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
I recently watched the documentary Letters From Generation Rx on Amazon Prime, 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 … Continue reading Dead if you do, dead if you don’t? Weighing the risks & benefits of medications
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. The STAR*D research study found that only about 1/3 of people get … Continue reading Treatment resistant depression: When what’s supposed to work doesn’t
I love Canada, but sometimes we're a little behind. Drugs are slower to get approved by Health Canada compared to the US, and we have fewer clinical trials going on here. I would be really interested in trying out ketamine, but it doesn't have Health Canada approval for use in depression, there are no clinical … Continue reading I dream of ketamine
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
A recent paper published in the Lancet looked at how effective antidepressants are, and this has been reported on in the media. Since media outlets don't necessarily have strong research literacy, let's take a look at what the paper itself has to say. My earlier post on research literacy explains some of the terms I'll be using … Continue reading Do antidepressants work? What a new meta-analysis says.
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?
Despite what the title might suggest, this post isn't about me being self-critical. I have been struggling for months with cognitive symptoms of depression, and on a daily basis I notice that it impairs my functioning. But it's not something I've ever had much of an objective sense of. Measuring cognitive function in depression Until … Continue reading I am actually getting stupider: The THINC-it test in depression
This post breaks down what I take to manage my depression - it's a long list, but it's a tough illness.
A look at how antidepressants work
I guess I should start by explaining what Uzbek is. It's the language of Uzbekistan, a former Soviet republic in central Asia that was part of the Silk Road that once wound through Asia. It's an area of the world where there are still people living the traditional nomadic lifestyle involving yurts, riding horseback, and … Continue reading How do you say antidepressant in Uzbek?
What do mental illness and sex have to do with each other? Quite a bit, actually, both in terms of the illness itself and the medications to treat it.