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The new NICE depression guidelines in development for the UK

The UK’s New NICE Depression Guidelines in Development

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a non-departmental public body of England’s Department of Health, provides evidence-based guidance on the treatment of medical conditions. Every so often, they update their guidelines, and new depression guidelines are expected to be released in May 2022. This post will take a look at the draft …

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Cutting through the serotonin hypothesis confusion - graphic of a serotonergic neuron

Clearing Up the Serotonin Hypothesis/Depression Confusion

Some people write off antidepressants as being useless because the serotonin hypothesis was wrong, while others insist they need antidepressants because they don’t have enough serotonin. There’s a lot of confusion about what the serotonin hypothesis was and what it meant, so this post will try to clear up some of that. A bit of …

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

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 …

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Antidepressants, side effects, and delayed benefits

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 …

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Antidepressants, suicide risk, and the FDA black box warning

Antidepressants, Suicide Risk, and the FDA Black Box Warning

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 …

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scale with uneven balance

Letters from 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 (MP) whose teenage daughter had …

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Woman with head tilted back mouth open

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. 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 when it comes to depression? …

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Options for treatment-resistant depression

Treatment-Resistant Depression: When What Should 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 depression that hasn’t responded 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 …

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Ketamine for treatment-resistant 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 …

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Evidence-based treatment of mental illness

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 …

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