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Thursday, 28 January 2010

Antidepressants, Mood Stabilizers, Antipsychotics: Boon or Bane?

Here is some interesting info regarding antidepressants and psychiatric medications in general. I know of some horror stories regarding this issue very well, where members of the "profession" actually think they can read your mind, then put words into your mouth. In some cases they actually think they can foretell the future. I know of one of these geniuses who equated just not being a fan of rap and hiphop music or related accoutrements/attire with being a nazi or commie, or a commie-nazi or as an unrapping xenophobe mutant freak who can't fashizzle dance. I also know for a fact a member of the medical establishment who equated just a curious interest into Viagra, (just to see how it would feel and see if all the hype is true), to making them a danger to go out and rape someone. (Using this rational, people who watch porn, read adult magazines, fashion magazines or even look at sexy models wearing skimpy clothing on billboards, posters or at the beach, are a danger to get turned on and then go commit rape.) Meanwhile if someone discussed various problematic issues of living in less than ideal neighbourhoods or have less than ideal neighbours, they are looked at like they are speaking Chinese or just beamed down from the planet Pluto. Outrageous. Ludost.

Sometimes problems actually get much worse after the pregnancy is over and the children are born. (8 out of 10 doctors recommend that many mothers really should get abortions, take it up the ass or just have sex with the dog instead so as to avoid similar situations)

At the same time they think the downtown peep show is just a place to take a "peep" at romantic movie clips, (just without the popcorn.) lol. Clueless. Sometimes a change in environment/surroundings and some reliable friends can be much more beneficial than some magic cornflower blue, hot pink, peach puff yellow or fuchsia pills or synthetic chemical cocktail. (not to mention a good regular paycheque) Telling someone that if you take a pill everyday, and get yourself a new hairdo or top,, is not the answer to fixing problems that in many cases has nothing to do with you in the first place, but rather screwed up people and situations that you encounter on a daily basis. If your situation reaches the point of being a conundrum and affecting your daily dealings, don't resort to taking what is in effect a placebo pill solution, meaning taking a pill that in effect does nothing. Instead, contact high ranking individuals and organizations with the pertinent information, up to and including even foreign government arms. As for medical related situations like the article posted below, even a very regular normal occurence such as giving birth can complicate your life immensely. Be very cautious when contemplating taking prescribed pills, chemicals and mood enhancers/medications/drugs. Even, or especially when encouraged by members of the medical establishment  Be informed and be aware. This post isn't an advertisement for any group or organization, but rather just the other side of the coin, some extra information for people to consider.


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Today in the United States, 11 percent of women take antidepressants, the use of antidepressants by pregnant women has dramatically increased, and postpartum depression -- rare in those cultures in which women receive high levels of social support following childbirth -- has become so staggeringly common among U.S. women that Congress is legislating increased medical treatment.

Receiving little attention in 2007 was the study "Increasing Use of Antidepressants in Pregnancy," published by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Medical records of 105,335 pregnant women enrolled in Tennessee Medicaid from 1999-2003 revealed that antidepressant use during pregnancy increased from 5.7 percent in 1999 to 13.4 percent in 2003.

Depressed woman.

Among Tennessee Medicaid-treated women in 2003, 10 percent took antidepressants during the first trimester, 6.4 percent used antidepressants during the second trimester, and 5.9 percent used them during the third. White women were four times more likely than nonwhite women to have used antidepressants during pregnancy, and older women and those with greater schooling were also more likely to have used antidepressants while pregnant.

Antiderpressant pills fix everything and make you the life of the party.

Pills will make you and everyone around you feel better, look better and just plain awesome.

In another study of pregnant women treated at seven health maintenance organizations (HMOs), American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported in February 2008 that "antidepressant use in pregnancy nearly quadrupled from 1996 to 2005" and that nearly 8 percent of pregnant women used antidepressants in 2005.

Letting people know she's sad and out of medication, give her some pills already.

Effect of Antidepressant on Newborns

To the delight of antidepressant manufacturers, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently told Americans that we need not worry about the effects of Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft and other antidepressants on newborns. In June 2007, the CDC issued a press release stating "New Study Finds Few Risks of Birth Defects from Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy." CDC epidemiologist Jennita Reefhuis concluded, "Overall, our results are generally reassuring with respect to the use of antidepressants during pregnancy."

"Do you require any pills honey? I'll give you some pills if you want. How's 5 bucks for ass to mouth and some pills?"

This CDC press release was trumpeted by many U.S. newspapers with headlines such as "Antidepressants Not Big Risk for Defects" (Associated Press) and "Reassurance on Antidepressants in Pregnancy" (The Wall Street Journal). However, the actual research findings are the opposite of reassuring.

Forgot to take antidepressants before the hockey game, the crying and embarrasement begins.

