SSRI antidepressants can have a paradoxical effect causing ordinary people with no history of mental illness to become suicidal or homicidal.
Katinka Blackford Newman has been interviewed around the world on this subject and in the UK on Radio 5 Live, BBC News, Good Morning Britain, the Victoria Derbyshire Show and in The Times, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The New Scientist, The Times Literary Supplement and The British Journal of Psychiatry. As well she has been an expert witness in cases involving antidepressant related crimes.
The research from her book was made into a 1 hour BBC Panorama Special, A Prescription for Murder (July 2017). It investigated whether an antidepressant could be the cause of one of the worst mass killings of this century.
This website is a platform for those whose lives have been adversely affected by antidepressants.
There’s a Stolen Lives Section where you can email a short synopsis and a photo about a life that has been stolen by antidepressants
My Story by Katinka Blackford Newman
In 2012, while going through a divorce I was suffering insomnia. I was prescribed an SSRI antidepressant (escitalopram) and within hours I went into a four-day toxic delirium with violent hallucinations.
I was better days later as I stopped the medication but doctors didn't recognise my psychosis was caused by the antidepressant. They wrongly diagnosed psychotic depression and I was hospitalised and forced to take more pills that my system cannot tolerate.
I descended into a year long decline and went from being a go-getting, fit, globe-trotting career woman and mum to wandering around in a dirty old dressing gown, unable to leave the house.
At the end of that year I was on seven different medications and was given various different diagnoses. By now I had lost everything - my health, my job, my home, and my kids who no longer recognised their mum.
It was luck I got better. I was taken to a different hospital where I was taken off all the medication and within weeks of agonising cold turkey, I recovered fully.
A month later I was back at work, training for a half marathon and my kids had their mum back. That was five years ago and since then I haven't taken a single medication and have resumed my life and career.
While antidepressants can be appropriate for some, there are people like myself who have a life-threatening reaction to them.
I went on a journey of discovery and found I had got off lightly as there are many around the world whose lives have been permanently stolen by antidepressants. The result of my investigations led me to write a book, make a film and to set up this campaign.
2 min campaign film - Author Katinka Blackford Newman and her children Lily and Oscar made this film about their story in order to publicise how dangerous antidepressants can be when side effects are not recognised
Now available in UK bookshops and published worldwide
The book has been endorsed by leading academic and world expert on antidepressants Professor David Healy:
“If you think this case is exceptional, think again. Katinka Blackford Newman eloquently and vividly describes a medical horror coming your way soon”
And by Professor Peter Gotzsche of the Nordic Cochrane Centre:
"This book describes in vivid detail how ordinary people can become murderers if they take antidepressant drugs and how psychiatry can destroy people. Its a catching personal testimony about what is wrong with psychiatry, its love affair with unscientific diagnoses and harmful drugs, and its blindness towards the fact that what looks like psychiatric diseases are often side effects of psychiatric drugs"
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