On February 18th, 2013, the German ARD broadcasted the program “Dangerous happy pills – billions in profits with antidepressants”. In that broadcast it is stated that antidepressants, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine or paroxetine, may cause suicidal behavior, aggression and violence. It is further argued that these risks were downplayed by manufacturers for many years, and that they make the prescription of these substances unacceptable. The broadcast caused a huge media coverage in Germany and many patients who are treated with antidepressants were alienated. The German Society for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (DGPPN) has now issued a statement to the report (Gründer G, Meyer-Lindenberg A, Maier W: Statement of the DGPPN on the ARD report “Dangerous happy pills” of March 6th, 2013).
It is very unfortunate that a public TV broadcast institution can send such a tendentious and unobjective post and that a formerly esteemed colleague as Bruno Müller-Oerlinghausen fires up widespread prejudice against psychotropic drugs.
This post is also available in: German