We have all heard about "crack babies" (newborns addicted to crack cocaine because their mothers were using it during pregnancy). What about "Paxil babies"? In 2006 the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine reported that 30 percent of infants who had prenatal exposure to antidepressants experience some withdrawal symptoms, with 13 percent of them experiencing severe ones, most notably tremors, respiratory distress, gastrointestinal problems, sleep disturbances, and high-pitched crying. Other withdrawal symptoms include rapid heart beat, irritability, feeding difficulties, and profuse sweating.

Depressed beyond belief and she's not impressed. Just give her some pills already.

There are several other serious problems that newborns are more likely to suffer when exposed in utero to antidepressants. A 2006 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alert stated, "A recently published case-control study has shown that infants born to mothers who took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) after the 20th week of pregnancy were 6 times more likely to have persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) than infants born to mothers who did not take antidepressants during pregnancy."

Antidepressants after scandals overload, yummy coloured pills will fix everything and go good on pizza and in milkshakes.

In persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, the newborn's arteries to the lungs are constricted, this limiting the amount of blood flow to the lungs and therefore the amount of oxygen into the bloodstream. The FDA alert also noted, "Neonatal PPHN is associated with significant morbidity and mortality."

Living at home and depressed yet the dingleberries won't go away, pills are the only answer.

It turns out that the CDC based its approval of antidepressant use during pregnancy on studies in which women were taking antidepressants the month before they became pregnant or in the first three months of pregnancy. But is it even in fact safe for newborns if mothers use antidepressants only in the first trimester?

Older more successful massage methods used to alleviate depression before multi-coloured pills.

Antidepressant use in first trimester, according to The New England Journal of Medicine in 2007, is associated with more than double the risk of anencephaly (birth without forebrain), omphalocele (the child's abdomen does not close properly allowing intestines and other organs to protrude outside the body), and craniosynostosis (premature closure of the connections between the bones of the skull before brain growth is complete).

Internet photo.

The Rationale for Antidepressants for Pregnant Mothers

What then is the rationale of those medical authorities who encourage antidepressant use among depressed pregnant mothers? Their claim is that while antidepressants might present some risks, the stress of not receiving medication for depression is more risky for the newborn and mother. However, the research simply does not back up this claim.

Internet photo.

Two major studies comparing the health of newborns from depressed mothers who took antidepressants versus newborns of depressed mothers who did not take antidepressants show that newborns are better off with mothers not taking antidepressants.

Internet photo.

In 2007 the American Journal of Psychiatry reported that the preterm birth rate of antidepressant exposed newborns was 14.3 percent as compared to 0 percent for newborns of depressed mothers who did not use antidepressants; and the rate of admission to the special-care nursery is more than double for antidepressant exposed infants...

First they ran out of hors d'oeuvres and now the shoes are regular price again? Get out the kleenex and get me some of those pills, it's going to be a sad depressing day at the hair salon. 

....compared to infants of depressed mothers who did not use antidepressants. These findings echo those reported in a 2006 Archives of General Psychiatry study using health data from a large sample of infants in British Columbia, Canada during a 39-month period.

Internet photo.

Moreover, there is no evidence that antidepressant use by depressed pregnant mothers lowers their likelihood of suicide, and there is a great deal of evidence that antidepressant use can make some people manic, agitated, and violent. And while millions of people swear by their antidepressants, there is increasing evidence that antidepressants do not work much better than placebos.

Internet photo.

In 2002 Prevention & Treatment reported an analysis of forty-seven studies that had been sponsored by drug companies on Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Celexa, and Serzone. Many of these studies had not been published but all had been submitted to the FDA, so researchers used the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to the data. They discovered that in the majority of the trials, the antidepressant failed to outperform a sugar pill placebo.

Internet photo.

Postpartum Depression and the Mothers Act

For politicians, a much safer issue than pushing antidepressants for pregnant mothers is promoting the expansion of medical treatment for postpartum depression. In 2007 the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the "Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act" and sent it to the U.S. Senate, which renamed it the Mothers Act.

Internet photo.

The stated goal of The Mothers Act, currently in committee, is to "ensure that new mothers and their families are educated about postpartum depression, screened for symptoms, provided with essential services, and to increase research at the National Institutes of Health on postpartum depression."

Life choices depress many people to run for the pills. It's a cruel world.

But will the Mothers Act merely ensure that federal dollars are used to identify more pregnant and postpartum women as depressed and then convince them that antidepressants are safe and effective?

Internet photo.

An interesting fact is that 178 Canadian soldiers have committed suicide after coming back from tours in Afghanistan, (some have even gone on to commit murder-suicides). According to statistics from the defence department, Canada's military actually lost more soldiers to suicides than it did to all combined combat missions in Afghanistan since 2001, and many of them happened after already leaving the military. Many of these suicides could be attributed to poor and ineffectual training, unhealthy eating habits and lackadaisical lifestyle, dissillusionment with government political decisions and indecisions, and the absurd state of the new Canadian society being formed and simultaneously dissolved around them for the sake of more votes, and the fact that Calgary became a homegrown terrorism capital of Canada while they were on missions battling terrorists has further complicated the conundrum.

