Our expert says:
Damage, in the sense of unwanted changes which can't be reversed or healed, is not something I have read about. CHANGES in how the neurotransmitters work is the aim of using most varieties of drugs which work on the brain - but the changes produced, though they may work to a varying time-scale, are temporary - or one would not need to keep taking the meds.
As for Patrick Holford ( I knew his father, and my mother helped to care for his father in his final illness ) I do not recognize him as in any way an acceptable expert on mental health - and he profits so well from selling his books and making his talks against meds, I wouldn't expect him to say anything else - though I wouldn't accept his opinion on such matters even if it was about treating a sick budgie. He's like the Scientologists - they are not objective experts asessing drigs and other treatments - they are competitors, selling competitive products, and obviously keen to knock the drugs as rival products.
Generally, doctors are not motivated to hide the side-effects of drugs, and indeed by recognizing significant ones and publishing reports of these in the journals, they can earn some professional prestige.
Doing serious research on side-effects ( or any other health issue ) is really expensive, and if government or private organizations do not provide good funding for such work, then it does indeed tend to be done only on such issues as thedrug companies choose to fund.
But remember, the doctors have been trained and have years of experience, and are not really motivated to do anything other than to accurately identify the nature of your problems and to find the best way of helping you. So find a good local doctor, get an assessment, discuss your concerns wih him, and follow his advice. He is trained to take into account all the confusing claims and counter-claims that exist, and to apply the sound research available to finding the best way to help you
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