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Who Are We? Coming of Age on Antidepressants
NY Times ^ | April 15, 2008 | RICHARD A. FRIEDMAN, M.D.

Posted on 04/16/2008 11:06:29 PM PDT by neverdem

“I’ve grown up on medication,” my patient Julie told me recently. “I don’t have a sense of who I really am without it.”

At 31, she had been on one antidepressant or another nearly continuously since she was 14. There was little question that she had very serious depression and had survived several suicide attempts. In fact, she credited the medication with saving her life.

But now she was raising an equally fundamental question: how the drugs might have affected her psychological development and core identity.

It was not an issue I had seriously considered before. Most of my patients, who are adults, developed their psychiatric problems after they had a pretty clear idea of who they were as individuals. During treatment, most of them could tell me whether they were back to their normal baseline.

Julie could certainly remember what depression felt like, but she could not recall feeling well except during her long treatment with antidepressant medications. And since she had not grown up before getting depressed, she could not gauge the hypothetical effects of antidepressants on her emotional and psychological development.

Her experience is far from unique...

--snip--

The reason has to do with the way drugs are tested and approved. To get F.D.A. approval, a drug has to beat a placebo in two randomized clinical trials that typically involve a few hundred subjects who are treated for relatively short periods, usually 4 to 12 weeks...

--snip--

This large gap in our clinical knowledge is compounded by the public’s growing and well-founded skepticism about research sponsored by drug makers. A study in the January 2008 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, involving 74 clinical trials with 12 antidepressants, found that 97 percent of positive studies were published, versus 12 percent of negative studies...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: antidepressants; depression; health; medicine; ssris

1 posted on 04/16/2008 11:06:29 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
I recently went cold turkey off Effexor (prescribed years ago during a divorce.) Let me tell you; I've been half out of it during the past six years. It's a miracle I held on to my job.

I feel sharp as a knife now, and have lost 20 pounds in the past three months. That sh#t is poison.

Here's the kicker: I work in the pharmaceutical industry.

Here's my advice to those considering SSRIs: Have another drink, go to a shrink, eat Ben & Jerry's, smoke if you got'em. Anything but that psycho poison they try to prescribe.

2 posted on 04/16/2008 11:20:11 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (Bob Taft has soiled the family name for the next century.)
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To: neverdem

Is It Me or My Meds?: Living with Antidepressants by David A. Karp

good book to read which addresses this subject
who would they be without the drugs?


3 posted on 04/16/2008 11:20:30 PM PDT by machogirl
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To: buccaneer81

Going off SSRI’s cold turkey can be dangerous. Better to taper off. Congratulations on kicking the poison. Psychotropic drugs are way overprescribed and I believe partly the culprit in the addled thinking and moral relativism that plagues us. Feel guilty? Take a pill to soothe your conscience. Here’s your soma!


4 posted on 04/16/2008 11:31:25 PM PDT by informavoracious (God BLESS America)
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To: neverdem

I’ve been on meds since I was 6 and I know exactly what I am. A washed up tired loser going nowhere and lies awake at night wishing he wasn’t alive. Did the drugs do it? Damned if I know or maybe I was supposed to return to god and missed my appointment.


5 posted on 04/16/2008 11:37:08 PM PDT by utherdoul
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To: informavoracious
Going off SSRI’s cold turkey can be dangerous

Agreed. I was lucky. After a week, I felt pretty good. But this course of action is not for everyone.

6 posted on 04/16/2008 11:48:10 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (Bob Taft has soiled the family name for the next century.)
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To: neverdem

a frigging DOCTOR Friedman:

“But now she was raising an equally fundamental question: how the drugs might have affected her psychological development and core identity.

It was not an issue I had seriously considered before.”

Friggin doctors. Just give the drugs. Take away the symptoms. Don’t deal with the causes. Too busy pushing drugs to try to learn the causes and deal with them. Spend all their time learning about new drugs. Forget about practicing real medicine and ever actually attempting to heal people. Gotta keep going to pharmaceutical-company taught classes to learn about the new drugs coming up.

Gee I never stopped to wonder what the drugs actually have done to my patients as a person. The guy admits he never thought about it. I am so optimistic about what passes for medicine in this country.


