Antidepressant Articles

Videos: Antidepressants — Not a Quick Fix

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Videos: Antidepressants -- Not a Quick FixIn a series of heartfelt videos compiled online by healthtalkonline.org alongside research conducted by the University of Nottingham and Oxford University, 30 individuals share that antidepressant medications are not a ‘quick fix.’

Contrary to popular opinion, neither are they ‘happy pills.’

The individuals discuss the impact of depression and antidepressant medications on their lives. They also talk about the emotional difficulties they faced with side effects and finding a prescription that finally helped them manage their depression.

They’re worth checking out to hear of people’s real-life experiences with one of the most commonly-prescribed classes of medications today.

When Should You Go to the Hospital for Severe Depression?

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

When Should You Go to the Hospital for Severe Depression?Knowing when to commit yourself or a loved one to the hospital to be treated for severe depression can be a very gray area. I wish there were a set of directions much like those when you are in labor: if contractions come within five minutes of each other and last a minute, pack your bags.

Some physicians will make the decision for you, but usually it is up to you. Here are a few guidelines.

3 Reasons Why Not All Mental Health Professionals are Created Equal

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

3 Reasons Why Not All Mental Health Professionals are Created EqualThe biggest regret of those who have lived through a depressive or bipolar disorder episode is that they didn’t obtain a rigorous diagnosis and treatment plan early enough.

Lora Inman is one such person, interviewed in my book Back From The Brink. A long-time depression sufferer and passionate mental health advocate, she went for decades without a proper diagnosis or treatment, which prolonged her suffering and made postpartum depression even harder to manage.

Lora’s story perfectly illustrates three very good reasons why you need a trusted mental health professional.

7 Things a Depressed Parent Can Say to a Child

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

7 Things a Depressed Parent Can Say to a ChildI’m usually pretty good at hiding my tears from my kids, but lately I’ve been busted a few times because they come so frequently and don’t go away.

How do I respond when my grade-schoolers ask me why I’ve been crying? How do I explain this insidious illness to them?

Two years ago I wrote a children’s book devoted to these questions. It’s called, What Does Depressed Mean? A Guidebook for Children with a Depressed Loved One.

Excerpted from the book, here are seven things that you can say to your child when you’re depressed.

What One Clinician Learned about Coping with Loss

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

What One Clinician Learned about Coping with LossClinical psychologist Christina G. Hibbert, PsyD, has experienced many losses in her life. When she was 10, her grandfather died. When she was 18, her 8-year-old sister died of cancer.

She experienced the hardest loss when her closest sister and brother-in-law died just two months apart. He died of skin cancer. She died after drinking and taking too many Tylenol.

Around that time Hibbert also lost her aunt to a rare brain disease. Her husband lost his grandmother, both grandfathers and his dad in the span of two years.

“[I]t has been a lot of death for my family. But loss is about so much more than death.”

Are You Struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Are You Struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder? Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — sometimes known as the “winter blues” — is an “equal-opportunity oppressor,” according to Norman Rosenthal, M.D., in his comprehensive book Winter Blues Survival Guide: A Workbook for Overcoming SAD. This form of clinical depression affects people of all ages — even kids — races and ethnic groups.

Fortunately, SAD is highly treatable. One of the keys to managing the disorder is knowing your personal pattern of symptoms. This plays a big role in how you’ll treat your disorder.

The Biggest Lesson I’ve Learned in Managing My Depression

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

The Biggest Lesson I've Learned in Managing My Depression “Everybody’s depression is different,” said David Blistein, a writer in southern Vermont and author of David’s Inferno: My Journey through the Dark Wood of Depression.

It is a complex disorder, and healing may come from different sources, he said. But when you’re struggling with an illness, it can help to hear how others have survived and thrived.

That’s why we wanted to know the greatest lessons others have learned about managing their illnesses. Below, individuals share everything from the importance of accepting their depression to understanding its powerful influence to discovering one’s inner strength.

The Mysteries of Sleep Explained

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

The Mysteries of Sleep ExplainedWe know we need it. If we don’t get it, we’re cranky, have trouble concentrating, tend to overeat and are more likely to make mistakes.  Yet, with the crush of demanding schedules, bad habits, or sleep disturbances, we don’t always get enough.

So what is happening during those precious hours when we’re asleep?  Is it really a time of restoration for our brains?  And is it possible that it’s more than that?

What happens in our brains while we’re asleep is a question neuroscientist Penelope Lewis is trying to answer.

Nuvigil: Not Better Than Placebo for Depression Symptoms in Bipolar

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Nuvigil: Not Better Than Placebo for Depression Symptoms in BipolarMillions of people around the world rely on antidepressants in the treatment of clinical depression and, to a lesser extent, bipolar disorder. Over a dozen such medications exist, and many are also available in generic form.

But for reasons that scientists can’t yet adequately explain, some people don’t respond to many antidepressant drugs. And the drugs they do respond to may carry unwanted side effects that make taking the drug for any length of time downright challenging.

So drug companies are constantly looking for new drugs, new uses for old drugs, and new formulations of old drugs to help improve their batting average. Sadly for this effort, though, we can cross off another potential drug — Nuvigil (armodafinil).

Is a Glut of Antidepressants Really So Bad?

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Is a Glut of Antidepressants Really So Bad?The other week I read in the New York Times about a “glut of antidepressants.” The story was about the loose (and perhaps over-diagnosis) of depression in a community sample of over 5,600 patients.

Most of those patients examined who supposedly had clinical depression turned out to, in fact, not have it — only just over 38 percent met the official criteria after 12 months.

Somehow this got convoluted with the increase in antidepressants over the past two decades. “One in 10 Americans now takes an antidepressant medication; among women in their 40s and 50s, the figure is one in four.”

While we can lament this increase all we want, I also can’t help but say, “So what?”

What are Some of the Physiological Manifestations of PTSD?

Friday, June 28th, 2013

What are Some of the Physiological Manifestations of PTSD?Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a result of severe trauma. The trauma experienced is usually one that has threatened a person’s safety. PTSD is seen in people returning from fighting in a war, or people who have been victims of violence or a natural disaster.

It’s normal to feel traumatized by significant life events such as surviving a severe car accident. It becomes pathological when the feelings of trauma, anxiety, panic, or sadness don’t fade with time. People who experience PTSD may feel like they are forever changed and suffer constant panic attacks, loss of sleep and social isolation.

Trauma and prolonged stress inevitably has a negative impact on overall health. PTSD has been linked to more physician visits in veteran populations.

You Will Gain Weight on these 6 Psychiatric Medications

Friday, June 28th, 2013

You Will Gain Weight on these 6 Psychiatric MedicationsI had been on the drug Zyprexa (olanzapine) for four weeks and had already gained 15 pounds which, you know, didn’t help my depression.

After going to a wedding and catching a side view of myself, I called my doctor and told him that my name was now Violet Beauregarde, you know, the gum chewer in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” who becomes a blueberry balloon. Except that when I rose to the top of the room I was crying.

“The two most common questions that patients ask me are, ‘Will I become dependent on the medications?’ and ‘Will I gain weight?’” says Sanjay Gupta, M.D.

Recent Comments
  • mary: I really did not find anything helpful here. I am a very sensitive person, yet I eat, well, sleep, and...
  • Therese Borchard: Thanks, very much, for your great comments! Therese
  • Kim: I think you hit the nail on the head.
  • Hank Roberts: For anyone dealing with winter depression — it’s time to start using your dawn simulator...
  • Amelia: Very true. It’s easy to forget to take time for ourselves; to say we don’t have time, that...
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