Tag Archives | SSRIs

What If Everything We Know About Treating Depression Is Wrong?

"How to Overcome Depression" by Kevin Dooley via Flickr

“How to Overcome Depression” by Kevin Dooley via Flickr

Could it be that we’re treating the wrong part of the brain?

via AlterNet:

A new study is challenging the relationship between depression and an imbalance of serotonin levels in the brain, and brings into doubt how depression has been treated in the U.S. over the past 20 years.

Researchers at the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center and Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit have bred mice that cannot produce serotonin in their brains, which should theoretically make them always depressed. But researchers instead found that the mice showed no signs of depression, but instead acted aggressively and exhibited compulsive personality traits.

This study backs recent research that indicates that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, may not be effective in lifting people out of depression. These commonly used antidepressants, such as Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Zoloft, and Lexapro, are taken by some 10% of the U.S.

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Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas: antidepressants are not overprescribed

Stephen Lawrie, Head of the Division of Psychiatry, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuro-Imaging, Director of PsySTAR at University of Edinburgh, has a very controversial opinion, and I’m interested to see what you Disinfonauts think. Is this just another case of a doctor in Big Pharma’s pockets? Or could he be onto something?

Fluoxetine HCl 20mg Capsules (Prozac). Tom Varco via Wikimedia Commons.

Fluoxetine HCl 20mg Capsules (Prozac). Tom Varco via Wikimedia Commons.

via The Conversation:

There is a persistent media hype surrounding the notion that the prescription of antidepressants is “at record levels”, and “on the rise”. Yet numerous studies have shown that most people with depression do not get any treatment. How can both be true? This is the controversy I will be exploring at the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas – part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – on August 8, 2014.

To approach this question, we must begin by understanding what depression is. We need to appreciate how common, disabling, and yet stigmatised it can be.

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Confession: I’m on SSRIs

Picture: Christine de la Cerna

To say that I have a family history of mental illness would be an understatement: I’ve got a long, storied family history of men putting shotguns in their mouths and pulling the trigger. I’ve even got a few female suicides as well. Family rumors were that I had a great, great aunt that took a header off a bridge. One of my parents crawled into a whiskey bottle and died. The other recently became persona non grata after putting a pellet rifle to the head of a newborn. Last I heard she’s living in a trailer out in the woods somewhere, gobbling up drugs and claiming to have one fatal illness after another. Throw in a grand lineage of drunks and we’re a family in the classic Southern Gothic style.

Call it a family curse – a tainted bloodline, if you’re into H.P. Lovecraft – but it’s one that visited itself on me in my teenage years and decided to stick around.… Read the rest

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