7 posted on 04/16/2008 11:51:41 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Secret Agent Man
Friggin doctors.

Yep...all doctors are exactly alike.

8 posted on 04/17/2008 12:05:12 AM PDT by Rudder (Klinton-Kool-Aid FReepers prefer spectacle over victory.)
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To: utherdoul

Hang in there utherdoul.

Ask Him if you missed the appointment. See if you can make another one.


9 posted on 04/17/2008 12:11:18 AM PDT by Marie2 (I used to be disgusted. . .now I try to be amused.)
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To: El Gato; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; Dianna; ...
Genentech and Biogen Idec Announce Top-Line Results from a Phase II/III Clinical Trial of Rituxan in Primary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

Case Closed for Free Will?

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.

10 posted on 04/17/2008 12:23:22 AM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: utherdoul
He has a way of getting people to keep their appointments.

I doubt you missed one.

You are still here for a reason.

Trust that God knows what He is doing, FRiend.

All our hardships train us for something in the future, whether it be to help another or to acquire a skill we will need for ourselves.

Ask and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you...

11 posted on 04/17/2008 1:04:52 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: neverdem
It was not an issue I had seriously considered before.

Does this doctor have any kids? Being a teenager is crappy enough for most--I'd never do it over, even knowing what I do. It is an emotionally brutal time when kids are sorting out thier place in the social heierarchy, what they want to do with their lives, and dealing with the raging flood of hormones fluxing through their systems in puberty.

How in the heck are kids goin to learn to cope with the disappointments and ups and downs of life if they are not exposed to the highs and lows which go with them--especially in the years they should be getting guidance and mentoring from parents or friends?

Just say no! and take your meds??

it is nuts.

12 posted on 04/17/2008 1:47:50 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: buccaneer81
Anything but that psycho poison they try to prescribe.

Exactly. The basic premise behind the use of these meds is that pain is bad. It's not. It hurts, yes, but it's even worse to live your life as a zombie. I'd rather feel anything, even pain, than nothing.

13 posted on 04/17/2008 3:03:32 AM PDT by giotto
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To: buccaneer81

PLEASE be careful going cold turkey off effexor! Did you talk to your doctor? You seriously need to slowly decrease your dose with that drug.


14 posted on 04/17/2008 3:11:54 AM PDT by Bluebird Singing
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To: Secret Agent Man

“Gotta keep going to pharmaceutical-company taught classes”

...often held at fabulous hotels or resorts...lots of alcohol, gourmet food, golf, etc....no bribery going on there...just making sure the physicians are aware of the “benefits” of the meds.


15 posted on 04/17/2008 4:06:31 AM PDT by RouxStir (No Peeing Allowed in the Gene Pool.)
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To: buccaneer81
A well-meaning doc put my mom on Serax many years ago. She has become hopelessly addicted, her life has been miserable and it's costing hundreds of dollars a month.

A young man I know was put on these drugs one after the other. His growth was stunted to where he is now only about 5 ft tall and is in prison.

However, I know someone else who claims to be benefiting from the drugs. They scare me to death.

16 posted on 04/17/2008 4:45:05 AM PDT by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: utherdoul
You have the good sense to be on a conservative website so all is not wrong.

Praying for you, friend.

17 posted on 04/17/2008 4:49:10 AM PDT by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: neverdem; All
Since I found out doctors won't even see the PharmRep unless he/she brings food for the entire office, I've had serious doubt about the benefits of drugs.

Given the fact doctor prescribed drugs and botched medical procedures KILL thousand of patients every year, my support of the medical field has also declined.

18 posted on 04/17/2008 4:52:29 AM PDT by wolfcreek (I see miles and miles of Texas....let's keep it that way.)
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To: buccaneer81
Hi, newbie here (lo-o-o-ong time lurker though).

I recently tried cold turkey off 10mg of Paxil/day. No can do. I even tried backing down to 5mg/day. That said, after 5 days of feeling terrible (dizzy, light-headed, fatigued) I decided that I'm going to need a week of vacation from work to fight this battle. There's NO WAY I can be effective in my position as a Data Analyst during that ramp down...