But the fact nevertheless still reamains that an inappropriate and exceedingly high number of the new breed Canadian soldiers since 2001 are suicidal, depressed, crying all the time and taking antiderpressant medications, this even after leaving Afghanistan. Many of them are afraid to walk down alleyways, into apartment elevators and stairwells, walk to the corner store or even go to the washroom alone many times. Instead of devising well thought out and precise plans to exact bullet ridden revenge against offending dingleberry humanoids and pointless specimens, they are instead going home to moan, bewail and kill themselves. This has caused them to be targets of ridicule by various ethnic groups and city gangs after returning to Canada. Since 2002 these new breed Canadian soldiers are regularly the butt of jokes by other Nato member country soldiers also, usually known by the moniker "1st Pathetic Wuss Pansy Squadron."

However, while psychiatry authorities and antidepressant manufacturers admit that antidepressants used by nursing mothers do in fact enter breast milk, they maintain that antidepressant concentration in breast milk is too low to be terribly concerned about (though they do acknowledge that there are no long-term studies to confirm this).

Just missing out on the last 50% off MILF lamp on the shelf at the IKEA will ruin anybodies mood, time to get out the Sharia antidepressant pills.

In the "Findings" section of the Mothers Act we are told that postpartum depression is a "devastating mood disorder" and that "postpartum depression is a treatable disorder if promptly diagnosed by a trained provider." But inconvenient truths about postpartum depression are omitted. Not many in Congress would vote for legislation that stated the following: The U.S. could eliminate much of postpartum depression by transforming American values, culture, and economics.

A Rogers Communications Inc. Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre, the sad depressing aftermath of an ankle cramp in the 2nd inning leading to the 60 day disabled list. Only more pills will fix your world then. (and an 8 dollar chilli cheese dog)

The Mother Act states that "postpartum depression occurs in 10 to 20 percent of new mothers." It should state that postpartum depression occurs in 10 to 20 percent of American mothers. A 2004 BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal) cross-cultural review reported that postpartum depression is rare in Fiji and in traditional African and Chinese populations. The BMJ authors concluded that "structured social supports after childbirth are described in groups of women with low rates of postpartum depression." Structured social supports for women after childbirth are decidedly missing from American culture.

"Why are there no pills here!? You have all the pills! Give us some pills! They're our pills?"

The Mothers Act findings also neglects the 1996 British Journal of Psychiatry finding that postpartum depression is associated with unemployment of the mother (no job to return to), unemployment of the head of the household, unplanned pregnancies, and not breast-feeding.

"I think I'm going to need some pills, do my ankles look fat in this dress?"

And the Mothers Act omits relevant truths about Melanie Blocker-Stokes, the woman for whom the initial House bill was named for. Blocker-Stokes was a pharmaceutical sales manager who began suffering severe symptoms of depression after the birth of her child, and she did in fact receive extensive psychiatric treatment.

Internet photo.

She was hospitalized three times in seven weeks, given four combinations of anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, and antidepressant medications, and underwent electroconvulsive therapy (electroshock). But despite her psychiatric treatment -- or because of it -- Melanie Blocker-Stokes jumped to her death from the twelfth floor of a Chicago hotel.

Mood stabilizers help with irritability.

Postpartum depression could be dramatically reduced in the United States with a political will to transform American society from one that is dominated by money, productivity, and consumption to one that has vital communities which put energy into caring about the well being of new mothers -- as do cultures where postpartum depression is rare.

"Mam, do you have any extra pills?"

The rate of U.S. depression has increased more than tenfold in the last fifty years. During that same time, Americans have received increasing medical treatment for depression, especially antidepressants, which currently gross more than $13 billion annually in the U.S.

Stocking up on pills for the sad days.

 Nowadays, drug companies, psychiatry officialdom, and U.S. governmental authorities recommend antidepressants even for pregnant women, and an increasing number of American newborns discover that their first worldly challenge is withdrawing from Zoloft.

A new haircut and no goals will definitely cause sadness and moodiness. (Even colouring your hair won't help unfortunately) It's a cruel soccer world that can only be fixed by pills, pills and more pills.

When exactly will be the appropriate time to challenge mental health professional pretensions and rebel from cultural craziness? After the next Hollywood celebrity confesses to popping pills or is the subject of social network catfights in the media? Can the world afford to wait that long?

Internet photo.

See more stories tagged with: drugs, antidepressants, pharmaceutical companies, postpartum depression

Bruce E. Levine, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and author of Surviving America's Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2007).

MMMMMM... I just lost my job, husband left me for Rachel the waitress, the dog just died leaving a huge vet bill, some weird people moved in next door and now I'm having triplets. Pass over the yummy pills please!

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