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Blog: New NICE Guidelines for ECT are dangerously inadequate, say 50 patients and professionals

John Read and Chris Harrop Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is still given to approximately 2,500 people in England annually, predominantly women and older people. A course of ECT consists of 6-12 sessions in which an electric current is applied to the brain, causing a seizure. NICE Guidelines in 2003 noted that there was very limited evidence […]

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Please join CEP for an online screening of the film Medicating Normal on 26 Jan 2022 7pm GMT

Join the Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry and for a virtual community screening of Medicating Normal, a 76-minute documentary film that follows the stories of five high-functioning people whose doctors prescribed pills to help with common problems such as stress, depression, insomnia and grief with devastating impact on their lives. It is the untold story of the serious consequences that […]

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CEP co-founder Luke Montagu writes in the Daily Mail about decision to resign from NICE committee tackling withdrawal from prescribed drugs

After eight years of campaigning for patients who’ve become dependent on their medicines, I was pleased to be asked to join a committee drawing up new official guidelines to tackle the problem in 2019. The committee was supposed to produce evidence-based recommendations for doctors and prescribers covering the safe prescribing and withdrawal of medicines that […]

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£500m wasted each year in England on dependency-forming medicines

CEP and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence is releasing new research which estimates that around half a billion pounds of taxpayers’ money is wasted each year in England on medicines that can cause dependency, including antidepressants, painkillers and sleeping pills. This research follows the publication in 2019 of Public Health England’s Prescribed […]

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Withdrawal case studies needed by Daily Mail

The Daily Mail Good Health section is planning to run another article on the widespread problem of drug dependency involving prescription medicines such as opioids, gabapentinoids, benzodiazepines, Z-drugs and antidepressants. The article will examine the scale of the problem and the amount spent on inappropriate prescribing. To help to tell the story and illustrate the […]

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Guest blog: Really depressed people need antidepressants! Do they?

Martin Plöderl, PhD Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Salzburg, Austria Despite decades of research and more than 100,000 patients in clinical trials, it is still debated if the efficacy of antidepressants is clinically meaningful and if prescriptions are justified, given the small benefits and the harms (Jakobsen et al., 2019; Munkholm et al., 2019). Nonetheless, there is […]

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Prof Peter Kinderman: Should ECT be judged by the standards of homeopathy?

This blog was originally published on 7th September 2020 on the Psychology Today website as: —o— Extraordinarily, we now live in a world in which the best evidence [] that the Royal College of Psychiatrists has been able to muster for the real-world effectiveness of ECT exactly parallels the claims for homeopathy.  ECT is defended […]

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Major milestone: Royal College releases new guidance on stopping antidepressants

Today I welcome the new patient information leaflet, entitled ‘Stopping Antidepressants’, published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.  The leaflet distills many years of work by researchers, campaigners and the prescribed harm community, which has jointly challenged previous understandings of antidepressant withdrawal as being a relatively benign experience for most people.  Instead, the leaflet now […]

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Guest blog: Call for an independent review into the practice of ECT

By Lucy Johnstone and Sue Cunliffe Electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, is still given to about 2,100 -2,700 people a year in England, about half of whom have not consented to it. This blog reports on a campaign for an independent review of this highly controversial procedure, and provides links to relevant articles. There will be […]

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Guest blog by Richard P. Bentall: ECT is a classic failure of evidence-based medicine

A commentary on Read, J., Kirsch, I., & McGrath, L. (2020). Electroconvulsive therapy for depression: A review of the quality of ECT versus sham ECT trials and meta-analyses. Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 21, 64-103.  Richard P. Bentall, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Sheffield In a discipline to which controversy is no stranger, there are […]

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