Skip to comments.New Depression Findings Could Alter Treatments
Posted on 08/11/2006 9:01:19 PM PDT by neverdem
The results of two new studies may signal a substantial shift in the way psychiatrists and researchers think about treatment for severely depressed patients.
In the other, psychiatrists in New York found evidence that antidepressant drugs significantly increased the risk that some children and adolescents would attempt or commit suicide. Doctors have debated this risk for years, but the authors of the study were skeptical of it, and their report may sway others.
The study of suicide risk, led by Dr. Mark Olfson of Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, was based on an analysis of Medicaid records of more than 4,400 people who were hospitalized for depression in 1999 and 2000.
But children and adolescents in the study who were taking antidepressants were about 50 percent more likely than those not on the drugs to try to kill themselves. And they were about 15 times as likely as those not on the medications to complete the act, although the number of suicides was too small to draw definitive conclusions, the authors cautioned.
In addition, there could be differences between the two groups that the Medicaid records didnt reveal: the children who received the drugs may have been more severely ill, skewing the results, they said.
In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration required strong warnings on the labels of antidepressant drugs alerting parents and doctors of a possible suicide risk in some children. Since then many psychiatrists have been skeptical of the suicide link.
I was surprised by what we found, Dr. Olfson said. I set out thinking wed find that the drugs significantly reduced suicide risk.
The findings may prompt researchers to look at which children are most at risk, rather than continuing to debate whether the risk exists, he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
It is depressing - so depressing, in fact, one couldn't fail to start another 6-pack.
The problem here is that the depressed are more likely to commit suicide or other self destructive acts.
Those receiving anti-depressant medication are therefore deemed more depressed than others and therefore, more likely to commit suicide.
At least 30 years ago this was known. It was thought then that the drugs created enough lift to help them perform the act. Another reason could be that irregular doses create withdrawal, a worse depression.
I second that. Another thing I have read is that those who just start taking anti-depressant medication are more likely to commit suicide. One hypothesis is that medication can also elevate energy levels. Should the medication do that before helping with the depression, a suicidal but tired person might suddenly find the energy to kill himself.
True, but that wasn't found with adults taking these SSRIs. From the 2nd link in comment# 1:
"In adults (aged 19-64 years), antidepressant drug treatment was not significantly associated with suicide attempts (odds ratio [OR], 1.10; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.86-1.39 [521 cases and 2394 controls]) or suicide deaths (OR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.52-1.55 [86 cases and 396 controls])."
"Adolescents in the study had more suicide attempts than adults. The researchers found that the rate for the first six months of antidepressant treatment was 314 attempts per 100,000 in teens and 78 attempts per 100,000 in adults. As with adults, the rate was highest in the month before treatment and declined by about 60 percent after treatment began."
The article mentions suicide but what about the people who go bonkers and kill other people (with or without the incident ending in suicide)? There are many anecdotes about people on anti-depressant drugs doing such horrible crimes. I have long been of the opinion that the mindset to commit suicide and the mindset to commit murder are similar, and that if some medicines make it easier for someone to commit suicide, the same medicines might make it easier for a disturbed person to commit murder. That's just my unscientific opinion developed by watching the news over the years.
So when do we start filing criminal charges against those responsible for this incredibly widespread child abuse? Any Senate hearings scheduled?
We know that stimulants can affect youngsters differently than adults, no reason to believe SSRI's can't act in a similar fashion.
I've always felt that any serious medication should be administered with restraint to those under a certain age. Children aren't tiny adults, and the physicians should know that.
I think what will ultimately be discovered is that there's a group of depressed suicidal patients whose depression is so disabling that they're unable to carry out their self-destructive desire. As they begin to respond to the anti-depressants they recover their ability to act before they lose their desire to act.
Essentially, we're taking suicidal people who lack the energy to kill themselves and making them more energetic.... with predictable results. Sort of like giving taxi fare to the nearest span to a broke bridge-jumper.
Damn pills. Flush them all. Get up and go do some yard work, for heaven's sake. Works for me.
You'd find a whale of a lot more people with suicidal wishes than murder wishes.
All this crude talk about "energizing" is like unto the way the old natural philosophers thought of fire, air, earth, and water. Nobody has even begun to reverse engineer the marvel we know as "thinking."
It's too late for my Brother. He ate a .44 bullet Monday morning in his backyard behind a tree.
I'm still trying to get through this, and this is the first I've mentioned it on FR.
But these damn doctors must stop with simply prescribing drugs to their patients and TALK TO THEM!
Have we heard from Tom Cruise on this yet?
