Info about Antidepressants

Started by Kizzie, March 06, 2019, 07:40:09 PM

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Antidepressant Guidelines to Tighten in the UK, Lane, C., Psychology Today, May 2019.

After months of reporting by British media on the scale of the problem, with more than 7 million in Britain taking antidepressants (one of the highest per capita among OECD countries), the Royal College of Psychiatrists warned that the effects of ending treatment can, in fact, be "severe" and last for weeks, even months.

Antidepressant withdrawal – The tide is finally turning, Hengartner, Davies & Read, Epidemiology & Psychiatric Sciences, July 2019.

Withdrawal reactions when coming off antidepressants have long been neglected or minimised. It took almost two decades after the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) entered the market for the first systematic review to be published. More reviews have followed, demonstrating that the dominant and long-held view that withdrawal is mostly mild, affects only a small minority and resolves spontaneously within 1 – 2 weeks, was at odds with the sparse but growing evidence base. What the scientific literature reveals is in close agreement with the thousands of service user testimonies available online in large forums. It suggests that withdrawal reactions are quite common, that they may last from a few weeks to several months or even longer, and that they are often severe. These findings are now increasingly acknowledged by official professional bodies and societies.


Here's What I Tell My Patients Who Are Worried About Antidepressant Withdrawal by Dr. Gold Nov 2019.


A lot of times, this question seems to come from a patient's fear of staying on medication forever. Since I work on a college campus, I see a lot of people who are worried about starting to take something when they're 18 or 19 that they might need for the rest of their lives. (While there's absolutely nothing wrong with taking medication for your mental health, I know the stigma around it persists all the same.) So they want to talk about if, when, and how they can stop the medication in the future. But I also get this question from patients who have been on antidepressants for some time, are interested in getting off of them, and have heard some pretty...intimidating stories about that process.

The truth is that some people do benefit from staying on antidepressants for their entire lives. This can be life-saving, life-enriching, or both. But other people don't need to stay on mental health meds forever, which means at some point, they'll need to stop taking them as safely as possible.


No evidence that depression is caused by low serotonin levels, finds comprehensive review, 20 July 2022

The above article was based on this study:

Moncrieff, J., Cooper, R.E., Stockmann, T. et al. The serotonin theory of depression: a systematic umbrella review of the evidence. Molecular Psychiatry (2022).

Conclusion: This review suggests that the huge research effort based on the serotonin hypothesis has not produced convincing evidence of a biochemical basis to depression. This is consistent with research on many other biological markers [21]. We suggest it is time to acknowledge that the serotonin theory of depression is not empirically substantiated.



There seems to be a bit of a wave of questioning about the use of antidepressants to treat depression at the moment as captured in this article by CBC Senior Health Editor Adam Miller. 

Miller, A. (2022) Have we been treating depression the wrong way for decades?

The article concludes that antidepressants do work but are not the be all and end all, and that other tools are also effective in treating depression, something psychiatrists have known for years apparently.