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Thread: 5 Reasons Not to Take SSRI's

  1. #1

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    Thumbs up 5 Reasons Not to Take SSRI's

    Five Reasons not to take SSRIs | Psychology Today

    Five Reasons not to take SSRIs
    Now that SSRIs don't work for depression, don't take them!
    Published on January 7, 2010
    Lennard J. Davis is professor of disability studies, medical education, and English literature at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the author of Obsession: A History.

    For the past five years, and in my recent book OBSESSION: A HISTORY, I have been questioning the effectiveness of Prozac-like drugs known as SSRIs. I've pointed out that when the drugs first came out in the early 1990's there was a wildly enthusiastic uptake in the prescribing of such drugs. Doctors were jubilantly claiming that the drugs were 80-90 per cent effective in treating depression and related conditions like OCD. In the last few years those success rates have been going down, with the NY Times pointing out that the initial numbers had been inflated by drug companies supressing the studies that were less encouraging. But few if any doctors or patients were willing to hear anything disparaging said about these "wonder" drugs.

    Now the tune has changed.

    Reason One: A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that SSRI's like Paxil and Prozac are no more effective in treating depression than a placebo pill. That means they are 33 per cent effective, which is the percent of patients who will respond well to a sugar pill. The article goes on to say that although SSRI's are effective to some degree in treating severe depression they don't have any effect on the routine type of depressions they are most often used to treat. The take-home message is--don't take SSRI's if you have normal, mild, or routine depression. It's a waste of money, and the drugs have serious side-effects including loss of sexual drive.

    Reason Two: A January 4 article in MedPage Today cites a study done at Columbia University and Johns Hopkins. The study says that doctors routinely prescribe not one but two or three SSRI's and other psychopharmological drugs in combination with few if any serious studies to back up the multiple usage. It's pretty obvious that the reason for these multiple prescriptions is that if one drug doesn't work, then perhaps two or three will. Doctors are in essence performing uncontrolled experiments on their patients, hoping that in some scattershot way they might hit on a solution. But of course drugs have dangerous interactions and most physicians are shooting in the dark with all the dangers that attend such bad marksmanship.

    Reason Three: More and more psychiatric disorders are appearing that might be called "lifestyle" diseases. What was called shyness, sadness, restlessness, shopping too much, high sex drive, low sex drive, and so on have increasingly been seen as diseases and many more will appear in the new DSM, the diagnotstic manual of psychological and psychiatric disorders. Increasingly the criteria for inclusion in the DSM involves whether the disorder responds to a category of drugs. If, as we've just seen, one of the key class of drugs that for 20 years has been considered effective now fails, what does that say for this idea that if a disease responds to a particular drug, then it is a particular disease? We have to rethink the whole biological basis for lifestyle disorders.

    Reason Four: We're an over-medicated society, and the goal of drug companies and a compliant and harried medical establishment is ultimately to have some drug coursing through every individuals's bloodstream. It's a lot easier to quickly pop a pill or prescribe than it is to explore the reasons for a person's distress. Many of us remember the scenario in 1960's science fiction movies of a dystopic future or Soviet-style world with drugs used to control minds. Well, that future is here and the social control we dreaded is now accepted in the form of a pill.

    Reason Five: The whole seratonin hypothesis is challenged by these findings. What this new information shows is that there may be some help using SSRIs if there is a severe shortage of seratonin, but the average person's depression cannot simply be related to a "chemical imbalance." The human brain is too complicated and so are we to have a simple, quick explanation related to seratonin alone. We have no way of measuring seratonin the brain of a living person, short of cutting open the skull. We have not come up with what a normal level of seratonin should be and below which we can say that you would be depressed and above which we can say you will be happy. People with high seratonin levels can be depressed and those with low levels can be happy. Seratonin inducing drugs like ecstasy can make you feel very happy, but so can alcohol and heroin. We have to go back to the drawing boards on this one, so don't ever let anyone say "I've got a chemical imbalance" without asking them what they actually mean and where is the science to prove that statement.

    What Should You Do? Think twice, be skeptical, and question a simplistic diagnosis you might receive after discussing your condition for a short time with a rushed practitioner. If each person takes a stand, is willing to engage in therapies beyond drug-taking, we might actually have a responsible and informed public confronting an increasingly powerful medical-pharmalogical establishment. Drugs may not be the answer for you, and now it turns out that some drugs may not be the answer for almost anyone.
    Kelly xx

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  2. #2

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    thanks for this

    13 years ago i was in a very abusive marriage with a master con artist . i was overworked paying off his debts that he always had a good story for. he tried to make it all about a good marriage but i was simply depressed and a stupid psychologist beleived him and tried to pressurise me to take these instead of realising how overworked and abused i was. she beleived these were very effective and not addictive so you could take them for a few months with only beneficial effects.

    thanks for this.

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    Interesting information. I have tried with and without SSRI's and I unfortunately am better with them as I have OCD which gets better a little while with natural therapy and CBT but comes back worse when not taking SSRI.

  4. #4

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    yes i dont think there is a one size fits all

    I took a very low dose of lexepro like 1/4 10 mg tablet daily and it may have helped i dont know.

    my daughter definitely and friends even people who are really into alternative methods absolutely feel they did better while on antidepressants. so yes you are right there is not one size fits all

    everyone needs to find there own way

    i once read that we need 3 things to be happy

    fulfilments
    enjoyments
    and reduction of harsh things in our life

    i havent yet managed to have enough reduction of the harsh things but still plodding along

    i find the secret cds help me be more positive and i do hae an energy worker who clears energy that seems to help if then you dont go back to thinking negatively over and over.

