Why do psych medications sometimes stop working? - image of a pill bottle
Mental Illness Treatment

Why Do Psych Medications Stop Working Sometimes?

The idea for this post came from Angela of I Am My Own Island, and others have also expressed interest in her suggestion. It's taken me a while to pull this post together because there just isn't a simple answer as to why psych medications stop working out of the blue sometimes. There are various… Continue reading Why Do Psych Medications Stop Working Sometimes?

Antidepressants, side effects, and delayed benefits
MH@H Depression

Antidepressant Side Effects & Delayed Therapeutic Effect

Have you ever wondered why antidepressant side effects seem to be worse at the beginning, or why it takes so long for them to actually start doing what you expect of them? There is actually some rhyme and reason for it, so let's talk about it. Let's talk serotonin People with depression don't have enough… Continue reading Antidepressant Side Effects & Delayed Therapeutic Effect

Evidence-based treatment of mental illness
Mental Illness Treatment, Suicide Talk

Antidepressants and Suicide Risk

Do antidepressants increase the risk of suicide? There are certainly people out there who are very vocal in insisting that they do. However, as is so often the case, the loudmouths don't tend to be especially well informed. The FDA black box warning Since 2004, the  U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required a… Continue reading Antidepressants and Suicide Risk

scale with uneven balance
Mental Illness Treatment, Stop the Stigma

Generation Rx – Weighing Medication Risks & Benefits

I recently watched the documentary Letters From Generation Rx, which looked at instances of people experiencing significant side effects while on psychiatric medication, including people who took the lives of either themselves or others while on psychiatric meds. One man featured in the film was a Canadian Member of Parliament whose teenage daughter had died… Continue reading Generation Rx – Weighing Medication Risks & Benefits

Woman with head tilted back mouth open
MH@H Depression

Master of My Domain? A Look at Depression and Masturbation

While this may seem like a bit of an odd topic, it's something I've vaguely wondered about for a while.  My line of thinking goes, if orgasms get the feel-good chemicals flowing, might that have any sort of benefit for depression?  And especially for single folks like myself – could masturbation have any positive effect… Continue reading Master of My Domain? A Look at Depression and Masturbation

Options for treatment-resistant depression
MH@H Depression

Treatment-Resistant Depression: When What’s Supposed to Work Doesn’t

Wouldn't it be nice if the treatment of depression was simple? Unfortunately, there's nothing simple about depression treatment in the real world. Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) refers to illness that hasn't respond to trials of adequate duration and dosage of at least two antidepressants. It's important that previous medication trials be long enough that you're actually… Continue reading Treatment-Resistant Depression: When What’s Supposed to Work Doesn’t

Ketamine for treatment-resistant depression
Mental Illness Treatment, MH@H Depression

Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression

I love Canada, but sometimes we're a little behind.  Drug approval by Health Canada is slower than in the US, and fewer clinical trials are done here.  I'd be really interested in trying out ketamine, but it doesn't have Health Canada approval for use in depression, there are no clinical trials in my neck of… Continue reading Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Evidence-based treatment of mental illness
MH@H Depression

What the STAR*D Study Means for Depression Treatment

The Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) trial studied 2876 people with major depressive disorder to evaluate their response to depression treatment in a real-world setting.  Unlike the randomized controlled trials that are often used to evaluate a drug's efficacy, there were few exclusion criteria, the patient and their physician knew which drug they… Continue reading What the STAR*D Study Means for Depression Treatment

Evidence-based treatment of mental illness
Mental Illness Treatment, MH@H Depression

Do Antidepressants Work?: A New Meta-Analysis

Do antidepressants work? There's a lot of stigma around psychiatric medications, and plenty of people would argue that no, antidepressants don't work. There are also people, that argue that medication is life-saving. Those are personal experiences, but what does the research have to say? A recent paper published in the Lancet, and reported on in… Continue reading Do Antidepressants Work?: A New Meta-Analysis

Prescription for Murder documentary screenshot
Stop the Stigma

A Prescription For Murder?

I have always been a big fan of the documentary program The Passionate Eye on CBC, Canada's public broadcaster.  Until now.  On January 6, 2018, they aired "A Prescription for Murder?", which was originally shown on the BBC.  The program focused on James Holmes, the young man who shot and killed 12 people and injured 70… Continue reading A Prescription For Murder?