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Side Effects

Antipsychotics and the Likelihood of Weight Gain

This post is based on an article that Skinny Hobbit shared with me. It was published last year in The Lancet Psychiatry and compared the potential for weight gain with different antipsychotics. The link between antipsychotics and weight gain To start, let’s talk about why antipsychotics can cause weight gain. There are multiple different neurotransmitter …

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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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Bias in Online Stories of Psych Med Side Effects

You can find all kinds of stories online of people reporting negative experiences with different forms of psychiatric medication. However, there’s inherent bias in that kind of reporting of side effects, so you really can’t use that information to effectively generalize how safe or effective a treatment is. In this post, we’ll look at where …

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This one flew over the cuckoo's nest: electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in real life

This One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: ECT in Real Life

Ask anyone of a certain age what comes to mind first when they hear the term electroconvulsive therapy (aka ECT, aka electroshock therapy, aka shock therapy), and chances are they will mention the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest starring Jack Nicholson. The reality is very different.

Living with side effects of psych meds - graphic of scale and pills

Living with Psych Med Side Effects

For anyone who needs to take medications for a chronic condition like mental illness, dealing with side effects may end up being part of the reality of taking meds. The pros should always be outweighing the cons, but the right balance can be hard to find. No side effects is possible All medications have potential …

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book cover: Shame Ate My Soul by Sue Walz

Book Review: Shame Ate My Soul

Shame Ate My Soul is Susan Walz’s personal story of rising above stigma, suicide attempts, addiction, and misdiagnosis, and eventually finding recovery. I’ve known Sue, who blogs at My Loud Whispers of Hope, since the beginning of my blogging journey. The book opens with a heartbreaking conversation with 2 of her 3 children, as they …

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Key elements of my version of being pro-psychiatric medication

My Version of Being Pro-Psychiatric Medication

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ve probably noticed that I’m pretty pro-medication when it comes to mental illness. I thought it would be worthwhile, though, to give a little bit more nuanced perspective. My take on meds comes from my professional training as a pharmacist and then nurse, years of experience, and many hours of …

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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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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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Evidence-based treatment of mental illness

Do Antidepressants Work Better Than Placebo?

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 …

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