Friday, August 7, 2009

Anxiety and Depression Medication: The Antidepressant Debate

Antidepressant medication is the most prescribed class of drugs in North America. This prescription rate has got people, on both sides of the issue, talking, and both present some interesting arguments.

Many people see the rise in prescriptions as a promising a sign that the stigma associated with mental and emotional illness is beginning to ebb, prompting more and more people to seek help for their condition. For far too many years, people concealed problems with overall mental health, choosing to suffer in silence rather than risk the sting of public opinion often associated with these types of illnesses. Many others point to the advancements made in the newer antidepressant medications as a cause for this trend. Some of the new formulas, they say, provide both short and long-term relief from persistent, depression-related symptoms, while minimizing troublesome side effects.

Others, however, are chiming in on the opposite side of this debate. They argue that the proliferation of new antidepressant medications is alarming. These drugs are only designed to treat the symptoms of depression, and since most doctors choose this method as their sole treatment option, the cause of the depression is being ignored. They also point out that medications of this sort, while modestly effective in the treatment of anxiety and depression, can have some serious side effects. According to some treatment professionals, the use of medication is only a "bandaid" for depression, and without other measures aimed at identifying and treating the cause, the condition will persist, and in some cases worsen.

I am going to reserve my opinion for my next post, but I am ultra-anxious (bad choice of words, I guess) to hear your opinion on this hot topic. What do you think about antidepressants? Is it an effective treatment? Is it prescribed too much? Should it be used alone, in conjunction with other treatments or eliminated altogether as a treatment option? I want to hear about your personal experiences.


Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben said...

Interesting all medications which came to be, I think anti-depressants are still being experimented, or rather we are still being experimented on.
Aspirin was once discovered and for a time people were taking it without us knowing quite how it worked - there were repercussions to be sure, but lots of people were also helped by it. However, now I think that pharmaceuticals can safely say they know how aspirin works, what it does, all it's parameters etc.
But Prozac...? No one has yet been able to definitively lay down how it works. Increasing serotonin in the blood stream? But that means an effect should be seen in hours, not months. Building new neuron connections? Who knows...

Anyway, I'd like to hear your opinion!

Also, I've started a blog which has my rants on society, it just happens to be called Philosophy Before Prozac. It's a bit angsty but it'd be great to get some more (i.e. more than 0) readers.. Check it out here if you get a chance:

And I also have a blog for my music and composition, which mostly comes from and sounds like an over pensive person with no Prozac:

I'm definitely following this blog from now.


P.S Had to delete and re-post because of some appalling spelling mistakes.

Evil said...

Black girlies are expossed toward extreme panic attacks and even agoraphobia....
the other groups of people which are affetcted are "mach" white christian males with medieval mentality and asian teens....
fuckin losers and dorkies

Elizabeth Barrette said...

>>What do you think about antidepressants?<<

They have potential, but we don't know enough about how they work to use them very reliably. People are stuck guessing what will work for whom.

>> Is it an effective treatment?<<

For some people, only chemicals seem to help, but it takes exactly the right one for each person. I've seen this work wonders. I've also seen it destroy people's lives, like any other drug dependency; and some antidepressants are dangerously addictive.

>> Is it prescribed too much?<<

Yes. This approach is easy and profitable to the health care providers, which inclines them to overuse it. It cannot fix all forms of depression. It can obscure other causes and aspects; if there are multiple causes, all must be treated to achieve health.

>> Should it be used alone, in conjunction with other treatments or eliminated altogether as a treatment option?<<

Almost always combined with other methods; the only time a chemical solution will solve the problem by itself is if a biological imbalance is the ONLY cause of depression. That seems to be quite rare -- but, suspect it if the person's life is okay or great and they are depressed with no idea why. If there are emotional issues, such as a lack of appropriate challenge-handling skills, pills won't fix that.

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Anonymous said...

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anxiety remedy said...

Great post. Some natural anxiety remedies to look into are St.John's Wort, SAMe, L-Theanine, and Tryptophan. There's also cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and programs like Panic Away and The Linden Method, to name a few. Hope this helps!

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Paxil Lawyers said...

Big Pharma companies make money out of their antidepressant drugs. This medication only targets symptoms of depression. It doesn't actually cure or stop depression. Most of the people I know who took SSRIs are bound to take those drugs f or almost a lifetime and that ain't good.There have been reports that a number of suicide cases are caused by the mind altering side effect of these drugs. It's so sad and ironic.

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