Stevie Lewis has lived experience of tapering an SSRI antidepressant and protracted withdrawal. This led her to become a campaigner nationally and internationally for better recognition of antidepressant withdrawal and support for people in withdrawal.
In 2018 she petitioned the Welsh Senedd (Parliament) on this subject (Petition P-05-784) published in March 2019, leading to recommendations for change in Wales. Information gained from stories submitted by the public to this petition led to her being a contributor to the Public Health England Prescribed Medicines Review: report of the review of the evidence for dependence on, and withdrawal from, prescribed medicines, published September 2019.
In 2020 Stevie was a co-author of The Patient Voice: patients who experience antidepressant withdrawal symptoms are often dismissed, or misdiagnosed with relapse, or a new medical condition, published in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology in November 2020.
She wrote an article published in 2021 in the British Journal of GPs entitled “Four research papers I wish my GP had read before prescribing antidepressants.” The latest paper she co-authored has just been published in Psychiatry Research “The need for antidepressant withdrawal support services: Recommendations from 708 patients”.
Since 2022, Stevie has been a Board Member of the International Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal and a member of LEAP for PDD – the Lived Experience Advisory Panel for Prescribed Drug Dependence. Both organisations work to influence governments and health providers nationally and internationally to recognise and provide support for people struggling with withdrawal from prescribed drugs.