Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Worth reading

Turns out that antidepressants and sugar pills work about the same: http://www.newsweek.com/id/232781/page/1

Now don't stop taking your meds--especially my siblings. Antidepressants raise the levels of serotonin and sometime norepinephrine in the brain. While this probably doesn't help depression, it DOES help ADD/ADHD, and helping that helps depression.

So the drugs might work for you siblings, but not for the reason you think....


laura said...

I don't comment often, but I do read your blog. . . and this time I gotta add my two cents.

This kind of story turns up in the news every so often and is really not that reliable. Katherine Stone took this on over at Postpartum Progress a few weeks ago. http://postpartumprogress.typepad.com/weblog/2010/01/media-reports-antidepressants-no-more-effective-than-placebo-bias-mental-health-news.html (Hopefully that link works!)

The truth: saying a common medication doesn't work is good fodder for an argument and will therefore make a writer's piece more interesting. This OP ED piece is not scientific and I hope, hope, hope that people who read it did NOT take it at face value.

The other truth: (and this is the most important one) depression is a multi-faceted disease. It is born of biological, chemical, environmental, psychological, and spiritual factors. To be successful in managing/treating depression you have to address it from all those angles.

No one should be commenting on whether or not a person should go off their meds unless you are their doctor or therapist or psychiatrist or the individual. It's waaaay too complicated an illness to oversimplify.

*whew* There's my two cents :)

Becca Jones said...

I absolutely agree with you, Laura! Depression is a multi-faceted disease.

The reason I posted this is I know A LOT of people who are being treated for depression by family docs (instead of Psychiatrists) when the evidence doesn't point toward depression--it points toward bipolar disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder, or bad diet, or ADD.

What I should have said, and didn't, is that I wonder how many people are being helped by the "placebo effect" because they don't in fact have the disease depression (instead having an alternate illness or are just going through one of those depressing times in life).

So well said, Laura!