Washington post on antidepressants


Very interesting, and says much of the things about antidepressants Lindy warned me of in a thread…So she must agree. The antidepressants have many harmful side effects this is why when taking them you should be seeing a psychiatrist who prescribes the med and a therapist to talk with. Without these supports which the drugs were never intended for, it can be dangerous. So many think that taking a med and feeling better is enough. To find out what causes the depression and treat that is the purpose.

The anti-depressants at best can support you while doing this UNLESS you have a diagnosed disorder, Bi-polar, Borderline, and lots of others, harder to spell and longer. Meds for these individuals are far more important to be kept under the watchful eye of psychiatrists.

The referenced article was written in 2004, and a lot has changed since then. The article states that “nobody really knows what SSRIs actually do in the human brain.” Since 2004 studies have been done that show evidence that there may very well be chemical/biological “indicators” for depression and Biplolar Disorder.

See this link http://www.psycheducation.org/mechanism/MechanismIntro.htm
for an overview of more recent studies. The test results discussed in this 12 chapter section will be easier to understand if the reader can still remember some of the basics of high school chemistry.

As i understand it, these studies appear to indicate that people with these genetic traits / conditions are stastically more likely to develop major depressive disorder (MDD) or biopolar disorder (BP). It does not mean that ALL people with these genetic traits will develop MDD or BP. It does not even mean that everyone who has MDD or BP will have these traits.

It’s like this:
(1) People with high blood pressure have a higher risk of having a stroke. (2) Everyone who has high blood pressure will not have a stroke.
(3) Not everyone who had a stroke has high blood pressure.

The section linked to here http://www.psycheducation.org/emotion/introduction.htm#Tours
titled “Brain Tours” goes into detail about some newer studies of brain activity in those with MDD or BP. This part includes a lot of diagrams and pictures of brain function and activity.

I find the brain stuff very intresting and thought provoking. I’m sure everyone does not share my enthusiasm for all that detailed information.

About intepreting studies:
With any study the beliefs of the person doing the study can cloud the results. If a person starts a study with the premise “blondes are dumber than other women,” the study will probably report that blondes are dumber.

A study conducted to investigate the question “Does hair color in women indicate level of dumbness” could give very different results because the purpose of the test is different.

No, this is not purposefully done by the research, it’s just how the human brain works.

Look at how many studies there are on the subject. Look at who carried out the studies. Look at who financed the study. Look at how old the studies are. Look to see if there are more recent studies that either agree or disagree with the one in front of you. Look to see what the premise was. Finally, if possible, read the results of the study/research project as they were written and published by the study team. Otherwise, you’re already reading someone else’s opinion about what the study means.

Yeah, i know, there is a very large group here on CP who wish i would just SHUT UP. Other people probably think I’m an opinionated and egotistical jerk, and i just like to hear myself talk, er, write. Ya know what – just don’t read what i post. As Rhett Butler succcinctly put it “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”


I do not believe suicidal thoughts come in pill form.  If a person has had suicidal ideation's for a time, then receives an antidepressant, the individual may be uplifted just enough to feel sufficient energy to carry out a plan of suicide.  The medication did not create the suicidal thoughts.  The effect of any new medication needs to be closely monitored.  I would like to think that therapists are aware of this, and don't need special warnings about SSRIs, because they are psychotropic medications, and as such, should automatically call for diligent monitoring to ensure the patient's safety.


This reminds me of a common misperception among those who take Ativan.  I am frequently told that the medication causes drowsiness.  This is when I ask the patients how well they have been sleeping, prior to beginning the drug.  Most of the time, they report difficulty sleeping, sometimes going for days with just a few hours of sleep.  Then I will ask if they feel that it is possible that the medication is allowing them to get much needed rest, in fact, making up for a significant sleep deficit.  Usually, after a few good night's sleep, the drowsiness is gone.


I believe that some who suffer bipolar disorder have mood swings that range from depressed to extremely depressed, rather than from manic happy to depressed.  Therefore, an SSRI could conceivably shift the mood cycle of one who is depressed, followed by more extreme depression, upwards towards a more classic and recognizable bipolar presentation.  Hence I doubt if bipolar disorder comes in pill form either.