19 posted on 04/17/2008 5:03:48 AM PDT by Enduro Guy
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To: Enduro Guy
Paxil withdrawal is rough. A couple of times I ran out for a day or two and felt miserble. It is a miracle I held it together. At my next medical, I am going to see about getting stepped down and hopefully off of it. My life has changed, mostly for the better.
20 posted on 04/17/2008 6:31:01 AM PDT by wally_bert (Tactical Is Still Missing A Chair!)
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To: Enduro Guy

Hang tough, and remember we’re here if you need us.


21 posted on 04/17/2008 6:40:03 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim (Play that Funky Music Typical White Boy!)
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To: neverdem

Went to my MD for sleeping problem a few years ago. She prescribed Zoloft and I slept like I was dead but I gained 20 lbs in a month. Went off it. Went back this past year because I have googled my @ss off to find out what’s wrong with me. Thyroid/adrenals. She wanted to give me zoloft agin. Said no. She decided (with my prodding) to so a sonogram of my thyroid. Came back with multiple nodules. She wanted to wait to see what it will do and STILL wanted to give me antidepressants. I said no and to refer to an endocrinologist. He suspects Cushings and isn’t prescribing an EFing antidepressant.


22 posted on 04/17/2008 6:49:39 AM PDT by gopheraj
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To: neverdem

btt


23 posted on 04/17/2008 7:11:54 AM PDT by what's up
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To: utherdoul; Conservativegreatgrandma; Secret Agent Man; Enduro Guy; wally_bert; neverdem
I have one friend and one family member that I describe as “A Walking Walgreens” because they take SO many meds, mostly psycho stuff. They both take two different antidepressants and two anti anxiety meds. They are both miserable.

I've concluded from these two (they don't know each other) and from my own experience with migraines, that any neurological issue will eventually "learn" its way around any Rx that you throw at it. Eventually they don't work anymore, but any attempt to withdraw becomes a horrifying prospect.

Meanwhile, I have two teenagers (!). Depression in them manifests as anger, defiance, withdrawal, and low frustration tolorance. When they get like that, they get a glass of water and a little pill cup containing the following:

1000 mg. fish oil, enteric coated
1 B complex tablet, timed released, 50mg each
1 extra folic acid, 400 mcg. (around $.01 apiece!)
1 extra B1 (thiamine) 50-100mg each.

Works like a champ. They're fine within a few hours. Lasts a few days, unless I remember to chase them down with more before another "down" mood kicks in.

They used to protest, but it's worked so reliably that they now know that they'll feel better quickly, so they're quite willing.

24 posted on 04/17/2008 9:21:53 AM PDT by oprahstheantichrist (Stop calling them "liberals," they're Bolsheviks!)
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To: oprahstheantichrist

Thank you for the recipe, I just may give it a shot.


25 posted on 04/17/2008 9:24:59 AM PDT by wally_bert (Tactical Is Still Missing A Chair!)
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To: buccaneer81

“Here’s my advice to those considering SSRIs: Have another drink, go to a shrink, eat Ben & Jerry’s, smoke if you got’em. Anything but that psycho poison they try to prescribe.”

______________________________________________________________________________

As a former Celexa victim, I agree 100 percent with your post.

I still get those accursed “zaps” on occasion, and I’ve been off the drug for five years! (Only took it for 18 months...)


26 posted on 04/17/2008 9:28:45 AM PDT by Mugwump
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To: buccaneer81

I would never dismiss the benefit of SSRI’s out of hand.

Drugs work differently on different people. My daughter cannot take SSRI’s but she’s done really well on Wellbutrin.

I hope people won’t be frightened off of getting help because of these studies or because some people have had bad experiences.


27 posted on 04/17/2008 10:01:29 AM PDT by altura
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To: wally_bert
Welcome!

I forgot about vit. D, also. Usually I forget that one, but in higher doses D helps with depression also. Walmart now carries D in 2000 I.U. tablets.

Google that or any of the above with "depression," and you'll see amazing stuff, all double-blind, peer reviewed, etc.