    Each to his own

    sleep and massage also help me pick up my energy and be much more relaxed.

    i guess my bitterness is that i was b eing abused and instead she was pressuring me to take drugs on his lies that it was a perfect marriage and i was just depressed, instead of the truth which was i was being conned abused and overworked.

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    I am certain that there are many articles and medical journal publications out there that can substantiate the opposite views as well. As it happens I agree with elements of both arguments and do, in fact, have first hand experience in this area.

    In my opinion however, this sounds dangerously close to advice that should only be given by a qualified professional after an individual psychiatric assessment has been conducted. An article as one-sided as this in an area as sensitive as mental illness could have very dangerous consequences.

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    I agree with Sambo, showing this to people who are already way down with depression or paralysed with anxiety may read this type of info and stop taking it without seeing their dr, or feel more depressed or anxious because they think the drug is doing them more harm than good. Sometimes I think too much information can be a bad thing.

  7. #7
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    SSRI's are just ONE of the many many classes of anti-depressants used to treat depression/anxiety. Its a shame he doesn't mention this..... an uneducated person could be easily mislead in to thinking all anti-depressants fall under this category. Also i'm unsure why he chooses to attack this category over others, what about the SNRI's, MAOI's, tricyclics, NRI's... and there are other classes.

    Reason 1 - cites one study? there are literally millions of studies. And from personal experience i can say that theres a huge difference between a placebo tablet and medication.

    Reason 2 - In my experience combining medications can really help, not by a GP but by a psychiatrist. Yes its trial and error to find the right combo, but its rude to say they're shooting in the dark. Many do have substantial experience in combining medications which target different receptors in the brain. Sometimes depression doesn't just go away by targetting the seratonin receptor. Other classes of medications like anti-psychotics and mood stabilisers can augment the benefits of anti-depressants. Its pretty cynical to suggest every Dr is just poly medicating for the fun of it. Some really do care and do have the education to treat to this extent, and some people's depression is so severe they need it.

    Reason 3 - i agree to an extent. But theres a huge difference between being shy and having heart palpitations and being rendered house bound because you're too anxious to leave the house. Oh and being "thrifty" as opposed to "hoarding". These things exist and i'm glad there are names for some of these conditions. For years i didn't understand why i was always worried and excessively shy, now knowing i had anxiety was a relief, and is often the gateway to treatment.

    Reason 4 - he's right, we are an over medicated society. Just watch tv to see an ad for paracetamol... "why struggle with the pain when you can get on with your day"... People self medicate in different ways, whether its a hobby or a drug, theres a fine line. Drink coffee??? that's a drug. Society has become self indulgent in more ways than one. I don't think attacking very relevant medications for treating mental illness is the right way to vent about this.

    Reason 5 - Don't really agree here. Seratonin is complex, simply it is involved in mood regulation. Ecstasy (or MDMA) literally floods the brain with seratonin, thats why the person feels very good. When the effect wears off they feel low in mood because their stores of seratonin has been depleted. Anti-depressants work in a similar way, SSRI's by blocking the re-uptake of seratonin, essentially leaving more in your brain. I can personally say this has helped me, and more people than i can count. We can't exactly measure how much seratonin is affected in a depressed person, but i have no doubt it plays a role in medical treatment. He says himself we have no way of measuring the amount of seratonin in a persons brain... but then goes on to say: People with high seratonin levels can be depressed and those with low levels can be happy. How does he know that if we can't measure the levels? I think "chemical imbalance" is a loose term used to describe what is obviously an imbalance of not only seratonin, but also other chemicals secreted in the brain (norepinephine) etc.

    I do agree with the last statement... definately play a role in your own treatment, research, ask questions, follow your instinct.

    And don't make a decision based on just ONE opinion, article, study.

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    Hmmm, I have to say I agree with Sambo and Widdly. It could be very dangerous for someone to stop taking their meds because of reading this article.

    I agree with the part of the article that says SSRI's may not really be suitable for everyone, but they certainly have a place for those who do suffer from a serious psychological or psychiatric illness.

    And I can say that from experience.

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    Hmm it's almost an article which is more about SSRI's being over prescribed, rather than true reasons not to take them.

    I had bad reactions to that particular class of antidepressants. It is a problem for me as many GP's are unfamiliar with or prefer to only prescribe that class - SSRI's or SNRI's.

    I found SAMe which is a natural supplement helped me.

  10. #10

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    Hmmm.



    Not a well researched article to be honest.

    I went and read the articles the author was referring to and the articles are being completly misquoted.

    Reason 1 refers to an article that is meant to have said
    "A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that SSRI's like Paxil and Prozac are no more effective in treating depression than a placebo pill. That means they are 33 per cent effective, which is the percent of patients who will respond well to a sugar pill. The article goes on to say that although SSRI's are effective to some degree in treating severe depression they don't have any effect on the routine type of depressions they are most often used to treat. The take-home message is--don't take SSRI's if you have normal, mild, or routine depression. It's a waste of money, and the drugs have serious side-effects including loss of sexual drive"
    I can't find this message in the article at all...the article refers to SSRI's being more effective on major depression than mild depression- which is correct...thats what the SSRI's are used for.

    Anyway- I didn't read on because its obviously not creditable information.

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