I was expecting to arrive at one of those over-professionalised conferences with a lot of men in suits talking about receptor subpopulations and the latest meta-analyses of different dose regimes.
|what I was expecting, and dreading...|
Thankfully, how wrong I was! The venue was ‘The Extended Therapy Room’, a conception of the energetic and charming Carina Håkansson; it is a therapy centre for family placements – akin to an adult adoption agency for those with severe mental health problems. However, we did talk about receptors (and how little they matter in real life), and robust evidence (particularly, how little there is that's relevant in clinical practice).
In the final group we all spoke of one thing that we’re going to do before the second and final part of the course in October. I’m going to put mine here, so it’s like a public commitment...
The reason being that, even amongst experts here, there is little solid evidence for what are the best ways to withdraw psychiatric medications (except perhaps benzos) – despite the generally accepted view that long term use and polypharmacy is a Bad Thing. And the increasing evidence of long-term harm, and the public disquiet.
Could CPN ask Tim Kendall to set one up?
Or is there a formal process we could lobby through?
It would probably need some much better-informed research-savvy people than me, like Joanne and Sami, to make the case.
But NICE guidelines now carry so much (spurious?) authority, that it would certainly create a (useful) stir.
It’s clear from the discussions here that nobody really knows what the protocols should be, and there are no easily available or unbiased guidelines on the subject – despite recommendations about no long term use, increasing evidence of long-term harm, and many unhappy service users and carers.
Any chance of setting up a NICE guideline on it?
Or is there a formal process we should follow?