Surviving Big Pharma’s Antidepressant Epidemic with Dr Ali Ajaz and Prof David Healy

In this episode of Better Way Live, Dr Tess Lawrie and Linda Rae discuss the increase in antidepressant use and their long-term withdrawal effects with Dr Ali Ajaz and Professor David Healy. Cartoonist Anne Gibbons also joins us!

About Professor David Healy

  • Prof David Healy is a scientist, psychopharmacologist, and Professor of Psychiatry.
  • Prof Healy is also founder and CEO of Data Based Medicine Limited, which operates through its website, dedicated to making medicines safer through online direct patient reporting of drug side effects.

About Dr Ali Ajaz

  • Dr Ali Ajaz is a Consultant Psychiatrist and an academic with a specialist interest in medical education and research. He graduated from Guy’s, King’s & St Thomas School of Medicine and trained in East London in the field of forensic mental health.
  • Dr Ajaz worked in the NHS for 17 years, before starting his own clinical practice in Canary Wharf, London. He uses a functional health approach to finding mental health solutions for his patients, with a particular focus on identifying and treating root causes. Ali holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education from the University of Bedfordshire and he is currently undertaking a research doctorate degree (MD Res).
  • Ali is co-chair of the Doctors for Patients UK group, that provides free CPD meetings for UK doctors focusing on patient-centred and ethical medicine.

About Anne Gibbons

  • Anne Gibbons has been a professional cartoonist for almost four decades. Nothing pleases her more than expressing an idea in a simple, appealing way that touches people personally.
  • Anne has created cartoons, greeting cards, comic strips and illustrations for a wide range of clients including Recycled Paper Greetings, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Lifetime Television, Dow Jones, Deloitte, Bright Horizons, NJIT, Fordham University and the AAUW.
  • You can support Anne’s amazing work by following her on Substack.

Here’s what World Council for Health is up to this week and beyond:

Click here for transcript with links.

View all previous Better Way Live episodes here.

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  1. I’ll come back to listen to this podcast, but wanted to share this experience.
    I was very fortunate to have been able to stop Sertraline after 15-18 years of daily use.
    I was on 200mg per day, broken into 2-100 mg doses, am/hs.
    I knew my dr wouldn’t agree, so I researched it myself, and began the process.
    It took me 7 &1/2 months of monthly incremental decreases to my medication.
    After my final dose, within a short time, started experiencing heart palpitations.
    Which didn’t end until, estimating, 15ish months later. (Was examined and cleared with multiple tests, and exams by cardiologist).
    Emotionally, it was difficult, but doable. I have been off all meds since the early autumn of 2021.
    When I did tell the dr I had taken myself off, he was surprised, and even more surprised at the length of the weaning process. But my research told me so many people fail. Which is why I chose a longer weaning process.
    My eldest daughter, after seeing my successful cessation of antidepressants, tried to stop.
    And she failed miserably. I think they were trying to take her off too fast, too soon.
    I hope to gain some info from you upcoming podcast, that may benefit my daughter.
    I thank you, in advance, as I know how difficult this is, yet doable. And so many are searching for good information on the topic!
    With time, patience, and perseverance, I succeeded.
    I hope the same for my daughter.
    Thank you, again.
    God Bless you all.

  2. Great discussion with Dr Ajaz and Dr Healy. I really appreciate you bringing conversations around mental health, well-being and the drugs to the audience. It is only getting worse and we need to start reframing what mental health and suffering looks like. It is only through darkness that diamonds and butterflies emerge. And same goes for humans. Drugging is not helping and as we heard from the speakers may actually be harming people more. Thanks WCH for taking the leadership for creating a Better Way forward.

  3. This has been an area of study for me for the last 30 years. Congratulations to the Drs and this discussion. In my experience, there are many better support systems than Anti-D’s. And there always have been. The first step in my practice has been to help clients stabilise their blood sugar so the emotional highs and lows go away. And to make sure the right nutrients are used to boost the health of the body. Etc, etc