Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Five Reasons Not to Take SSRI Antidepressants

Great article from Psychology Today. Edited for brevity; please visit the link

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.

Now that SSRIs don't work for depression, don't take them!
Published on January 7, 2010
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.

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.

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

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.
Reason Five: The whole serotonin hypothesis is challenged by these findings.
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.