Twee notities van kritische psychiaters

2 april 2018.

  • Waarom psychiaters zo fel reageren op kritiek  (de complete tekst is alleen te lezen voor leden van de NvVP)

In de maatschappelijke discussie rondom antidepressiva zagen wij psychiaters in de verdediging schieten. Waarom is het voor onze beroepsgroep zo lastig om open te staan voor kritiek? In dit artikel bespreken wij twee paradigma’s die daar ons inziens een grote rol in spelen. Het eerste is ‘evidence based medicine leidt tot harde conclusies’; het tweede ‘de psychiater is een medisch specialist zoals alle andere’.

‘Alleen wanneer we verantwoordelijkheid nemen voor terechte kritiek, zijn we geloofwaardig in onze verdediging’


  • Kritische deskundigen zijn bezorgd over incomplete gegevens m.b.t. afkicken van antidepressiva.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists challenged over burying or inconvenient antidepressant data

To: Professor Wendy Burn, President – Royal College of Psychiatrists; Professor David Baldwin, Chair, Psychopharmacology Committee – Royal College of Psychiatrists.

February 28, 2018

Dear Professors Burn and Baldwin

On 24.2.2018 The Times published a letter signed by you, in your capacities as President, and Chair of the Psychopharmacology Committee, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP). In that letter you made the following claim: ‘We know that in the vast majority of patients, any unpleasant symptoms experienced on discontinuing antidepressants have resolved within two weeks of stopping treatment’

We believe that statement is not evidence-based, is incorrect and has misled the public on an important matter of public safety.

Although more research may be needed before any definitive statements on this issue can be made we note that even the RCP’s own survey of over 800 antidepressant users, reported in the RCP document ‘Coming Off Antidepressants’, found that withdrawal symptoms were experienced by the majority (63%) and ‘…. generally lasted for up to 6 weeks’ … and that ‘A quarter of our group reported anxiety lasting more than 12 weeks’.

We further note, however, that within 48 hours of making your misleading statement in The Times you removed the ‘Coming Off Antidepressants’ document from your RCP website. One interpretation of this action, and the timing thereof, is that you wanted to prevent the public from seeing evidence that contradicts your claim in the Times.

We are considering lodging a formal complaint with the appropriate professional body about your misleading the public on a matter of public safety. We would first, however, like to give you the opportunity to publicly retract, explain and apologise for the statement, in The Times and on the RCP website. Alternatively please provide us with the research studies on which you based the statement that ‘in the vast majority of patients, any unpleasant symptoms experienced on discontinuing antidepressants have resolved within two weeks of stopping treatment’.

We will await your response for one week before deciding whether to lodge the aforementioned complaint.

Please note that, as this is an urgent matter of public safety, we are making the concerns expressed in this letter public. We may also make public your response.

Yours sincerely,

Dr John Read Professor of Clinical Psychology University of East London

On behalf of:

Dr Steven Coles (Clinical Psychology) Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Dr James Davies (Medical Anthropology) University of Roehampton Dr Pieter Groot (Psychiatry) University of Maastricht Professor Peter Kinderman (Clinical Psychology) University of Liverpool Dr Hugh Middleton (Psychiatry) University of Nottingham Professor Jim van Os (Psychiatry) University of Maastricht Professor David Pilgrim (Clinical Psychology) University of Southampton Professor John Read (Clinical Psychology) University of East London Professor Sami Timimi (Psychiatry) Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

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