Sorry for your loss. My best friend's brother killed himself a couple of years ago the same way. His girlfriend had just broken up with him. It's devastating to any family and I know you'll be asking "why?" for years to come. You have my sympathy.
oh...non-prescription therapy don't pay the dock fees.
Just this past Monday? I'd be in far too much shock to tie my shoes let alone freep.
I'm more concerned for my G'Ma and Mom. They were living with him and they both found his body.
Sorry to hear that...
What non-prescription therapy??
What you hear about these drugs can be scary, one maybe should remember most will talk about bad side effects but ont the good ones.
There is not one chemical compound that I'm am aware of that does not include 'long term, irreversable brain damage' in its list of contraindications in the PDF.
I base my admittedly empirical conclusions upon years of documenting and investigating unattended deaths...including suicides, and years of running a muni lockup...intake and monitoring of arrestees. Then there are the many acquantences and friends who, through the years, have had experiences related to Ritalin and other compounds used on their children, and the long term effects and results of that therapy.
I'm always curious; I ask questions. I've not seen or heard of a productive consequence of drug therapy. Not once...except in short term circumstances...which, unavoidably, went south, in time. Reputed successes are, as far as my prejudices will allow, to be had DESPITE the use of the drugs.
I'd love to talke to you more about this.
"There is not one chemical compound that I'm am aware of that does not include 'long term, irreversable brain damage' in its list of contraindications in the PDF. "
Does this include the SSRIs like lexapro, zoloft prozac etc??
What about St John's Wort (or other "natural" serotonin uptake inhibitors) for depression?
These references I allude to are the result of periodic consultation over the years to look at specific things, and I don't pretend to be an authority. I can sometimes guess correctly the drug and length of time taken by what I observe in an incoming arrestee. This ain't exactly scientific.....but you notice things after a while. And through the years, I get to see the same clients periodically, and observe their progress; and I always inquire, for my own purposes, the status of their treatment. Not part of my job, per se, but it gives us something to chat about. (although I like to know if they're feeling like killing themselves...that is part of my job...keep 'em alive long enough to see the judge)
Thanks very much...
What's the PDF?
There seems to be nowhere to turn if you don't want to use SSRIs for depression. I did read that in Germany the vast majority of mild to mid level depression is treated with St John's wort Prozac has 2%.
Physicians' Desk Reference.
slip of finger...sorry
Ha! PDF..twice...slip of brain. Double sorry. PDR PDR PDR...
Oh my! Prayers for you and your family. I can't imagine the pain you must be feeling right now.
Please keep on FReeping. You know you have A LOT of support here. God bless you during this awful, terrible time.
Thank you both. Thank you all.
I'm just trying to get back in the saddle. My family needs me to stay strong. So far, so good.
We need some prayer warriors for our FRiend Randall here. His loss is great.
Pegita, I humbly ask that you ping your lists.
I make sure I take my B-100, and my multiple vitamin every day. Coffee helps, and I'm good to go.
I pull weeds, prune roses trim shrubbery, and just get moving into life.
Everyone can be depressed if all we do is sit around and watch TV, becoming so self absorbed, depression will set right in.
I'm up every morning at 4:45. I work and don't have time for that kind of thing.
Actually, please send them to my Mom and Grandma. He lived with them, and they are the ones who found him in the backyard Monday morning.
How about, "Were More Likely to Commit Violent Acts"?
They knew it back when I studied at that same distinguished institution. It was hammered into our brains that anyone recovering from depression was more likely to commit suicide during the upswing than at any other time. Adolescence is the most dangerous age for depression, given the massive changes and confusion and pressure on the teenage mind.
I'm really sorry to read about your loss. May I ask how old he was? FWIW, prayer offered.
He was 38 April 27th.
"What about St John's Wort (or other "natural" serotonin uptake inhibitors) for depression?"
Tryptophan is a pre-cursor to serotonin. The good thing is that it adds serotonin but doesn't change the feedback part of the process (i.e., the re-Uptake part) so it isn't as likely to change a very complicated process in the brain over time.
From what I have read lots of people have been helped by Tryptophan without the side effects caused by SSRIs. It's not a cure (people have to keep taking it) but apparently it's safer for long-term use. It's naturally ocurring in certain foods anyway.
Please post your replies to RandallFlagg
Rest in Peace
Brother of RandallFlagg
RandallFlagg, My prayers go up for all who now mourn the passing of your brother. Comfort and peace for you all.
If you want on/off my prayer ping list, please let me know. All requests happily honored.
Randall, you have my deepest sympathy, and I offer my humble prayer for your brother, and everyone he left behind.