28 posted on 04/17/2008 10:02:46 AM PDT by oprahstheantichrist (Stop calling them "liberals," they're Bolsheviks!)
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To: oprahstheantichrist

Good for you. A parent that really cares for your child. They put my mom on this crap and it’s taken more and more of it over the years just to get her to be somewhat comfortable. She’s on so many meds I don’t even know how many. It’s a mess and I resent the docs and their meds to the point I won’t go to a doc unless there’s absolutely no other way. I’m gonna die some day anyway.


29 posted on 04/17/2008 11:08:41 AM PDT by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: oprahstheantichrist

Vitamin D is an amazing vitamin. I’ve ramped up mine and I haven’t had a cold since.


30 posted on 04/17/2008 11:10:20 AM PDT by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: utherdoul

Holy mackeral! You sound like you could use some major prayer intervention, FRiend. I’m certain many FReepers would be willing to help. Your thoughts?


31 posted on 04/17/2008 11:14:01 AM PDT by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL (****************************Stop Continental Drift**)
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To: Enduro Guy; wally_bert
Do a search on SSRI withdrawal syndrome or SSRI discontinuation syndrome.

The preferred way to stop SSRI therapy is to switch to fluoxetine, i.e. generic Prozac, and gradually reduce the dose to zero. IIRC, someone wrote on this forum that it took that person months of tapering in order to do it with tolerable symptoms.

Fluoxetine has the longest half-life of the all the SSRI antidepressants. A fluoxetine taper will minimize withdrawal symptoms. Find a doc who knows this.

32 posted on 04/17/2008 12:00:53 PM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: neverdem

My best friend was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. They put him on some high powered pills, and he spent six months as a zombie.

One day he said “Enough!” and found a doctor who would help the problem, not treat the symptoms.

There are very few disorders where medication alone is the answer.


33 posted on 04/17/2008 3:36:13 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: neverdem
I took Zoloft for about six months, felt much better but then started taking it again about two years later, again for about six months.

It worked for me but I don't see how people can take the stuff for years on end.

The side effects were a problem.

Difficulty falling asleep.

Long, intense technicolor dreams every night. I would wake up exhausted.

It definitely helped my attitude during the day but it distorted my visual acuity in that every object had the most vivid, almost neon colors.

Then there was also a sexual side-effect as well.

I never felt addicted and simply had no desire get more after a few months of use.

These drugs are extremely powerful for adults and there's no way I would advise any parent to put their child on them unless it were a last resort.

34 posted on 04/17/2008 4:10:40 PM PDT by primeval patriot
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To: oprahstheantichrist

Beware of the folic acid. It could mask a B12 deficiency which is a lot more common than thought, especially with prevacid, etc. B12 deficiency can mimic depression, dementia, alzheimers, etc, because it plays a HUGE role in the nervous system.

I have a deficiency, discovered late. Someday when my #s get up to normal, I will start the process of quitting cymbalta and see what happens.


35 posted on 04/17/2008 4:51:30 PM PDT by Patriotic1 (Dic mihi solum facta, domina - Just the facts, ma'am)
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To: altura
I hope people won’t be frightened off of getting help because of these studies or because some people have had bad experiences.

The posters who hate the meds usually get here before the ones who appreciate them. For the case of this thread, Wellbutrin is evil as well.

36 posted on 04/17/2008 4:52:53 PM PDT by Patriotic1 (Dic mihi solum facta, domina - Just the facts, ma'am)
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To: primeval patriot
It worked for me but I don't see how people can take the stuff for years on end. The side effects were a problem.

Because not everyone gets the side effects, or if they do, it is minor.

37 posted on 04/17/2008 4:57:10 PM PDT by Patriotic1 (Dic mihi solum facta, domina - Just the facts, ma'am)
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To: oprahstheantichrist

Thanks for sharing what works with your children. I bet that might work for other people as well. Certainly they could try it without suffering any ill effects (unless allergies to fish or something!).


38 posted on 04/17/2008 5:26:31 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Patriotic1

It’s not that everyone considers medicines evil. It isn’t as much a question of ‘evil’ as a question of ‘ONLY’. What we have a problem with is that they are regarded as being safer and better and always the superior form of treatment for anything anyone has. That mentality shuts a lot of potential doors for other healing possibilities, given the fact that 40-50% of people on a given drug, the drug won’t work for them.


39 posted on 04/17/2008 5:34:20 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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